Utilitarian View on Modern Day Situations

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  • Topic: Utilitarianism, Jeremy Bentham, Ethics
  • Pages : 6 (2145 words )
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  • Published : March 26, 2012
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Utilitarianism - Questions
Utilitarianism - Utilitarianism is the traditional understanding that the right act is the act which will actually, or most probably produce the greatest amount of happiness or pleasure throughout the world. The view was most famously founded by Jeremy Bentham, and later adapted by John Stuart Mill. Utilitarianism focuses on the consequences of an event rather than following strict rules and in general can be classed as a type of naturalism that offers a reductionist approach to ethics. Natural Law - Natural Law is the theory that all humans can discover what is right, due to moral being written into our nature in some way. This theory suggests that there are some absolute ethical standards are the set by the way the universe is and the way humans are. Natural law lies a great deal of importance on applying reason and science and the use of 'inherent' values such as fairness. Situation Ethics - Situation ethics are based on the principle of love, and how all right and good actions result in the greatest amount of love as a result. Due to this, human beings should always act lovingly but the values of acting lovingly largely depend on the situation and cannot be predefined, instead the values of situation ethics are free to change in any shape or form from example as they relate the circumstances. Proportionalism - Proportionalism is neither deontological or teleological, but rather it lies somewhere in between the two. It is an extension of Natural law, that can be easily compared with rule utilitarianism. It has moral rules (generally of the Christian variety) and says that "it is never right to go against a principle unless there is a proportionate reason which would justify it". So some things are always right or wrong, but in certain situations it could be tolerated, e.g. murder is always wrong, but there may be an exception in a just war. Toleration is not saying something is right or wrong, but rather is used to choose the lesser of two evils. Virtue Ethics - Virtue Ethics describe the right action to be the action which a virtuous person would do in the same situation, and for this reason, Virtue Ethics are not absolute, they are relativist. Instead of looking at the consequences of a particular action Virtue Ethics looks at the character of the individual and as a result provides us with guidance of what are the ideal characteristics of a good person. Utilitarianism Perspective - In Vitro Treatment

Even though IVF has been criticized because many people think that it is an unethical method of creating a child, utilitarian's have said that it can bring about the greatest good for the greatest number of people, yet some people do not see how. Bentham’s hedonic calculus enables us to find out whether or not IVF will bring about this about. When Bentham came up with the idea of the hedonic calculus he asked seven questions that all try to predict. Regarding the length of the effects of IVF treatment, the answer to is that the effects will last a life time. When creating a child you don’t expect the effects to last for a short period of time, you want them to last for the rest of your life and the rest of the child’s life. For example the first test tube baby, Louise Brown, is now actually a mother herself. Furthmore, there is also the case of whether the embryo will attached to the inside of the mother womb and investigations have shown that there is a one in five chance that this will happen, even though this may seem a high risk factor there is a twenty per cent chance of at least one of the eggs taking if ten are fertilised. As a result of this IVF treatment, both the mother and the father will be greatly effected in the majority, because they will have to donate their zygotes and then have them fertilised. Afterwards the woman will have to have the eggs implanted into her womb and even then the embryos may not take. There is also the financial side to this treatment, it costs a...
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