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Rachel's Utilitarianism - Essay Example

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Rachel's Utilitarianism

As Rachel points out, the Utilitarian view inherently judges whether an action of morally good or bad by its consequences, and then, assesses these consequences solely by the amount of utility or happiness derived (Rachels 102). When accounting for happiness, no individual or entity is given precedence over the other. The “Rule Utilitarianism” theory states that the acts of individuals will be judged as morally right or wrong with reference to the rules that are developed keeping in mind the principle (Rachels 102). Therefore, the principle is used to select a set of rules which then determine whether an action is right or wrong under a given situation. This theory has been criticized as attaching more significance to “rules” than they deserve. As opposed to this, “Act Utilitarianism” states that the principle is directly used to determine whether an action is right or wrong under a given situation without first applying that principle to select a set of rules (Rachels 104). Hence, this approach is referred to as “direct” utilitarianism, whereas the former is referred to as “indirect” utilitarianism. ...
The utilitarian theory (whether “rule” or “act”) has various shortcomings and has been criticized for various assumptions in recent years. The Utilitarians imply an ‘economically rational’ justification for actions, an assumption which does not correctly capture the human values and does not go beyond the traditional cost-benefit analysis. Thus, according to Utilitarians, individuals could be deprived of their right to liberty simply because the net benefit isn’t maximized. This theory simplistically assumes that all the consequences of an action (including the utility or happiness derived from it) can be measured (Rachels 102). This is not always the case. For instance, how could one assign a value to one’s life? Secondly, it deals insufficiently with rights, morals and justice (Rachels 108). As outlined in the following sections, the Utilitarian view has been heavily blamed as being the rationale behind Ford’s managers to go ahead with the faulty design of one of its cars “Pinto”, thereby ignoring the principles of justice (that deals with distribution of benefits and burdens) and rights (that deals with right to freedom and well being). The question, in this context, arises whether people should have had freedom to know what they are buying at the time they are purchasing. This case shall now be explored in depth in the light of the utilitarian argument. The case can be traced back to 1978 when several Pinto cars caught fire in accidents or collisions (Trevino and Nelson 64).The number of such incidents started becoming rampant, such that notice was taken of these incidents and a case was filed whereby the causes were investigated. Ford’s president, Lee Lacocca decided to recover the market share by designing a ...Show more

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Customer inserts his/her full name Date Rachel’s Utilitarianism The original(act) Utilitarianism ethics is based on the premise that individual’s course of action should be evaluated in terms of the costs and benefits that will be imposed on the society as a result of those actions (Mill 5)…
Author : harberterrance
Rachels Utilitarianism essay example
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