Ethics and Social Justice

Topics: Utilitarianism, Morality, Ethics Pages: 5 (1635 words) Published: March 13, 2011

This paper discusses the following aspects among others:

1) The definition and description of utilitarian theory.

2) Reviews the article “Interest s, Universal, and Particular: Bentham’s Utilitarian Theory of Value.”

3) Reflects on recent events in the news chronicling human rights violation in public and nonprofit organizations trough the selection of 3 specific examples of human rights violations in a public or nonprofit organization

4) Consideration of how the resolution of these violations could be ranked according to utilitarian theory

Ethics and Social Justice


The area of ethics and social justice is a wide area, one that requires active participation of all the members in a society to ensure its full realization. Shaw, W. H. (2009) defines the word utilitarianism as the notion or idea suggesting that when an individual undertakes an action, the moral worth of that action is singularly determined by the usefulness of the action in enhancing utility maximization leading to a minimal negative utility as a result of the action. In this case, utility is defined as the knowledge, preference satisfaction, pleasure among others that all form sentient beings. Therefore, utility can be termed as a form of consequence in that the moral worth of any action is dependent on the actions outcome. The successful implementation and observance of ethical behavior and the promotion of social justice leads to the creation of a harmonious society, one that respects the rights of its members and promotes their well being.

According to Bentham, J. (1998) in his “Utilitarian Theory of Value” in the article ‘Interests, Universal, and Particular’, an emphasis should be made to enhance societal political and moral philosophy ensuring that it effectively promotes public utility and seeks to ensure the moral responsibility and accountability of each member in the society. This he suggests are directly linked to the significant aspects surrounding the universal/ general interest of all society’s members through an effective partnership that takes care of and guarantees for the interests of all the existing members of the society. In this regard, the end result of any government’s commitment to the promotion of social justice together with the theme of all morality remains to be the advancement and promotion of the general interest of every societal member. At the same time, Cooper, T. (2006). Utilitarianism is therefore the aspect of ensuring that all members of a society gain happiness and pleasure after engaging in all actions because this is the ultimate importance of all actions.

Dyzenhaus, D., Moreau, S. R. and Ripstein, A. (2003) argue that, there has been the occurrence of events in the recent past in many parts of the world in the news that are seriously chronicling to human rights violation both in public and nonprofit organizations and therefore something needs to be done to restore morality and ethical behavior in the society. Among these actions include the brutal and in human raping of women and young girls in the Democratic republic of Congo, an act that has continued for a long time without singular and common condemnation. Such an act is considered selfish, brutal and barbaric because it’s done without a single thought of the pain that these women victims suffer both physically and emotionally. It’s an act that goes against and completely defies ethical teachings and all forms of morality in the society because its consequences are severe minimize the benefits to the culprits only.

In addition, Singer, P. (2001) suggests that the terrorist attack that took place in the United states commonly referred to as the November 11 remains to be a major reflection of the deteriorating ethical and moral standards in the society. This attack was a deliberate mission that led to the injury of a big number of innocent people planned and executed by a small...
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