Miss Essay

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AO1: Explain how Bentham’s version of Utilitarianism be used to decide on the right course of action (25) The theory of utilitarianism was devised by Jeremy Bentham. He stated that when making a decision we should weigh up the amount of pleasure and pain the course of action will give. He also came up with the principle of utility which is the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. This is suggesting that if something causes pain to a few people but causes pleasure to a lot of people, the course of action should go ahead; because it is not about the few people that receive pain but the large amount of people that gain pleasure. Therefore making the action right. For example, the issue of abortion; the unborn child is the minority therefore they are the ones receiving pain but the mother/family/workplace etc., is the majority and are the ones gaining pleasure because they will all benefit from the child not being born. This ensures that the abortion is the right thing to do in that situation because the greatest pleasure is with the greatest number of people. Bentham also created the hedonic calculus, which he used to weigh up pleasure and pain to decide on something. He said that when trying to figure out the right thing to do or trying to think of the right course of action to take we should first work out the total of pleasure and pain of an act, then work out the total value of the consequences. This will help to consider different courses of action and therefore help to determine which one is the best to choose. There are some scholars that disagree with Bentham’s version of utilitarianism. One of those scholars is John Stuart Mill, he disagreed in many ways; he thought that the pleasures of the mind were higher than those of the body, because the mind is what controls the body. Also, he said that to pursue the bodily pleasures wasn’t as high

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