Consequentialism Approach + Law

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Utilitarianism Pages: 10 (3239 words) Published: March 13, 2013
Title: ‘The champions of consequentialism argue that we should obey the law since widespread disobedience would have the consequence of making social relations of any sort impossible. Hence, in the absence of the obligation to obey the law no society would be possible. Do you agree with this argument?’

Consequentialism is usually defined with the formula "one should always do that to bring best consequence: the value of an action derives solely from the value of its consequences". Consequentialism is thus the idea that people perform the action that provides the best consequences. Why demand that theory? Because for consequentialist theories, this determines what will be considered as the best possible actions. Some philosophers have criticized those demands too, and this is one of the major criticisms that have been made ​​about Consequentialism, because to understand it well, it requires that every action possible is put into play and considered from a moral approach, calculating possible consequences that could provide the performance or non-performance of the action. But is that really so? Regarding this concept of Consequentialism in the brief sketch I have drawn, it could be considered such that well presented, consideration is being given to it rather than merely an abstraction or reduction of Consequentialism which is utilitarianism.

As many authors have already presented, and what in my opinion Shaw (1998) has done in a very proper discussion of ethics, Consequentialism, is the general idea that according to states, the right action is the action that brings good consequences, in fact, the best of all possible consequences that fit. Reports that, the best consequences, are what really count in ethical judgment in determining the nature of an action, and can sometimes lead to promote these good consequences, at times permitting actions that affect, or violate certain rights, principles, or "inviolable" people.

Philosophers use the term Consequentialism to identify a general way of thinking about right and wrong and therefore, a normative theory of ethics. Consequentialist theories maintain that right or wrong depend on the consequences of an act, and consequently the more good consequences or outcomes are produced, the better the act. The consequences determine the correctness and incorrectness of actions. Consequentialism in its standard way holds that actions are morally right if, and only if, no other action can possibly be performed by the agent, who has better consequences.

Consequentialism, as standard also states that sometimes, we can be impartial, that is, act as neutral, when judging what is a good or bad action according to the different states of affairs that occur. Different forms of consequentialism differ in opinion over what the “good thing” is that should be maximised. Utilitarianism, as advocated by Jeremy Bentham (2001 and 2009) states that man should maximise human welfare or well-being, and minimise pain. Following each action that seeks maximisation should be always that among all possible actions, rather than maximising the positive consequences for those affected, or states of things valuable. Shaw (1998), from the consequentialist perspective, analyzes that Consequentialism is not a complete ethical theory because although we noted how to act and gain with our actions all the good we can expect, does not tell us what is good in a concrete way.

One of the strongest criticisms that utilitarians believe is that the number of good consequences is a matter of a sum ("additive"), and that happiness is the sum total net of happiness or unhappiness of each individual, indicating the more happiness, the positive balance increases,and conversely the less happiness which itincreases the negative balance. Utilitarianism therefore, could not respect the right of agents to not only think about maximising the positive...
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