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Sterling Harwood’s Objections to Utilitarianism - Essay Example

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In the paper “Sterling Harwood’s Objections to Utilitarianism” the author analyzes utilitarianism as an ethical theory that holds that happiness is the only intrinsic good. Its aim is to appraise the ethical value of human action based on happiness. …

Extract of sample
Sterling Harwood’s Objections to Utilitarianism

According to this objection, utilitarianism demands too much from human beings when argued from a real life situation. Harwood’s objects the utilitarianism opinion, which demands individuals to save the life of five strangers rather than that of their loved ones. This implies that people should give up nearly everything to assist those in need. For instance, one person should sacrifice his or her life for the sake of three or more people to survive. The person will make more people happy at the expense of his or her happiness; this may be applicable to cases of healthiness or wealth. Utilitarianism maintains that a person ought to act in a manner that increases universal happiness even though the action does not make him happy. This action reveals how unrealistic the demands of utilitarianism are towards human nature. For utilitarianism, sacrificing a single person to save many is justifiable because it is ambitious of figures. Utilitarianism seems to coincide with religion, like utilitarianism, religion asks people to sacrifice their lives for the sake of their friends benefit. However, Harwood objects these demands by saying that it is impossible to detach an individual’s life for the sake of others, this discredits utilitarianism viewpoint (McElwee 457). According to Harwood, utilitarianism is unfair and it is the truth. Justice cannot be compared with cheerfulness or contentment in the world. ...
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