Utilitarianism and Happiness

Topics: Utilitarianism, Suffering, Hedonism Pages: 3 (859 words) Published: April 17, 2014
This theory advocates that the actions worth is determined by maximizing utility (pleasure or happiness).it looks at the consequence of an action as to whether the outcome is good to the majority of people affected by it. According to Bentham, utilitarianism is the greatest happiness or greatest felicity principle. There are many types of this theory which include act vs. rule, two level, motive, negative and average vs. total. (Clifford G., John C. 2009) In act utilitarianism, when people have to make choices, they should consider the consequences of each choice and then choose that which will generate much pleasure. The rule utilitarianism looks at the rules of actions which are potential and looks at what would happen if a certain rule is followed and decides on following it if the outcomes are pleasurable. In the two-level utilitarianism, one uses intuition and they maximize the happiness. Motive utilitarianism deals with how people in reality function psychologically. In negative utilitarianism, one acts such that the least evil is promoted. Total utilitarianism allows the measurement of people’s utility depending on the total utility of those members while average utilitarianism allows measurement of utility of people by the basis of average utility of those people. (David L, 1965) Utilitarianism gives a very good conception of morality. This theory aims at achieving success and happiness and those who go to war want success and this is calculable in the theory. Utility can be looked at as increasing or decreasing in the world but it is not as easy as to be measured. For example, one can not measure happiness or pleasure of somebody. In war, what is most focused on is the security of the people and the freedom from any form of pain. If happiness is taken as a rule and not an act, we can then give ourselves the basis of measuring utility as per the theory. Peace and security of the people should be measured in the process of war and determined whether the...

References: :-
Clifford G., John C. Ethical Communication: Five Moral Stances in Human Dialogue.Columbia, MO.: University of Missouri Press, 2009.
David L, Forms and Limits of Utilitarianism, 1965.
Jeremy B., An introduction to the principles of morals and legislation, 1789.
Mark P., Moral Philosophy of John Stuart Mill,Longwood Academic 1991. Wakefield, New Hampshire. ISBN 0-89341-681-9.
William H. Contemporary Ethics: taking account of utilitarianism. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Inc., 1999
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