Ethical Insightsch 6

Utilitarianism-is an ethical therory that focuses on ham an benifit or happiness and unhappiness t morally significant beings. page 84

was made by two British men one was Jermy Bentham and the other one was John Stuart Mill

  • Bentham uses the pleaure more to explane Utlitarianism
  • Mill uses the word happiness to explane Utlitarianism

Act Utlitarian Calculation page 89

  1. the agent must consider the intensiy or significance ofthe harms adn benefits.
  2. duration; for exmaple walking down the street you fall and the pain only last a couple of minutes, is less harmfull if, you broke your leg and that pain lasts four weeks or longer.
  3. Certainty
  4. propinquity
  5. fecundity of hte consequences
  6. purity of the consequences
  7. the number of people affected good or bad

only pain and pleasure matter/ all that matters is the amount of pleasure or pain produced by an action. Happiness is at the end of all endeavors. Act Utilitarianism and basic ethical theme:
1. endorses objective guidelines
2. they are ethical consequentialists, good or bad are bought on by own actions
3. utilitarians evaluate each action seperately
4. focuses on the group, greatest good or benefit for the greatest number of people
Consequentialist…ethical theories that claim good or evil
Kantian Theory…Moral law

AU and traditional ethical assumptions:
1. ethics is rational (traditional assumption)
2. utilitarians believe people who share an same ethical framework can discuss moral problems and arrive at mutually acceptable solutions
3. all are moral equals and should be treated impartially

Justification for the ethical standard and theory strengths..
1. clear content makes it easy to understand
2. allows you to evaluate each action seperately
3. seems consistent with basic objective of humans (happiness)

Act Utilitianism calculations or hedonistic calculus

1. intensity 2. duration 3. certaintity 4. propinquity (how remote) 5. fecundity (hown likely) 6. purity 7. extent

Problems with AU ..calculations

1. difficult ot identify all consequences of action long-term and short-term
2. difficult to weigh pleasure and pain for different kinds of things
3. time consumption..AU calculations may take up loads of your time
4. results contrary to moral intuttions, will sacrifice the minority for the majority
5. moral luck, if i send a check in to charity and it gets lost, no benefical action resulted from my feel good action
Contrasting AU with Kantian ethical theory

they accept rationality-impartiality-universalizability
2. both claim that legitimate moral guidelines are based on objective considerations
3. AU bases moral guidelines on pleasure, pain, happiness—K bases moral guidelines on thoughts of reason. AU focuses on good and bad to actions whereas K connects good and bad to following general rules w/o exception. AU relates good and bad to the group whereas K focuses on the individual

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