Utilitarianism and Happiness John Stuart

7 July 2016

A doctrine that the useful is the good and that the determining consideration of right conduct should be the usefulness of its consequences; specifically : a theory that the aim of action should be the largest possible balance of pleasure over pain or the greatest happiness of the greatest number Ethical principle according to which an action is right if it tends to maximize happiness, not only that of the agent but also of everyone affected. Thus, utilitarians focus on the consequences of an act rather than on its intrinsic nature or the motives of the agent (see CONSEQUENTIALISM).

Classical utilitarianism is hedonist, but values other than, or in addition to, pleasure (ideal utilitarianism) can be employed, or—more neutrally, and in a version popular in economics—anything can be regarded as valuable that appears as an object of rational or informed desire (preference utilitarianism). The test of utility maximization can also be applied directly to single acts (act utilitarianism), or to acts only indirectly through some other suitable object of moral assessment, such as rules of conduct (rule utilitarianism). Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism:

Utilitarianism and Happiness John Stuart Essay Example

Whether an action is morally right or wrong depends entirely on its consequences. An action is right if it brings about the best outcome of the choices available. Otherwise it is wrong. So, according to Utilitarianism, our one moral duty is to Maximize pleasure and minimize pain. “Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness” –John Stuart Mill A fundamental utilitarian makes a judgement according to how much general well being and happiness a certain act brings about.

If abortion caused more general misery than happines (and this might be the case if a majority is dismayed by it), a utilitarian would have to reject abortion. Alternatively, if it produces more happiness, then abortion must ethically right. A utilitarian’s view on abortion could be that it is a good thing or a bad thing. They could argue that there is overpopulation in today’s society and around the world people are starving and going thirsty because of overpopulation.

A utilitarian would say it would benefit the world’s population if a baby was aborted rather than taking another persons food. Another argument a utilitarian would make is that if a couple could not raise that child or would be alone (single parent) it would be better if they are aborted because it would put less of a burden on society having the mother not be on a welfare or government assistance lessening taxes for others and having the child from a broken home could raise crime and drug addiction having the baby aborted would prevent this from happening.

Also some studies show that having a baby decreases happiness in relationships and sometimes breaks people up it could be argued that if an unplanned pregnancy were terminated the couple would be happier and when they wanted a child would love that child more. An unloved child would act out and cause a burden on the rest of society. Utilitarian’s would be against abortion if it were damaging society.

If there were a low in the amount of babies being born because of abortions it would damage society as a whole because we need people to sustain society. Or if we found that unborn babies sensed the pain of an abortion it would be against utilitarian view because the group of babies was feeling pain. Also an abortion could bring about the death of a great person that affects humanity.

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