Sunday, April 7, 2019
Examine the key principles of utilitarianism Essay Example for Free
encounter the primeval principles of utilitarianism EssayThe conjecture of utilitarianism determines the rightness or injureness of an modus operandiion by its consequences. This is determined by measuring the amount of pleasance or pain brought to someone caused by an feation. Utilitarianism is a teleological possible action of ethics, this means that it is concerned with the outcome and the consequences, consequence that an act is non right or wrong in itself but is right or wrong cyphering on the outcome of said action. The main founder of this theory was Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). Bentham worked to fight many things during his time such as industrialisation, mass migration and poverty. Utilitarianism is a relativist system meaning thither argon no fixed waits, it is also concequentialist this means that morality is by the consequences that directly follow an action. Utilitarianism tends to be brought d own to one main detect and that is The greatest nice for the greatest number whilst the principle of this rule is aimed to execute the majority, it does have its flaw is the fact that the minority spring up suffer.The principle of utility, as mentioned before, is the greatest good for the greatest number this means that if certain situations occur, advocates of utility would al routes choose the option that brought slightly the or so pleasance for the nearly amount of wad, this means that they would choose the action that trifles about the better outcome, unheeding as to whether or not the action may be perceived as right or wrong by society in normal circumstances collect to the fact they are interested in rescue the most amount of fun possible.However, with this principle, comes a downside in the fact that whilst the majority may be satisfied or happy in a grouchy situation, thither will always be a minority, regardless of how small, that are unhappy. However fol declines of the principle of utility may be advance to en gage in wrong doings such as torture, whilst most would see this as an tight act, in certain circumstances, utilitarians may still take part in the act as it would bring about astronomical amounts of pleasure for a large amount of bulk, with the minority still suffering, in this case, the soulfulness who was being tortured.The fact that utility is found on bringing about blessedness this means that anyone who is an advocate of utilitarianism or follows the theory, is hedonistic, this means that they strive for pleasure and seek to avoid pain as often as possible, however what might be pleasure for some, may be pain for otherwises. one that point, some may say that pleasure is subjective, meaning that pleasures are all different for different batch, for exemplification in a situation one may choose the option that he/she conceive ofs will bring about a certain pleasure that they enjoy, however because they enjoy it, doesnt me all(prenominal)one will, so in essential fact even though they are nerve-wracking to bring about pleasure due to their own tastes, they may not be causing any pleasure at all and may even cause some small elements of pain, due to the fact that people have different ideas on what pleasure is.A ache with the point of different types of pleasure, J. S move stated that in that respect are higher and dismantle pleasures in society, whilst he was around during the 19th century, obviously peoples views on pleasure has changed, however, Mill was thought to believe that opera and poetry were among the higher pleasures in life, whereas today, they may be seen as lower pleasures.One main question may be, how does one card pleasure? and in answer to that, Bentham devised the epicurean calculus, a form of calculation, designed to work out how great the pleasure or pain is that results from a particular action. There are 7 signifi tidy sumt criteria identified by Jeremy Bentham and they are Intensity (intense pleasure is the outstrip) , Duration (pleasure is better if it lasts longer), Certainty (pleasure that is definitely going to happen), Propinquity (pleasure that is close at hand), Fecundity (pleasure that promotes hike up pleasure), Purity (pleasure not mixed with pain) and Extent (pleasure that affects people).In order for an act to bring about a high amount of pleasure, it must satisfy majority of the criteria above, whilst it may be near impossible to settle an act that satisfies all of the criteria, a pleasure will still be regarded as high or low, based on the amount of criteria met. Another key aspect of utilitarianism is that whilst there is act utilitarianism that focuses on the consequences regardless of the action taken place, there is also rule utilitarianism, created by J. S Mill.Rule utilitarianism the principle is utilise to a selection of rules which are in turn, used to determine what to do in a particular situation. With rule utilitarianism, acts are either right or wrong regardless of w hat the outcome is. Rule utilitarianism can be easily compared to and agreeing with the law, in the fact that there are certain acts that are just force field wrong due to the fact that they are un give carely to bring out pleasure for a large amount of people, such as murder or theft.With rule utilitarianism, it avoids the problem of evil pleasures found with Benthams view, such as sadism. Rule utilitarianism also tends to bring about the most amount of pleasure without excluding the minority that suffer like act utilitarianism does, as rule doesnt allow crimes against minorities that benefit the majority and allows the conception of justice. Rule utilitarianism came was devised due to the criticisms of Benthams act utilitarianism, in the case that act utilitarianism just follows the rules instead of trying to predict the outcomes.As well as the two already mentioned, there are more types of utilitarianism, such as election utilitarianism and two-rule utilitarianism. Preference utilitarianism was devised by Peter Singer (1946-present), gustatory modality utilitarianism sought a way of decision making that took in to account the interest of the minority, unlike the previous theories. Singer stated that every individuals preference must be taken in to account when deciding the best interests of the group and not only that, but every ones interests should be given equal value.Whilst the interests of the minority are more concerned with in this theory it still follows the fact that the right thing to do in a situation is what is best for the greatest number, however it has no reference to pleasure or pain. Preference utilitarianism has its own value that is followed, and that is The greatest amount of preference satisfaction, for the greatest amount of people. With this theory it has advantages due to the fact that the minority do not tend to suffer as the ideology is concerned with preference satisfaction.The other utilitarianism was two-rule utilitarianism. This theory was created by R. M Hare (1919-2002) this is a theory that satisfies both act and rule utilitarianism by bringing both of their values together. In this theory, morality, based on rules and customs is acceptable for most situations, but occasionally we will need to use utilitarian thinking where we have to consider the consequences of an action.Whilst there is many different criticisms of both act and rule utilitarianism, Hare tried to bring them together with altercations to satisfy any criticisms.Those are many of the different important concepts that involve utilitarianism There are many key aspects to utilitarianism that I havent mentioned such as negative utilitarianism, Karl Popper (1902-1994) and motive utilitarianism, Robert Merrihew Adams (1937-present) these are all based around the main principle of utilitarianism however are not as well known as the other theories.Each of the features mentioned are key when it comes to understanding utilitarianism however, o verall, I believe that the fact that everything fits in with everything else makes it a rather simple subject, on the whole, you know what the principle is and how simple it is, you know other theories that potentially quarrel said theory but most of all you are given a way to measure and calculate it all.Overall I do agree with the theory of utilitarianism as life should be about pleasure and happiness, even if it is not available to you, either find it or bring it to others by an action. As a person who is an advocate of happiness and a hater of physical pain, I believe that life should unceasingly be one big happy moment, with that in mind, I would have to agree with the theory of utilitarianism, as its main principle is shared with my positive outlook, bringing about pain for as many people as possible.To what extent are these important concepts undermined by relevant criticisms (9) It could be argued that pleasure is subjective, meaning that pleasure is different for different people and may even link in with a hearty context in the fact that, what certain people find to be pleasurable may depend on social class, environment, background, social/peer groups etc , in the fact that an upper-middle class man may think of pleasure to be poetry or theatre, whereas a lower-working class man, may view pleasure as going to watch their favourite sports team and may find poetry or theatre boring, and wrong versa.With that in mind we can refer back to J. S Mills theory of there being higher and lower pleasures, given this, it may affect the ideology of hedonism, in the fact that people all strive for happiness but with the idea to avoid pain. Another criticism is that utilitarianism as a whole can justify wrong doings in desperate times of need, such as torture, in extreme situations it may be seen as justifiable to torture someone as long as it will bring about happiness to many people, even though such an act would usually be considered as unjustifiable and uneq uivocally wrong.Some critics of utilitarianism may also argue that pleasure has a negative knock on effect in the fact that pleasure for one person may cause pain to some other, for example, if a job came down to two desperate people, whoever got it would be happy, the other sad and upset. Some say that measuring pleasure was hard and therefore the hedonic calculus was created to make it easier, however it is still hard to apply and can also be impractical for quick repartee situations, where time is of the essence and not all of the criteria can be fully applied.The idea of utilitarianism is to predict outcomes and see how much pain/pleasure a particular action would bring however, humans are not psychic and cannot accurately predict the future or the outcomes of an action. Linking to the point about one personas happiness comes another persons pain, on a larger scale, whilst applying the utilitarianism principle, people are favouring the majority at the expenditure of the minor ity, whilst, in comparison they may seem more insignificant, when taking in to account the amount of people youre helping, they are still humans that deserve happiness and avoid pain just like anyone else.Overall I do believe that there are many potential criticisms of the utilitarianism ideology however, I do not think anyone can argue against it by challenging its purpose and principle of bringing about happiness to a large amount of people, which in reality, is what most people strive for in life, as some would argue that there is no better feeling than happiness and joy.