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UTILITARIANISM In this paper I will be discussing utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is the theory proposing the principle of utility as the correct ethical standard. I will also be talking about the THEORY of RIGHT CONDUCT, which is also a part of moral the

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Introduction

Leah Peterson April 27, 2000 Philosophy 130N PAPER ONE: UTILITARIANISM In this paper I will be discussing utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is the theory proposing the principle of utility as the correct ethical standard. I will also be talking about the THEORY of RIGHT CONDUCT, which is also a part of moral theory. I have been asked to prove if Bentham or Mills' version of utilitarianism is right for the sadistic voyeur case. I will begin by telling you about the case. Case: this man enjoys watching women being brutally raped; he is locked in a room. He cannot exit the room, there is a window in the room and a curtain covers it. Behind the curtain a woman is being brutally raped by several men. If the man opens the curtain he will gain a great deal of pleasure and no pain, but if he doesn't open the curtain he will receive no pain or no pleasure. Bentham's principle of utility states this: that an action ought to be done if and only if it maximizes the total amount of pleasure to those persons affected by the action. ...read more.

Middle

Bentham is saying that if you desire something that is desirable you should obtain that desire. This is not true in the sadistic voyeur's case, true the men are all gaining pleasure but the woman is not gaining pleasure at all. She is gaining more pain from the sadistic voyeur because he chose to open the curtain and watch her being brutally raped. Bentham's principle is problematic because it's immorally wrong to commit such an act. The action that the sadistic voyeur is thinking about committing is a forbidden action. Meaning that from the point of view of morality it is mandatory no to do. Mills Utility Principle is also known as the Greatest Happiness Principle. His principle states that actions are right in proportion, as they tend to promote happiness, wrong, as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure and the absence of pain. Mills' principle is different from Bentham's because Mills is talking about happiness and the principle of virtue. ...read more.

Conclusion

If the action that is being desired is not virtuous then it is not coming from a right frame of mind. I think that Mills' theory is better than Betham's because Mills gives good reason why the act shouldn't be committed if it is not the right thing to do. Like the sadistic voyeur situation, Mills would it would not worth the satisfaction, but Bentham thinks that if it is desirable then you should fulfill that desire. All of that is wrong. Mills does have additional problems, for example, Mills says that if something is desirable, it is in some way worthy of being desired. Now that statement is very problematic. Not everything is worthy of being desired. It's like me saying that I desire money; true money is a very important factor in living in today's society. But it is not the answer to every problem I have, so therefore it is not worthy of being desired. This paper was a learning experience for me. I have never really done a research paper of this sort. I really enjoyed doing this and I hope that this paper is somewhat to your satisfaction. ...read more.

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