Human and Utilitarianism

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 60
  • Published : April 22, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview

Let me begin by defining Utilitarianism: utilitarianism is the belief of doing what is right for the greater number of people. It is a theory used to determine the usefulness of the happiest outcome and how it will affect everyone else. Now, this sounds like a amazing theory, what would be better than making yourself and others happy? I found myself at first agreeing with this theory up until I really looked into it. At first I found myself thinking that not everything is about being happy; some may have to suffer for the happiness of others.

For example, there were two boats one contains three criminals on death row being transported to prison and the other boat contains ten happy, loving families simply enjoying a vacation. Both ships have bombs that will go off in a matter of seconds, blowing up both ships and killing everyone. However, there is a solution. I for some odd reason have a device that sets off a bomb on ONE SHIP and deactivates the other. Now the morally right thing to do would be what? What is moral and right? Taking lives? Or saving them?

I do not believe in ‘playing God’ or taking lives. I would simply ignore the Utilitarianism way of thinking and walk away. I would let nature take its course. If God has arranged this to happen, then it is meant to happen. Who am I to walk in and ‘play God’ ? I have to say I agree with Hospers when he says “A hundred men might gain great pleasure from beating up or killing just one Insignificant human being; but other men's lives are not theirs to dispose of.” (Hospers) A Utilitarian would approach this situation by asking himself/herself, what will bring happiness? What will do good for greater numbers of people? Why should the prisoners get to live? There are only three prisoners, and have done nothing good but cause harm to society. What have these families done? The Utilitarian will start to analyze each detail of the situation. They first see that there are only three prisoners as...
tracking img