philosophy104-utilitarianism - Rachel Smith Utilitarianism...

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Rachel Smith Utilitarianism 10/01/06 Utilitarianism is a theory which states an action X is right if and only if X has the highest amount of utility, that is to say it brings happiness to the largest number of people. At face value this looks like a good theory, one would naturally want to make the largest number of people happy; but at what costs? One must consider the long term consequences of these decisions. If, for instance there were four people in the hospital all in need of different transplants, their lives depended on it, and a 5 th healthy person comes in. Is it right to take their life and use their healthy organs? No, that is morally unacceptable and not respecting human rights. Or to look back at a common example, is it right to kill a baby to save the population? Our class came to the conclusion that is was not, the baby was innocent, and the people would not want to live knowing they are responsible for its death. This is part of a very common debate right now concerning embryonic stem cell research. For those that consider it taking the life of an
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PHIL 104 taught by Professor Bontly during the Fall '08 term at UConn.

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