Justice by Michael Sandel

Topics: Utilitarianism, Ethics, John Stuart Mill Pages: 3 (946 words) Published: February 26, 2013
Jordan Dixon
November 9, 2012
Justice by Michael J. Sandel

Throughout life our morals are questioned numerous times and it is completely up to decide what is morally correct and what is logically correct. From that step it is then up to us to decide which one matters most to us. Merriam-Webster defines utilitarianism as “a doctrine that the useful is the good and that the determining consideration of right conduct should be the usefulness of its consequences; specifically: a theory that the aim of action should be the largest possible balance of pleasure over pain or the greatest happiness of the greatest number.” As humans we tend to choose things that will make us happy whether that is a temporary satisfaction or a long-term happiness, we strive to please ourselves and others and avoid pain at all costs necessary. Justice invites us to examine our morals and examine the origins of these philosophies.

Michael J. Sandel does not believe that utilitarianism is an acceptable policy to live by. He believes that “utilitarianism fails to respect individual rights”. He also believes that “the utilitarian logic, if consistently applied, could sanction ways of treating persons that violate what we think of as fundamental norms of decency and respect” meaning that if this way of thinking was utilized by everyone punishment would be much more severe for minimal offenses. What Sandel fails to realize is that there are more views on utilitarianism. Velasquez offers a different view on utilitarianism posing the question that “if lying would produce the best consequences in a particular situation, we ought to lie”. I whole heartedly agree with this concept. Why tell the truth and hurt more people than necessary when instead you could simply lie and please yourself and the people around you. This makes more sense because less people are offended by bending the truth. Plus if you live by the motive of obtaining pleasure you wish to spread joy to others. Telling the truth...
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