Utilitarianism Vs Cultural Ethical Relativism

Utilitarianism is an example of Consequentialist Ethics, where the morality of an action is determined by its accomplishing its desired results. In both scenarios the desired result was to save the lives of thousands of people in the community. Therefore, a Utilitarian would say that the actions taken in both of the scenarios are moral. […]

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Mill’s Utilitarianism

According to John Stuart, the criterion of moral action whether it is right or wrong is based on the property of actions performed. To perform a morally right action depends on the morally right property to perform the right action. Moral reasoning in this case forms a critical basis of decision making. Utilitarianism is an […]

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Critically compare Act Utilitarianism with Rule Utilitarianism

The concept of utilitarianism can be agreed upon by many; the idea that any action should create the most amount of happiness, for the most number of people. There is however some debate regarding the two main opposing schools of thought for utilitarianism, these being rule-utilitarianism and act-utilitarianism. Act-utilitarianism tells us that the most important […]

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To what extent can utilitarian principles be applicable to contempory government

‘The fundamental idea of utilitarianism is that the morally correct action in any situation is that which brings about the highest possible total sum of utility. Utility is variously understood as happiness, pleasure’. This quote is taken from Jonathan Wolff’s book. The philosophy of utilitarian principle influenced many of the social reforms in Great Britain […]

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Are Utilitarians able to take into account Rights

In order to approach this question with at least some semblance of knowledge, one has to first look at the question itself. The issues within it as to whether Utilitarians are able to (not should they) take into account rights, is important because this is a line of enquiry as to what utilitarians are, what […]

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The most powerful objection to Utilitarianism as a moral theory

As far as consequentialist theories go, utilitarianism is probably the most well known, yet I find it quite unconvincing myself. The theory itself requires people acting for the ‘greatest happiness of the greatest number’ and involves calculating the overall effect of an act on happiness/unhappiness of people. The act that produces the most overall happiness […]

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Does rule-utilitarianism avoid the problems of act-utilitarianism

To begin exploring the issues of act and rule utilitarianism, their practicality and problems posed through their application in modern society, I shall first give an account of the two schools. To begin with, we shall look at act-utilitarianism, as it is the form which best fits Mill’s account of utilitarian principles, applied rigorously and […]

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Does rule-utilitarianism solve the problems faced by act-utilitarianism

Utilitarianism is a broad discipline, encompassing moral philosophers with fundamentally contrasting bases to their ethics. One of these conflicts is between the absolutist act based philosophers, of whom I believe Mill is one, and the less stringent rule-utilitarians. The crux of the conflict between the schools lies in the leeway given to an individual when […]

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Utilitarianism is a good ethical theory

Utilitarianism declares there are no moral absolutes, therefore “x” action is always right, or “x” action is always wrong. Instead, an action is “right” if it secures the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. This allows the theory to be applied to more complex moral dilemmas, for instance, whether or not to torture […]

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The strengths and weaknesses of Utilitarianism

Jeremy Bentham, the key philosopher of utilitarianism saw happiness as the ultimate goal of existence, and the only thing desirable. The term utilitarianism is derived from the Latin word ‘utils’ meaning useful. It is a normative theory concerned with the usefulness of our actions. Whether an action will produce pleasure or diminish pain. The first […]

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