Utilitarianism vs. Individualism

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 3333
  • Published : April 22, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
Utilitarianism vs. Individualism

Arguments for utilitarianism and individualism will never end. The essence of utilitarianism, pleasure is the chief end of life and the greatest happiness for the greatest number should be the ultimate goal of human beings, has always been a crucial matter of concern and controversy. It is regarded as an exploit of people’s freedom and individualism. However, individualism is deemed as an ignorance of teamwork. We cannot simply tell which one is superior to the other. Everyone just has his or her own preferences over these two moral systems. In my opinion, I prefer utilitarianism rather than individualism.

Utilitarianism is the idea that moral worth of an article is determined solely by its utility in providing happiness or pleasure as summed among all sentient beings. It is thus a form of consequentialism, meaning that the moral worth of an action is determined by its outcome. Utilitarianism is often described by the phrase “ the greatest good for the greatest number of people”, and is also known as “ the greatest happiness principle”. What they are trying to do is to minimize negative consequences as well as maximizing positive consequences. It is the consequences that matters not the intent. Decisions should be made regarding choices of actions based on their individual likelihood of bring about an increase in pain or pleasure. Ideally, actions should lead to an increase in pleasure or happiness while simultaneously decreasing pain or suffering.

Individualism regards man as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses an inalienable right to his own life, a right derived from his nature as a rational being. Individualism holds that a civilized society, or any form of association, cooperation or peaceful coexistence among men, can be achieved only on the basis of the recognition of individual rights—and that a group, as such, has no rights other than the individual rights of its members. Individualism stresses the...
tracking img