Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism - Actions lie louder than words...

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Actions lie louder than words” “Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that holds that an action is right if it produces, or if tends to produce, the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people affected by the action. Otherwise the action is wrong.” (Richard T. DeGeorge, Business Ethics,PP 44) For companies today, maximizing profit is the most important objective. Companies try to maximize their incomes and minimize their expenses to maximize their profit. This is a form of utility calculation. However utilitarianism is different from utility analysis. The utility approach concentrates on the monetary benefits and losses of the company. Utilitarianism concentrates on the good and bad results of an action on everyone. “Utilitarianism is consequential” Utilitarianism adopts a teological approach to ethics which suggests that actions should be judged on the basis of the consequences. “According to utilitarianism, we should evaluate an action by looking at its consequences, weighing the good effects against the bad effects on all the people affected by it. If the good outweighs the bad, it tends to be a good action; if the bad outweighs the good, it tends to be a bad action.” (Richard T. George, Business Ethics, PP 45) There are three ways of weighing the good and bad results of an action. First, hedonistic utilitarianism suggests that the results should be weighed on the basis of pain and pleasure. Every action can be broken down and observed on the basis of pain and
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pleasure thus establishing standard units for calculation. Second, eudemonistic approach believes that happiness is more valuable than pleasure and therefore judges actions on the basis of happiness and pain. Ideal utilitarianism values human attributes of friendship, knowledge etc over happiness and pleasure and thus helps in weighing the good and the evil caused by an action. Over the years utilitarianism has met with various objections.John Stuart Mill
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Utilitarianism - Actions lie louder than words...

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