Topics: Decision making, Ethics Pages: 5 (1637 words) Published: February 2, 2013
Where do you draw the line on what is right?
Ethical theories are something that have been tossed around between people for years. The dispute over what is right or wrong is endless and has many ways of reaching an answer. Each of these theories that arise has both its benefits and drawbacks. No one theory can be perfect and fit everyone's needs. For a theory to be successful it needs to have supporters. For it to have supporters people need to believe in it. For people to believe in it, it needs to benefit them in some way.

This paper will discuss the properties of utilitarianism and the benefits it has on society. It will also compare utilitarianism to egoism, Kantian ethics, intuitionism and affirmative action. Utilitarianism's overall purpose is to serve the greater majority and this paper sets out to prove that. This paper will discuss many major points in utilitarianism such as: it links happiness and morality, it conforms to meet the needs of different situations, requires situation outcomes to be fair, and forces us to take in ideas or not only ours but the people around us.

This paper will also discuss some of the criticisms about this theory. These criticisms include: taking too much time to reach a decision, calculations to a decision can lead to unforeseeable consequences, population size is too big to put this theory into effect and the distribution of wealth, money or other goods may not be even.

To start we should get a feel for what exactly utilitarianism is. In a simple definition it is promoting the greater good for the majority. This definition does not give the theory as a whole, justice in defining it but as you read this paper you'll get a better understanding on just how good utilitarianism is.

Before we defend this theory against other theories out there we should get a better understanding of what the utilitarianism theory all entails. First, this theory promotes the greater good for the majority. For example if someone were given the choice to save six drowning person versus one, they should pick the six over the one because the six would greater the majority. It's important in this theory to try and please more people to ensure fairness which brings me into the next point.

Utilitarianism promotes equality among people. This makes it to where before a decision can be made everyone's ideas and beliefs need to be taken into consideration. It is very clear-cut. Positive points are given to things that are happy and negative points are given to things that bring about pain or sadness. After all that is taken into consideration a decision is made based on what will promote the most positive response.

Another part of utilitarianism is that it takes emotions into decisions. A lot of theories take emotions out of decisions because they say they can "alter" the decision making process. This theory on the other hand takes happiness into account for mortality. If something causes happiness it should be good but if it causes pain than if at all possible it should be avoided. This helps in the decision process because with utilitarianism where looking out for what increases the greater good and by increasing the greater good we want to increase happiness.

Flexibility, the one thing on everybody's mind. Everyone can use a little flexibility in life. This theory offers it. Utilitarianism will conform to the different demands with different situations. It understands that each and every situation cant be alike and will have different variables and outcomes. You can't just base it off a couple universal rules and call it good.

My next area to address is why utilitarianism? With all the other theories out there why should you pick this one? This paper is going to talk about this theory versus a couple others to where you can more so understand where this theory stands in comparison to others and you can see for yourself why this one comes out on top.

First off will...
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