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Examine how Benthams utilitarianism may be applied to one ethical issue of your choice. Organ transplants.

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Introduction

Examine how Bentham's utilitarianism may be applied to one ethical issue of your choice. I will examine how Bentham's utilitarianism would be applied in terms of organ transplantation. Utilitarian's believe that humans are motivated by the pursuit to maximise happiness and minimise pain, which is called a hedonist view. Utilitarianism is an ethical principle, a philosophical system which takes into account consequences of an action rather than motives, where the happiness of the greatest number should be the result, as it is therefore morally right. Jeremy Bentham's understanding of the utilitarian principle is called Act Utilitarianism. His approach states that the rightness or wrongness of an individual act is calculated by the amount of happiness that results from the act. His view is also a hedonist view, which proposes that the main good is pleasure, whilst the main evil is pain. He therefore proposed that all humans pursue the maximisation of pleasure and minimisation of pain. Bentham believed in the greatest good for the greatest number, and believed that quantity (rather than Mills belief in quality) played the main role in deciding whether and act was good or not, as the one providing most pleasure for most people, whilst providing least or no pain, is seen as the best choice by Bentham. ...read more.

Middle

After all criteria are added, the act that brings about the most points (most pleasure) will be seen as morally right. Transplantation is the removal one of organ from an organism, and placing it into another. There are 3 types of organ transplantation that I will examine, which are Live Donor (from a living person), Cadaver (from a dead person) and Xenotransplantation (from an animal). Live Donor transplantation - Bentham agrees with Live Donor transplantation, whether the donor able to give consent or not. If the donor volunteers to donate an organ, Bentham would believe that if everything goes quickly and correctly, the pleasure will be felt soon (remoteness), will happen (certainty) and will be greatly felt (intensity) by the receiver, because it will allow him/her to lead a better life and be happy. This will also be true for the donor as s/he will know that they did a good deed saving someone's life. If there are no side effects, the pleasure will have a longer duration if it keeps reproducing itself (fecundity) and remain a pleasure (purity). Also, a lot of people will be happy, as both families will be happy, firstly the receivers family, and the donors family due to his generosity. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lastly, Bentham is for xenotransplantation, as it would create the greatest good for greatest number of humans, and is therefore morally correct. As the pleasure will be felt soon (remoteness), will definitely happen (certainty) and will be greatly felt (intensity) by the receiver, it should be pursued as it will allow for better life thus more happiness presuming the pleasure will keep in producing (fecundity) and remaining a pleasure (purity). The families would also be happy at the wellbeing of the recipient (quantity). Bentham would most likely not consider an animal's pain in his Hedonic Calculus, but even if he did, the intensity of the animal's pain would not outweigh the intensity of the human's pleasure, this is as humans have a higher level on consciousness and can reflect upon the pleasure. Also, the quantity affected for the animal is a lot less, rather than by the receiver's family. Overall , Bentham believes that organ transplantation is correct, from humans dead or alive, voluntary or not, and from animals, as long as the greatest good for the greatest number principle is followed, and the maximisation of pleasure is followed, using his Hedonic Calculus. ?? ?? ?? ?? Aleksander Filipczak Religious Studies ...read more.

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