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What is Utilitarianism What are two objections to this view - Essay Example

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The man behind the Utilitarian concept is Jeremy Bentham and he weighed pleasure and pain as the consequence of one’s own action. More precisely, Utilitarianism refers to a concept where in the proportion of pleasure and pain is related to the course of action performed by a human being. According to this concept, only pleasure is good and pain is bad. The Utilitarianism concept can be considered as one kind of consequentialism, where the happiness is considered as the measuring tool to gauge the morality of an action. According to Bentham, only an action can be morally right if it brings utmost happiness to a person. If it is not bringing pleasure then the action is regarded to be wrong. Utilitarianism is an ethical theory which focuses on right and wrong based on an outcome of an action or a policy. This theory is not restricted around the interest of oneself but consider the goodness of other too. One of the principles of utilitarianism is that it gives high importance to the role of pleasure and pain in our life. Secondly, it considers an action good or bad based on its consequences. Thirdly, this theory equates goodness with pleasure and bad with pain. Thirdly, it acknowledges pleasure and pain as a quantifiable emotion. Bentham has also attached some criteria to measure pain and pleasure like intensity, certainty, nearness and duration. Moreover, the criterion of “extent” is used to quantify the actions which affect many numbers of people. Objections to Utilitarianism Objection One: The one objection to Utilitarianism is that, life is not all about physical pleasure but the aspects like virtue, knowledge matters too. Is life a phenomenon, where action can be gauged with pleasure and pain seeking emotional element? Is it not core valuable principle of ethics and morality the corner stone of life? It is satirical to think that one achieves physical pleasure by conducting ethical and moral principles in life. Physical pleasure cannot be regarded as an end to the mission of life. Moreover, virtue is accountable only if one performs selfless service which in turn is not a pleasure giving affect. Additionally, knowledge is acquired through pleasure but by hard work and by undergoing painful experiences. Here utilitarian concept cannot be applied as the objection proves that gains from pain taking experience are far more valuable than actions which give only momentary physical pleasure. Response: The response to the first objection is that, life should not be only concentrated and focused on physical pleasures. The aspect like virtue and knowledge matters a lot when it comes to the issue of psychological pleasures of a human being. If a person has knowledge and good character he can gain self confidence and self realization which is far more superior to physical pleasure. . A man’s life should very well reflect morality, modesty and sacrifice. These elements might not give pleasure to a person, but they indeed prove his character to be valuable and divine. Moreover, acquiring knowledge requires hard work and the benefit of being knowledgeable is that one acquires wisdom. To acquire wisdom, one must go through various experiences in life and these actions are mostly less pleasure giving. For example, Socrates was a great Greek philosopher, who led an extremely simple life. He Life was not at all luxurious but his knowledge and virtue was par excellence. He never committed any action to achieve happiness but followed justice and morality. He experienced real mental happiness in practicing virtue and ethics but did not opt for physical pleasure as he defined senses as illusionary. Objection Two: Another objection is that, ...Show more
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Only an action can be morally right if it brings utmost happiness to a person. If it is not bringing pleasure then the action is regarded to be wrong. Utilitarianism is an ethical theory which focuses on right and wrong based on an outcome of an action or a policy…
What is Utilitarianism What are two objections to this view
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