• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To complete this essay the following areas need to be looked at: - 1) What is utilitarianism 2) The advantages of utilitarianism 3) The disadvantages of utilitarianism 4) How utilitariani

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Introduction To complete this essay the following areas need to be looked at: - 1) What is utilitarianism 2) The advantages of utilitarianism 3) The disadvantages of utilitarianism 4) How utilitarianism relates to business Utilitarianism is concerned with providing the greatest good to the greatest number. In this context Utilitarianism states that good is measured in terms of happiness. Utilitarians are concerned with looking at the consequences of actions rather than the actual act itself. It states that you should not worry about the act at all so long as the end result is happiness for the most amount of people then that action is good. You must maximise the benefit and minimise the costs. In terms of business the "Socially" responsible course for a business to take is the one that will produce the greatest net benefits socially or impose the lowest net costs. Jeremy Bentham (1748 - 1832) one of the most famous Utilitarianists and considered by many to be the founder of Utilitarianism believed you could determine which action was "good" by comparing the beneficial and harmful consequences of each. The right course of action from an ethical point of view would be to choose the policy that would produce the greatest amount of Utility -that is the greatest amount of good in terms of happiness. ...read more.

Middle

As the design was not changed it meant that Ford managers were in effect forcing the one hundred and eighty estimated people who would die as a result of its design to absorb all the costs. It can be seen to be more just to have the costs of the re-design distributed between all the buyers in a eleven dollar mark-up in price than burdened on the one hundred and eighty people likely to be killed. Using utilitarian theory then the managers of Ford were right in their decision as the majority benefited from the car being bought for less that is it brought the greatest happiness to the most people. Ford calculated that they would save almost eighty eight million if they didn't modify the car. The problem that Ford didn't take into account when working out the costs and benefits was the negative publicity they would get because of the fault, which irreparably damaged the company. (Velasquez 2001) The Pinto carried an extra risk to life as a result of the fuel tank remaining where it was. However the buyers of the Pinto were not aware of this extra risk, as they were never told. Did Ford violate the basic right of customers to freely choose for themselves whether or not to accept a riskier car in return for a lower price? ...read more.

Conclusion

However it is in the businesses interest to be viewed as socially responsible and thus causing as little damage to the environment or community as a whole. Businesses are charged a pollution tax for the amount of chemicals they put into the environment. From a utilitarian point of view the businesses cost of reducing emissions is far higher than that of the tax. This is why businesses don't reduce emissions; however as is one of the problems of measuring utility, businesses don't take into account the damage done to the atmosphere. The tax imposed is not enough to rectify the damage to the environment; this creates a dilemma, as the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people in the future would be for the business not to damage the environment. But for the shareholders in financial terms the utilitarian approach would be the cost to the business. Reducing emissions would increase the cost of the good to society now, which is greater than damage to the environment, which is taxed anyway, for future generations. Businesses therefore can use utilitarian principles to help with decision-making, but must be aware of moral issues. The idea of Reebok using child labour is defensible from a utilitarian view; they give jobs to people who need them. They pay them a pittance but that is all they need to pay them, despite it being viewed as morally wrong in the UK, it gives greater happiness to the desperate workers. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Practical Questions section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Practical Questions essays

  1. What are the Main Features of Utilitarianism as an Ethical Theory?

    Socrates dissatisfied than a fool and satisfied" (I.e., ignorance is not bliss and that we would rather intellectually higher with pain than have base desires). Utilitarianism is, in some respects a very good theory to use in modern day as in broadly fits in with common sense towards morality.

  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of utilitarianism, what are the main problems of ...

    and in the cases in which it applies; the extent of the outcome, the number of people to which the action extends, for example the choice of sending two atomic bombs instead of one in Hiroshima by the USA can be argued to save more lives than it destroyed, as

  1. Examine the key features of utilitarianism and its strengths and weaknesses of utilitarianism

    It benefits the greater good, which most of the time would be beneficial, as most people (you would hope) do not share the same sense of happiness as say a pedophile would. It is also based on the consequence of an action, which is what matters.

  2. Utilitarianism essay.

    Different people disagree about what counts as high quality pleasure (e.g. rock climbing or rock music) so who is to say who is right. Mill believed that only certain people - 'competent judges' were qualified to say what the higher pleasures are.

  1. Utilitarianism.After Bentham had established that pleasure and pain were the important factors in determining ...

    Bentham believed that if a person did not follow the utility principle they should be punished Bentham obviously realised that it was impossible to use the calculus in every small moral decision that had to be made and the methodology was extremely complex.

  2. I will be discussing John Stewart Mill theory on utilitarianism. Then I will point ...

    Mill had two views; one of hedonism is the definition of a persons well being determined by their pleasure. The other view, utilitarianism holds the theory of right action has more worth in proportion to increasing the well being of a person.

  1. Capital Punishment and Utilitarianism

    This would indicate that capital punishment would be a good verdict. Another feature of the felicific calculus is propinquity, which is how near the pain or pleasure is. The pain that the offender has caused would have been very close to when the decision was made and subsequently capital punishment would be the result of the action.

  2. "Explain Bentham's Utilitarianism" and Act Utilitarianism has immoral consequences Discuss.

    He also criticises people ?who regard the poor as commodities? and it could be argued that Bentham?s theory is dehumanising as it sees humans for only their value of what they can add to society, and considers them worthless if they do not contribute anything.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work