Arguments on utilitarianism

It enables people to have a wide range of cooperative relationships by generating confidence that other people will do what they promise to do. Robson, edited by Michael Laine, The philosophical literature on utilitarianism and, more specifically, consequentialism is enormous, proliferating with attempts to avoid the problems outlined above, and others, and bring utilitarianism more into line with moral common sense.

This was a difficult path for a man of very modest resources to take; he and his wife Harriet married lived without financial security for well over a decade. In contrast, consequentialists can simply say that the Arguments on utilitarianism belongs wherever the benefits outweigh the costs including any bad side effects.

Motives and Rightness, Oxford: The rule utilitarian approach to morality can be illustrated by considering the rules of the road.


Some may be wrong because they violate liberty, or autonomy. A key move here is to adopt the agent's perspective in judging the agent's act. An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation.

If seven like chocolate and three like vanilla and if all of them get the same amount of pleasure from the flavor they like, then you should choose chocolate. He did say that, if he were solely responsible, his mother might not continue to live.

So if one performed action B and only produced 15 units Arguments on utilitarianism happiness, then that person would not have done his or her duty. They never specify the line between what is morally wrong and what is not morally wrong, and it is hard to imagine any non-arbitrary way for deontologists to justify a cutoff point.

Like Shaftesbury, Francis Hutcheson was very much interested in virtue evaluation. One indirect version of consequentialism is motive consequentialism, which claims that the moral qualities of an act depend on the consequences of the motive of that act compare Adams and Sverdlik As an example, consider a moral rule parents have a special duty to care for their own children.

Rhetorically, anyway, one can see why this is an important move for Bentham to be able to make. Bentham, in contrast to Mill, represented the egoistic branch — his theory of human nature reflected Hobbesian psychological egoism.

Thus, what Mill calls the intellectual pleasures will score more highly than the sensual ones along several parameters, and this could give us reason to prefer those pleasures — but it is a quantitative not a qualitative reason, on Bentham's view.

Do what produces the best consequences. Bentham argues, "The utility of all these arts and sciences, …the value which they possess, is exactly in proportion to the pleasure they yield. The principle of utility, alternatively, evaluates moral claims by appealing to the external standard of pain and pleasure.

The History of Utilitarianism

This approach can be called holistic consequentialism or world utilitarianism. The Works of Jeremy Bentham. A problem is that such consequentialism would seem to imply that we morally ought not to contribute those resources to charity, although such contributions seem at least permissible.

Again, if this argument can justify current practices of raising and killing non-human animals for food, then it justifies raising humans in the same way.

One is the physical antipathy to the offence…. In fact, the human sciences can be understood as themselves natural sciences with human objects of study. For and Against, by J. Other opponents object that not only pleasures are intrinsically valuable, because other things are valuable independently of whether Arguments on utilitarianism lead to pleasure or avoid pain.

Extrapolating from the example used above, we have people who advocate telling the truth, or what they believe to be the truth, even if the effects are bad because the truth is somehow misused by others. I am aware of studies that have been done with lobsters where it seems pretty obvious that they're not excited about being put into boiling water.

The first group of protesters was distressed by this second, more aggressive group. Prejudice apart, the game of push-pin is of equal value with the arts and sciences of music and poetry.Eight Arguments in Favor of Eating Meat and Objections Thereto.

Most of the following eight arguments came from a Contemporary Moral Issues class that I taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Fall of I asked the students to give me their best arguments in favor of eating meat, and these are the results.

by John Stuart Mill () Chapter 2 What Utilitarianism Is. A PASSING remark is all that needs be given to the ignorant blunder of supposing that those who stand up for utility as the test of right and wrong, use the term in that restricted and merely colloquial sense in which utility is opposed to pleasure.

In his May ‘Skeptic’ column for Scientific American, Michael Shermer discusses utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, and natural-rights theory. 1. Classic Utilitarianism. The paradigm case of consequentialism is utilitarianism, whose classic proponents were Jeremy Bentham (), John Stuart Mill (), and Henry Sidgwick ().

Act and Rule Utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is one of the best known and most influential moral theories. Like other forms of consequentialism, its core idea is that whether actions are morally right or wrong depends on their specifically, the only effects of actions that are relevant are the good and bad results that they produce.

John Stuart Mill (—) John Stuart Mill () profoundly influenced the shape of nineteenth century British thought and political discourse.

Arguments on utilitarianism
Rated 4/5 based on 91 review