Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) then decided to develop his idea of Utilitarianism from this quote and apply it to all areas of social activity. Bentham was a hedonist believing that pleasure was the chief ‘good’ and that all aspects of life should maximize pleasure and minimize pain and those that did were the most moral acts. He created the principle of utility which established whether an action was good or bad according to the benefits to the majority amount of people. This is sometimes described as ‘the greatest good for the greatest number’ of people making Bentham’s theory quantitative. Bentham said ‘the principle of utility aims to promote happiness which is the supreme ethical value.’ In determining how to measure different amounts of pleasure and deciding on the right and good thing to do Bentham came up with the Hedonistic Calculus.
The principle of utility continually states that morally right actions produce happiness for all the affected people whose concerns are involved in the picture. If the happiness of the affected individuals by an action is not achieved, then the deed is considered as morally incorrect. The correctness or illness of an action can be calculated but, it relies on the amount of pleasure or pain resultant from that
Jefferson says, “We hold these truths to be self-evidence, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” (Jefferson, 80). He states how having these natural rights mean happiness to the citizens. We were created to use our ability to reach what we desire happiness should be. In “The Aim of Man” Aristotle has his own views when it comes to material and spiritual happiness. Aristotle argues that material is what an object consist of and this matter we could not live without.
He saw that an action had to cause the greatest or purist happiness. Therefore in the situation of war, Mill would think what would cause the best amount of happiness for people. The general rules that he would follow is: what would be the consequences of war? Would everyone be happy with this? Who would have the most happiness (qualitative).
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN UTILITARIANISM AND CONSEQUENTIALISM Utilitarianism and consequentialism are closely related but they are not the same. These two views have different approaches. Utilitarianism is a theory that evaluates happiness, welfare and well being. It states that everyone want to be happy and avoid any possible pain to the highest percentage of people. It focuses on what the goals are and how they can be achieved.
Universalism is where people should uphold certain values, such honesty as well as other values that society needs in order to function correctly. Universal principles may be powerful and useful, however what people say, hope, or think they would do is often now what is actually done in the long run. Egoism is acceptable behavior which maximizes benefits for an individual “doing the right thing,’ the focus of moral philosophy is defined by egoism as “do the act that promotes the greatest good for oneself” (mhhe.com, Ethics and Corporate Responsibility). Utilitarianism, unlike egoism, seeks the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. Organizations seek the greats good for the largest amount of consumers they can supply to, increasing their need for product.
The term for the use of free will is personal agency. Personal agency refers to a person’s life choices and the paths that the individual goes down, along with the consequences from these actions (Feist, Feist, & Roberts, 2013). This theory assumes that all people are basically good inside and that all individuals have an instinctual need to improve themselves, as well as the world around them. Included in the humanistic theory is the emphasis on the personal value of one’s worth, the uniqueness of individual values, and the innovative spirit of human beings. The method is optimistic in nature and concentrates on virtuous human capabilities to prevail over pain, deprivation, and hopelessness (Feist, Feist, & Roberts, 2013).
If the action produces happy and good consequences versus bad, then it’s the morally right action to follow. “But our calculation is not yet over, for the utilitarian principle tells us that in order for the action to be right, it must produce the greatest good for the greatest number of those affected by it.”(De George, page 47) We would need to drill down into almost every person affected by an action to completely render it morally right, the decision would need to produce the greatest amount of good. Ultimately, for Bentham there was no better man. Everyone had the opportunity in creating the greatest amount of happiness and pleasure. In his eyes, men could produce happiness for anyone involved in any
Gino Rimando Phil 186 Mrs. Lisa Bernasconi March 5th, 2013 Fred: A Utilitarian or a Deontologist? According to The History of Utilitarianism of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Utilitarianism is one of the most powerful and persuasive approaches to normative ethics in the history of philosophy. It is a theory in normative ethics holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes utility, specifically defined as maximizing happiness and reducing suffering which will bring more good to the society than any other system. If Fred was a Utilitarian, he would go to the authorities and tell them the illegal things that are happening in the company he is working for, but since he had signed a confidentiality agreement with the company he is not allowed to tell the
Act Utilitarianism is a utilitarian theory of ethics which states that a person's act is morally right if and only if it produces at least as much happiness as any other act that the person could perform at that time. Classical utilitarian’s, including Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and Henry Sidgwick, define happiness as pleasure and the absence of pain. To understand how act utilitarianism works, compare the consequences of your watching television all day tomorrow to the consequences of your doing charity work tomorrow. You could produce more overall happiness in the world by doing charity work tomorrow than by watching television all day tomorrow. According to act utilitarianism, then, the right thing for you to do tomorrow is to go out and does charity work; it is wrong for you to stay home and watch television all day tomorrow.