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Parikh 1Yash ParikhDr. Carlos A SanchezPhil 186April 10, 2017. Utilitarianism Theory of Ethics.“Utilitarianism is a simple, bold, and, direct ethical theory. It takes happiness as its standard and uses it to assess the morality of the actions we perform.” (Sanchez 2). The basic principle of the utilitarianism theory of Ethics articulates that an action is right if and only if that action inclines to promote net happiness. Furthermore, utilitarianism asserts that multiple actions are considered right if and only if every action brings about parallel amount of happiness compare to other action that could have been executed. Laying away the likelihood of actions only producing happiness, “the utilitarian principle instructs us to perform the action that brings about the greatest net happiness. The “net” happiness of an action is simply the happiness it produces minus any unhappiness it causes” (Sanchez 3). Therefore, utilitarianism is not only concerned with the positive consequences of the actions, but utilitarianism is more interested in the overall consequences of the actions. Consequently, utilitarianism maintains that if the effect of an action does not encourage happiness, then that action is regarded to be wrong. Furthermore,the utilitarian theory states that the actions, which may have an immediate positive outcome, could transpire harm to others or reciprocate any unintentional consequence. Therefore, in any given situation, a person should determine to take an action by taking an account of the long-term consequence of that action. For instance, deceiving another person may seem a positive result at first, however, in the long-term when another person finds out, they will not be able to trust your character, and your personality will be scratched. Moreover, utilitarianism considers
Parikh 2happiness of everyone as equal. Subsequently, when a person evaluates an action, his/her own happiness should not be considered more precious than another person’s happiness. Because, utilitarianism obliges the net measure of actions to be positive (or least negative). The question, then, arises: What does happiness mean in utilitarianism theory? “Bentham and Mill equated happiness with pleasure and the absence of pain.” (Sanchez 5). In other words, any actions that generate greatest amount of pleasure and enjoyment are deemed to be right. “Pleasure, in their view, is the one thing that is intrinsically good or worthwhile. Any-thing that is good is good only because it brings about pleasure (or happiness), directly or indi-rectly.” (Sanchez 5). Hence, the theory of utilitarianism implies that a person’s happiness is di-rectly associated to a person’s well-being. Therefore, utilitarianism considers pleasure as a supreme benefit, which “to maximize human well-being whether or not one understands this in terms of happiness.” (Sanchez 5-6).