Utilitarianism the ethical doctrine of the greatest happiness of the greatest number should be the criterion of the virtue of action. The principle that utilitarianism use in making moral decisions is a form of moral hedonism; that people should seek pleasure and avoid pain. Utilitarianism seeks to produce the greatest good for the greatest number. But, the problem is in determining what the greatest good is. Utilitarian define the “good” as good is what equates pleasure and reduces pain or what is contusive to the happiness of the largest number of people.
Utilitarian’s think that human beings have a pre-existing psychological disposition to pursue the “good.” Act utilitarian believes that naturally people seek what brings them pleasure, and avoid what brings pain. For example you would not hold your hand over an open fire because it hurts. There is this reaction that if something causes pain it should be avoided, but if something causes pleasure there is a natural attraction to it.
Jeremy Bentham proposes a theory of utilitarianism called Act utilitarianism. Act utilitarianism is what judges from situation to situation for what action produces greatest utility problems. But some of the problems with act utilitarianism are it can lead to stereotyping, treating people according to convenient characterization, and preferences change. Bentham has no higher Archie of pleasures.
He believed that what ever an individual want, that is what that individual should get. With act utilitarianism is very difficult to make decision because it’s hard to know what everybody wants and to keep tract of the rapidly changing preference. For example a young person may want to have all the money that they are earning at the present time and may not what to put any in a retirement fund, but by the time that their sixty they would be thinking the opposite.
Another problem with Act utilitarianism is violating individual rights. What if in order to do the greatest