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.
Both deontological and teleological ethical systems use opposing ethical guides yet they both have the same aim, to help people make moral decisions. The most well-known teleological ethical system is act utilitarianism devised by Jeremy Bentham in the 18th century, which focuses on achieving the best short-term outcome. As a hedonist, Bentham created a theory that followed a hedonistic approach and so created the principle of utility which he explains in his book "The principles of morals and legislation", is the idea that an action is good if it creates "the greatest good for the greatest number", he came up with the hedonic calculus to guide
Aquinas considered that by using our reason to reflect on our human nature we could discover our specific end purpose. Aquinas used the ideas of Aristotle and the Stoics as an underpinning for Natural Law saying- human beings have an essential rational nature given by God in order for us to live and flourish. Aristotle said even without knowledge of god, reason can discover the laws that lead to human flourishing. The Stoics said Natural Laws are universal and unchangeable and should be used to judge of particular societies. We use this is help us choose the right moral action is situations.
Assess Utilitarianism Utilitarianism is a consequentialist approach to ethics, meaning the consequences of an act are what matters. The utilitarian answer as to what to do in any situation is that we should always act to maximise utility. There are two different interpretations of utilitarianism; the positive being that we ought to do that which brings about the greatest happiness of the greatest number and the negative being that we ought to do that which minimises pain or suffering. Utilitarianism is teleological, or goal orienteered, meaning that the end matters more than the means used to achieve the end. The various forms present two major problems; the problem of justice, and the issue of having to predict the consequences of an action.
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Kant’s view uses a categorical imperative, in which ethics is based upon an absolute, objective, deontologcial theory, in which intentions are more important than consequences. Kant believed that an ethics should be based around something entirely good. He decided that the only thing entirely good in the whole universe is ‘good will’. Everybody must decide ethical decisions in a way in which they put themselves last, fulfill their duty, and commit only selfless acts. This may be psychologically impossible, as many believe there is always a selfish reason for any good deed, however Kant only proposed a theory, and
Why do I want it? 7. Why do I want it now? 8. What will happen if I don't get it now?