final paper

final paper - Camille Paxton 23 November 2009 Ethics Fall...

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Camille Paxton 23 November 2009 Ethics Fall 2009 Ethics Paper: Why is the Utilitarian Moral theory my favorite?
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‘The basic question a utilitarian asks in determining the moral status of an action is Will this action produce greater overall human well-being. For the Utilitarian, human well-being is the only good” (Harris). This moral theory is the most convincing and the best justified of the theories taught this semester. I find Utilitarianism to be the best moral theory for a number of reasons including it follows my morally obligatory and impermissible actions and it is useable in every case scenario. During this semester we have learned about several moral theories. No two of them are the same and they all have conflicting morals. The first assignment we received was to compile a list of morally obligatory and morally impermissible actions. A few of my morally obligatory actions included; have manners, preserve a good reputation, gain friendships and keep them healthy relationships, do not change who you are for anyone else no matter the consequence, and treat others the way you would like to be treated. Some of the morally impermissible actions I listed were do not abandon friends or others who need help, do not take away from others happiness, and do not fail things intentionally. The utilitarian view will support my moral lists through the examination of different case studies. “Utilitarianism is the idea that the moral worth of an action is determined solely by its contribution to overall utility: that is, its contribution to happiness or pleasure as summed among all people. 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” (Wikipedia). Meaning even if the direct outcome does not benefit you that it is still in your best interest to do the action because it will benefit many other people. It is a type of majority rules kind of reasoning. “Utilitarianism can be characterized as a quantitative and reductionist approach to ethics” (Wikipedia). The Utilitarian view on ethics is in contrast to deontological ethics, Virtue ethics
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and other types of consequentialism. Epicurus and Jeremy Bentham are credited for the origin of utilitarianism. Bentham stated that “nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure” (Wikipedia). This statement caused his to produce the rule of utility. Utilitarianism has two types, act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. Act utilitarianism
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final paper - Camille Paxton 23 November 2009 Ethics Fall...

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