The Debate over Utilitarianism

The Debate over Utilitarianism - Rights (privacy)...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
The Debate over Utilitarianism: I. Is Happiness the Only Thing that Matters? Hedonism - the idea that happiness is the one ultimate good and unhappiness the one ultimate evil. Some utilitarians argue that things are good or bad based on how they make us feel. Feeling good is happiness. However, happiness is a response to attaining those things we hold to be good: happiness is not the good itself. Good has been defined by various philosophers as pleasure, friendship, aesthetic enjoyment, or our preferences. The primary problem in utilitarianism is to determine what constitutes good , and clearly hedonism is not always good. II. Are the Consequences all that Matters? The most serious anti-utilitarian arguments urge that other considerations, in addition to utility, are important in determining whether actions are right. They are as follows (see Rachels 110- 115): Justice (riots and lynchings)
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: Rights (privacy) Backward-LookingReasons (prior promises) Too demanding (obligatory vs. Supereorogatory actions) Personal Relationships (partiality to friends) III. Three Defenses for Utilitarianism 1. The arguments most frequently presented against utilitarianism are extremist and unrealistic (framing an innocent man, for example). 2. Rule Utilitarianism- Follow the general rules of conduct that promote the greatest happiness. Individual utilitarian actions can be justified by first considering the already established rules. 3. Utilitarianism is better than our common moral sense, which includes prejudices absorbed from parents, religion and the general culture. Perhaps it is our inherited morality and moral feelings, not utilitarianism, that need to be discarded. Act Utilitarianism may be the best way to overcome the fallacies of our common sense morality....
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 11/21/2011 for the course RTV 4931 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at University of Florida.

Page1 / 2

The Debate over Utilitarianism - Rights (privacy)...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online