Utilitarianism: Animal Rights and -no Act

Topics: Ethics Pages: 2 (532 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The theory of Utilitarianism states that actions should be judged as right or wrong depending on whether they cause more happiness or unhappiness. It weighs the rightness and wrongness of an action based on consequences of that action.


Actions are to be judged right or wrong mainly by their own consequences. Nothing else matters. Right actions are those that have the best consequences. -No act is right in and of it self.
-No act is wrong in and of it self.

The only thing that matters is the amount of happiness and unhappiness that is caused. Therefore the right actions are those that produce the highest ratio of happiness over unhappiness. So in judging the consequences only the wants of happiness and pain are relevant morally. (3) PRINCIPLE OF IMPARIALITY:

When finding happiness and unhappiness that’s caused ones own happiness is to be looked at more important then anyone else’s. Every person is equally important as the next when it comes to happiness.

Applying the 3 principles of Utilitarianism:
(1) Utilitarian can disagree about what is right and wrong yet still be utilitarians. (2) The principle of Impartiality has its limits, so . . .
(3) Personality types can be assessed in terms of their utility.
Utilitarian experience’s conflict when considering acts of injustice that does harm to others. That this sort of conflict is a lack of integrity, but the utilitarian must be willing to sacrifice his/her own feelings for the good of others. A utilitarian believes that following your integrity when it conflicts with the general good is too self-regarding. For example: A talented doctor who has the knowledge to perform a lifesaving operation, but get squeamish about cutting open flesh. Should the surgery be performed despite of the inner conflict for the better of mankind? With regard to moral...

Cited: Rachels, James. The Elements of Moral Philosophy.
McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. 1999.
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