Utilitarianism Essay

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Outline the important features of utilitarianism Utilitarianism is an idea that has been around for hundreds of years; it is an ethical philosophy in which the happiness of the greatest number of people in the society is considered the greatest good. Utilitarianism become well acknowledged when it the idea was developed by Jeremy Bentham. Bentham realized that people were motivated by happiness when making a moral decision. They’d ask themselves how they would benefit from that decision and decide from there. Bentham founded the principle of utility, which states that an action is right if it “produces the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people.” Bentham believed good is the maximization of pleasure and the minimization of pain, and that the greatest good is the greatest pleasure that creates the less pain overall for the majority. There are two main types of Utilitarianism act and rule. Bentham is known as the Act utilitarian. Act utilitarianism is when making a moral decision the best or most moral action we can perform is one that will enable to bring the best consequences for the majorities’ happiness. For example a man has the choice to shoot one person and save thousands or walk away and let thousands die. An Act utilitarian would believe shooting that one person is the right thing to do, as it bring happiness to thousands rather than one. What about the minority? Some people believe that Act utilitarianism is not right in all cases, for example the holocaust, if the majority finds it pleasurable to hurt them then according to this theory it is morally right. This Is a strong argument however, we cannot please everyone, so surely it makes more sense to bring happiness to as many people as possible. John Stuart Mill recognised that happiness in itself was a complex thing and that different people were happy as a
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