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Utilitarianism and morality - Essay Example

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Taking a Position on whether Utilitarianism Is Correct to Condone These Actions, Given the Circumstances It is not agreeable that utilitarianism is right to condone these actions, depending on circumstances. …
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Utilitarianism and morality
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Utilitarianism and morality

This theoretical standpoint was reiterated by Jeremy Bentham who made the proposition that an action is right in proportion as it tends to promote pleasure or happiness, and (an action is also) wrong as it tends to produce the reverse of the happiness. Taking a Position on whether Utilitarianism Is Correct to Condone These Actions, Given the Circumstances It is not agreeable that utilitarianism is right to condone these actions, depending on circumstances. One of the reasons why one may disagree with utilitarian’s act of condoning some actions is because, fundamentally, utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism. This is seen in the utilitarians’ postulation which states that pleasure and freedom from pain are the only things that are desirable as ends. In this light, an action is regarded as morally wrong or right, depending entirely on its consequences. In this light, an action is considered morally right if it produces the best outcome of choices that have been availed. The flipside of this is that if an action does not produce the best outcome, then it is not right. According to Sedaris, the import of the foregoing is that actions are regarded as morally right if the greatest number benefit from it, yet there are instances where morally right standards or values may not be popular among the masses but among a few. An apt example which repudiates utilitarians’ consequentialist approach is democracy....
This is because the ethics and morality have fundamentals that surpass the concept of gain. An action is right not because it benefits the greatest number but because it is, in its essence, legitimate. It is not, for instance, ethically or morally right for an organization to whimsically decide to punctiliously trim employees’ emoluments on the mere account that such a move will increase the organization’s profit margin and shareholders’ dividend. Even if the employees being shortchanged may be few and too weak to defend themselves or resist the move and the organization have accrued increased profits, the move remains intrinsically immoral since it amounts to the betrayal of an already operational agreement or contract between the employee and the employer. Similarly, the move remains immoral simply because it amounts to the exploitation of the weak and not because it merely does not benefit the greatest number. Again, utilitarians’ act of condoning an action based on the fact that it benefits the greatest number is unacceptable,simply because it reduces human beings and the concept of morality to a matter of statistics. As long as the beneficiaries outweigh the number of the shortchanged, then that action is regarded as legitimate, and the shortchanged minority is bypassed as collateral damage. Again, by saying that an act is ethically legitimate depending on its ability to benefit the greatest number of people is to reduce moral duties to a matter of popularity. This means that (the observation of) moral duty such as telling the truth and doing honest business is no longer an absolute or really necessary. Even though Emanuel Kant advances that people ... Read More
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