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Utilitarianism practice paper essay plan.

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Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Utilitarianism test 5th May Plan * Explain theory ? teleological, Bentham, hedonistic, act utilitarianism, Mill ? lower and higher pleasures, weak and strong rule, preference utilitarianism. * Weakness ? felicific calculus too complicated, emotions are subjective, may allow murder if it is creates enough pleasure to the majority, people are bias, Utilitarianism is a teleological theory that is consequentialist and relativist. It evaluates whether an action is morally good if it benefits the majority. Jeremy Bentham is the founder of utilitarianism. He put forward act utilitarianism, which tries to achieve universal hedonism. This means that it tries to create enough happiness for everyone. Utilitarianism is also egalitarian, meaning that everyone is treated as equals. Bentham said that humans are ?governed by two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure?. Therefore, an action is deemed morally good if it produces the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest amount of people, this is the foundation of Act Utilitarianism. Furthermore, another principle of utilitarianism is that it is anti-legalistic; you are entitled to change the laws if you are trying to create the maximum amount of pleasure. ...read more.

Middle

Mill also said not all pleasures are the same, and so he suggested that there should be higher and lower pleasures. Higher pleasures would be intellectual ones such as opera, whereas lower pleasures would consist of watching non-educational television. As Mill said, ?It is better to be a human satisfied then a pig satisfied.? Mill also put forward the harm principle, this states that you are allowed to try and achieve pleasure, as long as it doesn?t harm those around you. Utilitarianism has continued to develop throughout time, for instance Singer created preference utilitarianism, where the preferences of others must be considered. Hare was also in support of this. There are many reasons why Utilitarianism may be considered a failure. The felicific calculus requires the ability to predict the future, which no one can achieve. It is also too complicated for many people, therefore they may abandon their quest to use act utilitarianism because they do not understand the method. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, Utilitarianism does allow people to evaluate their actions because it is consequentialist. This could be considered a strength, along with the fact that it is not deontological. On the other hand, the theory allows actions that may go against the law, like murder and rape, if it produces enough happiness for one person. No one can measure emotions and predict the future; therefore you cannot look at the full extent of the consequences for an action, which means you cannot use the theory accurately. To conclude, I do not believe that Utilitarianism is a successful ethical theory. Although it has some advantages, like giving people the opportunity to examine the possible consequences of their actions, no one can predict the future. Moreover, the main foundation of the theory is imprecise. It is idealist to try and create the greatest amount of pleasure for the greatest amount of people, however the reason why it has never been achieved is because emotions are too subjective and no one can measure the extent of them. ...read more.

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