Weaknesses Of Utilitarianism Essays

Found 41184 essays.

Utilitarianism Has No Serious Weaknesses Discuss Essay

Bernard Williams argued that moral decisions must preserve our psychological identity and integrity, Williams came up with this scenario; One day Jim finds himself in the central square of a small town facing 20 Indians who have been randomly captured and tied up as examples of what will happen to rebels.Against this, Williams argued that there is a crucial moral distinction between a person being killed by me, and being killed by someone else because of an act or omission of mine.Bentham also said the aim of utilitarianism is ‘the greatest good of the greatest number’ and he used the Hedonic Calculus that he created to measure how good an act is and how many people it will affect, this is a major strength of utilitarianism because it tr...

524 words (1.3 pages)
Rule Utilitarianism Essay

Similarly, Mill’s theory has its own weaknesses.Three people have publicly shown these weaknesses and the first was Sidgwick who suggested that “In practice it is hard to distinguish between higher and lower pleasures”.On the other hand, Mill’s Utilitarianism is often linked to Rule Utilitarianism, and the belief that rules should be formed using Utilitarian principles for the benefit of the whole society.Bentham’s Utilitarianism is a type of Act Utilitarianism.In general, Utilitarianism is weak as it is difficult to predict consequences, as the theory disregards motivation and goodwill, as it suggests that the majority is always right which causes issues when the Nazis are the majority, and it does not protect the minorities.

1573 words (3.9 pages)
Deontological ethics Essay

Under ACT utilitarianism it is also hard to pass down wisdom or educate the young when there are no rules in place.Utilitarianism is a better system of consequential ethics than Egoism because Utilitarianism takes into account the best outcome for all people.This paper will compare and contrast both theories and focus on each of their strengths and weaknesses.In conclusion Kant’s theories and Utilitarianism have there strengths and weaknesses.One of the drawbacks to rule utilitarianism is that there are not any rules that don’t have exceptions.

787 words (2.0 pages)
Utilitarianism : A Theory Of Ethics Essay

Even though utilitarianism is one of the most influential moral theories for modern times, there are still problems with it that philosophers will continue to attack.Teleological ethics is one of the principles on which Utilitarianism is based.In my view, the weaknesses do indeed outweigh the strengths.Teleological theories of ethics look at the consequen... ... middle of paper ... ... it does seem that although Utilitarianism may be an effective theory to use making moral decisions, It is clear that the predicting consequences is complex, using the hedonic calculus is difficult as is distinguishing between higher and lower pleasures.The theory Utilitarianism seeks to please he majority to avoid large conflicts from arising.

428 words (1.1 pages)
Rule Utilitarianism Essay

So this sort of Rule Utilitarianism, where you can break the rules if it leads to the greater good is really like Act Utilitarianism.“Act and Rule Utilitarianism.Critics would use this to suggest a flaw in Rule Utilitarianism because you are looking at the individual case.Strong Rule Utilitarianism leaves no potential leeway or flexibility.With Rule Utilitarianism however, you can also understand that there is some leeway, when faced with strong and weak utilitarian’s.

655 words (1.6 pages)
Describe the main strengths and weaknesses of utilitarianism

This part of the theory allows respect for the rules that are created to better our society although even these rules do not have to be kept all the time if you are a weak utilitarian which poses problems over what the theory really is.The largest connection Christianity has with Utilitarianism is the death of Jesus.In conclusion I believe that Utilitarianism is simple and easy to apply yet this does not take away the obvious large amount of flaws concerned with the theory.Utilitarianism is a theory that Christians can relate to.Any prejudices the decision maker may hold are eradicated in Utilitarianism, as they have to stick to the main rule.

1006 words (2.5 pages)
What are the Main Features of Utilitarianism as an Ethical Theory

3 J. S. Mill, Utilitarianism 1863 .According to the utilitarian criterion, which measures the rightness of an act by its results, it would seem that the argument is justified.”7This points out that justice is not taken into account in the utilitarian theory, because of one man unwillingly sacrificing himself to an unjust life the rest of the population’s lives are greatly improved.Again, imagine the world to be full of sadists (people who gain pleasure from causing others pain) their pleasure would outweigh the pain of the sadists victims, and a weak rule utilitarian would see this as justified.This can be referred to as ‘ideal utilitarianism’, which accepts general principles such as ‘thou shall not kill’, arguing that these principles ...

2480 words (6.2 pages)
Explain the main features of the theory of Utilitarianism Essay

An advantage of Bentham’s Act Utilitarianism is that it considers the consequences and happiness which result from actions; this seems a sensible approach to ethics which would find much support today.Evaluate the main strengths and weaknesses of the theory The strengths and weaknesses of Utilitarianism vary between different versions of the theory.Such a compromise offers a more promising approach to ethics than the classical forms of Utilitarianism.It may be that some other and more modern version of the theory can overcome these problems, such as Welfare Utilitarianism (as supported by Peter Singer) or Two Rule Utilitarianism (as suggested by R. M. Hare).Mill’s theory offers many advantages which get around the problems of Bentham’s A...

1054 words (2.6 pages)
Benthams version of Utilitarianism Essay

This use of utilitarianism is great because it makes people picture and understand other people’s point of view for example; if you were to hit someone then instead of carrying out the action, you would think about the outcome – picture yourself in the other person’s shoes – understand that pain which you would cause and subsequently stop yourself from hurting them.This is mainly used in preference utilitarianism as Hare put it ‘standing in someone else’s shoes’.There are two types of Utilitarianism; Bentham’s theory is Act Utilitarianism.The fact that Utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory is both good and bad.Out of duty you must give the money to the park however if you are following Utilitarianism your belief is that the money m...

1402 words (3.5 pages)
Strengths and Weaknesses of Utilitarianism Essay

There is also some flexibility for emotions in moral decision making according to Rule Utilitarianism.Mill brought it closer to the Christian church by introducing Rule Utilitarianism.Another good aspect of Utilitarianism is that it has one simple absolute, which can be applied to all situations with a positive outcome.Any prejudices the decision maker may hold are eradicated in Utilitarianism, as they have to stick to the main rule.These are two desirable things as Utilitarianism says that pleasure is the sole good and pain is the sole evil, “Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters-pleasure and pain”.

933 words (2.3 pages)
Utilitarianism – Morality Essay

One of the main weaknesses of Bentham’s version of Utilitarianism is that there is the potential to justify any act.Mel Thompson agreed with Bentham, he said that Act utilitarianism appears to be simple to follow, just aim to achieve “the greatest happiness for the greatest number”.Utilitarianism doesn’t rely on specific beliefs about God; this is helpful to all religious people and the growing number of atheists in our society.In conclusion all the information shows that utilitarianism can help many people in the situations they may face throughout their life, but altogether does lead to injustice with in society, this is because utilitarianism assumes you can know the definite answer to every decision you make, this would be impossible...

984 words (2.5 pages)
Assess Utilitarianism

Raised as a strict utilitarian, he had his whole life to experience its weaknesses first hand, and came up with some very clever solutions for the criticisms above.Bentham’s Utilitarianism is known as ‘Act Utilitarianism’, because it focuses on individual acts, and that every situation should be approached differently.It is the most popular contemporary theory of Utilitarianism, and it is understandable since it is the most purely moral, and in many ways modern theory.However, this does mean abandoning strict hedonism, which lies at the foundation of Utilitarianism.He also stated (as mentioned before), that there is “no single sensation of pleasure,” which makes a lot of Utilitarianism completely irrelevant.

1473 words (3.7 pages)
Utilitarianism and Business Ethics Essay

JOHN STUART MILL (1806-73) Mill’s version of utilitarianism was so different from Bentham’s that it almost seems that he rejects it.In applying utilitarian principles to business ethics, the cost-benefit analysis is most often used – it is a good decision making tool.As with Bentham’s formulation, utilitarianism in business ethics is primarily concerned with outcomes rather than processes.Ethical business practice, using utilitarianism, would thus consider the good and bad consequence for everyone the action would affect, treat everybody as having equal rights (at least in Mill’s weak rule utilitarianism), with no bias towards self, and would use it as an objective, quantitative way to make a moral decision.• Mill argues for a weak rule ...

1115 words (2.8 pages)

The rules must be formed using utilitarian principles that if followed universally, would produce the greatest happiness for society.Weak rule utilitarians say that although there should be generally accepted guidelines, they should not always be adhered to indefinitely.This was later termed ‘Rule Utilitarianism’.The idea that ‘good’ is defined in terms of pleasure and happiness makes utilitarianism a hedonistic theory.Preference utilitarianism is a recent form of Utilitarianism associated with R. M. Hare, Richard Brandt and Peter Singer.

1105 words (2.8 pages)
John Stuart Mill Essay

If that is the case then individuals can be comprised of nothing but a niche in society.An additional counter-argument that struck me the most was the statement that utilitarianism sets standards that are deemed “too high for humanity” (“Defense”).According to Utilitarianism as explained by Mill in his essay “In Defense of Utilitarianism” the fundamental principle of morality is the promotion of happiness on a scale that benefits an individual and the ones around him; also to promote pleasure and to prevent pain.Mill on the other hand deduces the true motives of these objections and labels these ideas as being of such nature that promote actions in accordance with one obliging to a certain duty.Several major objections are raised towards...

420 words (1.1 pages)
Essay about Utilitarianism Is A Weak Argument

If there is always something more you can do, you should sacrifice all of your time and money to do better for the world.According to John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism is defined as the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.However, there are two large flaws with the Utilitarian perspective, first that good consequences do not determine the right thing to do.Utilitarisnism should be taking into consideration what it means to be human.In this paper I will argue that Utilitarianism is a weak argument.

462 words (1.2 pages)
Act and Rule Utilitarianism

Rule Utilitarianism argues that moral rules deriving from the principle of utility, should be kept by everyone for a society to prosper and be happy.Strong Rule utilitarians believe that these rules should never be disobey no matter what, while more lenient and weak Rule utilitarians believe though there should be widely accepted guidelines, they should not always be followed in a situation where disregarding a rule would bring greater happiness.Act Utilitarianism is also much more flexible as it allows the principle of utility to be applied relatively to a situation, in comparison to Rule Utilitarianism, which if you are a strong follower, has established rules that cannot be adjusted or disobeyed depending on the situation.This form of...

776 words (1.9 pages)
Key Features of Utilitarianism Essay

Preference Utilitarianism by R. M. Hare where he tries to solve the problem that people have different ideas of pleasure even if it’s something very small and specific, not everyone wants and thinks the same.Lastly, there are other forms of Utilitarianism such as the “Best Interest Utilitarianism” by Peter Singer where he tries to solve the problem that some pleasures are bad for us.There are two types of utilitarianism, act and rule.So a strong rule utilitarian might say the “Do not steal” rule must never be broken and they would stick to it even though in some situations, it might be better if they did steal but to them, it’s the wrong thing to do no matter whether it brings them to a better condition.Ending with Motive Utilitarianism ...

1212 words (3.0 pages)
Our Moral Responsibility to Provide Monetary Aid to Pakistani Villagers Essay

Why the Utilitarian Argument is Stronger There is an epistemic problem that weakens the argument given by the Ethical Egoist.Rand provides a moral justification, but not a moral mandate; this makes the argument put forth by Ethical Egoism weak.Thus, the Utilitarian perspective that we have a moral duty to donate money to help Pakistani villagers is a better argument.Therefore, Utilitarianism is the stronger argument.Utilitarianism, however, avoids the problem of epistemology and immeasurability.

1265 words (3.2 pages)
The strengths and weaknesses of a utilitarian argument for the abolition of the death penalty

He believed that Utilitarianism could be made into a moral system for ordinary individuals as well as for lawmakers.Preference utilitarianism argues that you should act in a way that reflects the preference of the person concerned, unless that preference is outweighed by other preferences.This is one of the weaknesses to a utilitarian’s argument.Perhaps this makes Mill a Rule Utilitarian – someone who believes that morality should still be about obeying moral rules, even if rules are decided upon Utilitarian grounds.This is why Utilitarianism is sometimes also known as ‘Consequentialism’.

635 words (1.6 pages)
The Ethical Decision Making

Other weaknesses from this theory include that it is difficult and sometimes impossible to predict the consequences of each action, and that it is difficult to define exactly what is meant by someone’s happiness (Smart and Williams 1973).Genniet, H. (2010) Utilitarian Philosophy [Online].(1863) Utilitarianism.Although these are all strong weaknesses within utilitarianism, strong believers of this theory like Bentham and Mill, have confidence in that the strengths outweigh these perceived flaws.Researchers have argued that there are many weaknesses and implications within the utilitarian approach and one strong weakness is that according to this ethical theory there would be no moral absolutes.

3602 words (9.0 pages)
Greece working Conditions Essay

Utilitarian ethics.Henry Sidgwick & later utilitarian political philosophy.The government and companies in Greece tend to pass laws and policies in line with the utilitarian framework, but there are many instances where the leaders go contrary to the principles of the framework.A salary cut without the consent of employees is unethical, and violates utilitarian rule.Utilitarianism as a public philosophy.

1506 words (3.8 pages)
Characters and Their Weaknesses

The main criticism of Utilitarianism is that it is difficult to predict the outcome of action.She has Utilitarian originally developed by Jeremy Bentham in the 18th century and was fully developed by John Stewart Mill in the 19th century.Luke noticed that he failed in Ben Sorow's weak point.ofIn order for a character to overcome his weak point, weaknesses are necessary first.First, I will briefly explain the role and explain the weaknesses of the character.

400 words (1 pages)
Describe the main strengths and weaknesses of Utilitarianism Essay

* Human rights, justices, and other such values may not have any place in a utilitarian ethical system if the wishes of the majority override them.The total and average happiness in both situations is the same, therefore to a utilitarian there is no difference between the two, and both are equally morally right, but slavery is considered wrong.* Utilitarianism “seems to require more of a human that many are capable of providing” .* The refusal to acknowledge intrinsically wrong acts: a judge might convict an innocent man in order to prevent a riot that would ensue if he were not convicted – a utilitarian would argue that this is permissible because more people would be made unhappy by the lack of a conviction and the riot; but is it in...

892 words (2.2 pages)
Theories Of Ethical And Pshchological Egoism Essay

To an ethical egoist, morality is still pertinent and there are strong and weak types of the theory, with the strong version holding it is always moral to promote one’s own good, and it is never moral not to promote it, while the weak version states although it is always moral to promote one’s own good, it is not necessarily never moral to not (Moseley, 2006).These options counter the utilitarian approach, which many find the preferable way for humans to act, and the greatest good for the greatest number of people should be in mind for every action a person makes.Psychological Egoism .Just because a person is successful and can afford luxury items does not mean that they are obligated to help strangers because it serves some sort of u...

937 words (2.3 pages)
Utilitarianism Aspects Of Theory Essay


970 words (2.4 pages)
A Satisfactory Alternative To Utilitarianism Proposals Philosophy Essay

Another weak area for utilitarianism is in regards to what Rawls asserts in his statement that “even where laws and institutions are unjust, it is often better that they should be consistently applied.Rawls also defeats utilitarianism in the battle for a balance between liberty and equality.He goes on to claim that the reason for the predominance of utilitarianism is due to the vast amount of well refined and impressive writings on the subject.His concept of democratic equality is an alternative to utilitarianism which is vastly more appealing.Despite the huge differences between utilitarianism and the social contract system which Rawls supports, both theories have the same aims.

2354 words (5.9 pages)
Dairy Farmers

However, utilitarianism is not always right.Misunderstand of utilitarianism may cause a seriously problem that a utilitarian cannot ignore.Utilitarianism offers us a good way to analysis cases and judging our actions.If BP uses utilitarianism to judge their actions, they may avoid this disaster or decrease the costs to the minimum.Firstly, there are still some people who were damaged, though the core factor of utilitarianism is “the greatest happiness for greatest number of people”.

2046 words (5.1 pages)
Arguments for and against using Utilitarian principles Essay

Furthermore, utilitarianism is a teleological theory that looks at the end result itself rather than action.Secondly, utilitarianism enables an unbiased approach of decision making, thus a way to resolve conflicts involving self-interest (Mill, 1863).Thus using utilitarianism, organizations can reach “realistic and workable moral decisions (Shaw, Barry & Sansbury 2009, p67)”.First and foremost, utilitarianism in an organizational context “provides a clear and straightforward basis (Shaw, Barry & Sansbury 2009, p67)” for developing and testing guidelines and protocols.In conclusion, utilitarianism though highly applicable to workplace, should be practiced with caution as it also has weaknesses like any other theory.

727 words (1.8 pages)

However, although utilitarianism considers the majority, it does not protect minorities.This principle of utilitarianism can be seen in the government: in elections, it is the person with the most number of votes who is elected.This is a vital aspect of utilitarianism, as the theory is concerned with consequences.This means that utilitarianism may result in people not focusing on possible bad consequences.This poses a problem for utilitarianism, as bullying is clearly wrong.

929 words (2.3 pages)

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