Utilitarian Theory Essay Example

Published: 2018-03-05
Utilitarian Theory Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Philosophy Ethics
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1386 words
12 min read

Utilitarian approach

The fundamental aim of utilitarianism is to relieve pain and maximize utility thereby making people happy. The ultimate goal is typically reached when the demands of people have been met using the available options regardless of the means applied in achieving it. Ethics is an enormous guideline that streamlines the actions of the people and places a barrier in achieving success through unlawful means. As a matter of fact and without debate it must be acknowledged that despite the influence that ethics entails when it comes to life-saving strategies it can be overlooked. Ethics is simply a question of conduct, which encompasses the integrity of an individual being held is in question. It is something that can be broken and adjusted later in order of urgency and importance.

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The scenario majors on a woman's husband who is sick and unable to access medicine legally because of their position, the only means of obtaining prescription are breaking into the pharmacy and stealing the drugs. Furthermore, the couples lack insurance cover, and if they fail to do this, the husband may die. The only option is to risk going to jail and save a life. According to Kant's judgment (cited in Pozzo et al. 57), the act of breaking into the pharmacy is unethical as his principles stand for the right thing no matter the situation. The question here is, to what extent can we violate the Kant's principle? Is it always good to stick to what is right even if it is going to harm other people? The other unrevealed question involves whether to save a life or hold to morality. Under a general circumstance and based on the nature of humanity, the best solution they will resort to is breaking into the pharmacy, taking the necessary medicines, saving a life and finally being happy. It won't be a loss if the woman is imprisoned for saving a husbands life. While in prison, under the chains and being denied freedom, the woman is likely to spend the rest of her life happy for the act considered wrong by the majority.

Utilitarianism philosophy

Philosophically, observing the Kant's idea and doing the right thing would have resulted in death. Many would have questioned the reason why the woman failed to break the pharmacy. In reality, any action taken in this case comes with blame, but one outweighs the other. Considering the rule utilitarianism, the whole concept asserts that, an action that comes up with much good to the people and not pain is seen as morally right. In this case, though the effect is not good, the outcome is something that is likely to make the majority happy. The idea here is the fact that I totally disagree with Kant's position because based on his philosophy, nothing is flexible, he does not point out any exceptions to his principles.

Utilitarianism, according to Pojman, is the best guide that could help come up with the correct judgment as per to what to do. He brings in the influence of religion on ethics involving power which is beyond human understanding. Additionally, as an aspect of an individual code of conduct, the ability of a person to act in the right way without any external motivation guides much of his contribution (Pojman 95). According to rule utilitarianism, the whole process of breaking the pharmacy is considered wrong. The difference existing between the two utilitarianism principles is in line with the course of achieving the ultimate goal. Rule Utilitarianism asserts that, the morality of the action emanates from the correctness of the measure applied in reaching it. In this context, the fact is no true rule was followed making the entire process immoral, but the outcome of the action is what meets the demand of the majority.

Utilitarianism ethics

Normally, in the places inhabited by beings, there are expectations required from each one of us. Whenever there is a problem, and someone can solve it, it is usually right for the one capable of intervening and helping those who cannot. This is based on the position of what goes around comes around. People resort to prayers as another solution as a result of lacking alternatives. This circumstance is what may persuade one to break into a pharmacy and the steal the required drugs. Even though that may happen, the notion held by the rule utilitarianism does not consider it moral. It is still grouped under the unjust and irresponsible acts of the humanity. It is, therefore, necessary contrary the previous position to assess the actions that lead to the achievement of a given state rather than being focused only on what is to be obtained in the long run. Kantian and Rule utilitarianism tends to be on the same page, they both assert that the condition of the situation does not matter a lot but the means applied in achieving the result is as well crucial. To the society, views as per to the position are likely to differ among the people. The fact that many fulfill their demands from a religious perspective implies that they are likely to condemn the situation. Problems are usually personal even if the majority will tend to sympathize.

About Eudemonistic principle, it asserts that the greatest good is what brings about the extreme level of happiness, (Harris 75). Under the same context, the challenge here is determining the level of greatest good and happiness. In our scenario, the act of the woman husband getting better after accessing drugs is what brings about happiness, but the process used to obtain the drugs is not that good. This principle therefore because the happiness is linked to the good resulting from the action it doesn't support the idea. The good is what must lead to happiness not unlawful act resulting to the right that later on translates to happiness. Kant is portrayed as the greatest opponent of the idea as he stood for the notion that happiness can only be a component of the highest good but not as placed at the same time that can only be considered if it is deserved (Pozzo et al. 73). Indeed, I conquer with the idea as it is logical contrary to his initial position. Ideally, the notion of hedonistic principle does not apply in this circumstance because of the aspects surrounding the scenario none of them reveals the idea of pleasure as a contributor to happiness.

Utilitarian principle

In conclusion, all human beings have the innate desire of feeling important. They will strive to make ends meet to achieve all that they desire. The aspect of utilitarianism is a crucial determinant of how beings attempt to gather the available options to meet the goal you want. Many proponents and philosophers Including Stuart Mill, Bentham, Holmes, Kant, and Pojman among others hold different ideas related to the concept of utilitarianism. Focusing on Kant's position, the idea of morals is paramount and must be considered regardless of the situation. His principles based on our case are for the woman not to break into the pharmacy and get the drugs but to let the husband die or seek other alternatives which are unavailable. The position held acted Contrary to his idea because life is very significant; everything can be done to ensure that it is sustained. This is regardless of the act utilized in achieving it.

Additionally, act utilitarianism supported the idea by giving a strong stand having the ultimate goal of happiness of the people despite the means used in obtaining it. The idea held at this point is that the circumstance and urgency of the matter should be put into consideration. Contrary to this, Rule utilitarianism deviated by holding the position that it is not the ultimate goal but the principles brought into place in achieving the desired. The rightness of the procedure in place should also be put in consideration. Finally, the hedonistic and eudemonistic principles are also in place but with less impact on the matter in question.

Work cited

Giordanetti, Piero, Riccardo Pozzo, and Marco Sgarbi. Kant's Philosophy of the Unconscious. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2012. Print.

Harris, C E. Applying Moral Theories. Belmont, Calif: Thomson Wadsworth, 2007. Print.

Pojman, L. Strengths, and Weaknesses of Utilitarianism. In How Should We Live? An Introduction to Ethics, 2005. Print.

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