Utilitarianism Utilitarianism is a type of consequentialist ethical theory.
Antecedents of Utilitarianism among the ancients A Utilitarian principles theory of the value of life is found in the early 5th century BC in the ethics of Aristippus of Cyrene, founder of the Cyrenaic school, and years later in that of Epicurus, founder of an ethic of retirement, and their followers in ancient Greece.
The seeds of ethical universalism are found in the doctrines of the rival ethical school Stoicism and in Christianity. Utilitarianism is an effort to provide an answer to the practical question What ought a man to do?
Its answer is that he ought to act so as to produce the best consequences possible. Basic concepts In the notion of consequences the Utilitarian includes all of the good and bad produced by the act, whether arising after the act has been performed or during its performance.
If the difference in the consequences of alternative acts is not great, some Utilitarians do not regard the choice between them as a moral issue.
According to Mill, acts should be classified as morally right or wrong only if the consequences are of such significance that a person would wish to see the agent compelled, not merely persuaded and exhorted, to act in the preferred manner.
In Utilitarian principles the consequences of actions, Utilitarianism relies upon some theory of intrinsic value: Bentham and Mill were hedonists; i. Utilitarians also assume that it is possible to compare the intrinsic values produced by two alternative actions and to estimate which would have better consequences.
Bentham believed that a hedonic calculus is theoretically possible. A moralist, he maintained, could sum up the units of pleasure and the units of pain for everyone likely to be affected, immediately and in the future, and could take the balance as a measure of the overall good or evil tendency of an action.
Such precise measurement as Bentham envisioned is perhaps not essential, but it is nonetheless necessary for the Utilitarian to make some interpersonal comparisons of the values of the effects of alternative courses of action.
Who are we to blame: It is a code for public actions and of personal actions. The issue of what should be done about behavior that produces significant harm for a society, on a government level, it would be to for to select policies which would reduce the overall harm. To minimize these, a policy of retraining, of supervision upon release, and of making the conditions of confinement only moderately odious.
Utilitarian society goes not just to the issue of personal actions and social policy, but also to the very nature of society. How to build the ideal society? Utilitarian theory is applied not just to the conditions of incarceration, but also to that of employment, goods and service, and the distribution of wealth.
Utilitarians is about maximizing the good. And if an area such as administration of programs is found wanting, then positive change is required. Plato gives us the first extensive example of this approach. Improving conditions of confinement and release is not an isolated issue, but ought to be part of an overall program to make society better.
One way to view society is that like of nature, full of niches. A niche is an environmental slot which accommodate a certain number animals. Thus there are in a given area certain number of seed eating birds, of insect eating birds, of nectar gathering birds. In our society there are certain behavior niches.
Conditions support a the various mass religions, gambling casinos, sporting good stores, etc. The same too with biker clubs, drug dealers, and robbers.
Changes in conditions entails changes in the number and type of churches, of sporting good stores, etc. Changes in social conditions and the numbers of bikers, recreational drug users, and thieves change. The change of niches results in a changing of enterprises.
The Roosevelt New Deal had within the constraints of capitalism a vision of changing niches, of maximizing the number of sober, hardworking citizens. We need to get back to Plato, to making government a good parent.
And we need a public-interested media not our corporate mediaone which will raise repeatedly the questions of what is the good life and what should government be doing to promote it?
We need a media which does not give the corporate answer of removing regulations for the sake of profits, and thereby presuming that the law of the jungle is the road to the good life.
We have gone from the wisdom born of the depression to the idiocy of the s and the era of robber barons. History is repeating itself: Another similar introduction to utilitarianism Utilitarianism: The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number Kerby Anderson You have probably heard a politician say he or she passed a piece of legislation because it did the greatest good for the greatest number of citizens.
Perhaps you have heard someone justify their actions because it was for the greater good. In this article, we are going to talk about the philosophy behind such actions. The philosophy is known as utilitarianism.Welcome to Unitarian Universalism.
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· How can one justify such altruism based on utilitarian principles? Sometimes, it is possible for an act to provide a large amount of quantifiable pleasure for a few persons at the cost of a small amount of quantifiable pain for everyone benjaminpohle.com John Stuart Mill (–) was the most famous and influential British philosopher of the nineteenth century.
He was one of the last systematic philosophers, making significant contributions in logic, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, and social theory. the Radicals’ application of utilitarian principles to benjaminpohle.com Utilitarianism: Utilitarianism, in normative ethics, according to the utilitarian, it is possible for the right thing to be done from a bad motive.
Utilitarians may, however, distinguish the aptness of praising or blaming an agent from whether the act was right.
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· There are three principles that serve as the basic axioms of utilitarianism. 1. Pleasure or Happiness Is the Only Thing That Truly Has Intrinsic Value Utilitarianism gets its name from the term "utility," which in this context does not mean "useful" but, rather, means pleasure or happiness.
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