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Moral Philosophy Term Paper

845 words - 4 pages

Cagayan State University
Tuguegarao City, Carig Campus
College of Arts and Sciences

“UTILITARIANISM”
A Term Paper in Philospohy 12 (Moral Philosophy)

SUBMITTED TO:

Karen Acoba
Instructor

SUBMITTED BY:

Joanne Marie B. Sanchez, BS BIO I – A
11:30 – 1:00 pm TTH

March, 2016

Introduction

“What is right and wrong?” Every day we ask that question, whether in simple situations like choosing a dress to wear in a party, or complicated ones like judging a supposed criminal. It guides our decisions, and helps to get better hold of our actions.

In the field of Philosophy, the rightness or wrongness of a moral action is also a vital topic. This topic is termed as Normative Ethics – The ...view middle of the document...

Consequentialism in utilitarianism is in the fact that an action must be judged for its consequences on the happiness of the largest number. That is: my search for happiness stops when it decreases the happiness of another individual or the happiness of the largest number, of the society or the community. [1]

Utilitarianism, therefore, is the theory that says what is good is what makes the world as happy as possible. More precisely, classical utilitarianism is committed to three key principles: (a) Consequentialist principle: actions are judged right or wrong not in themselves, but upon the consequences or state of affairs they produce, (b) Happiness principle: the only relevant consequences are those that influence the happiness of individuals, (c) Principle of Equality: everyone’s happiness is equally important. [2]
a. Consequentialist Principle
Consequentialist principle is a general approach that states whether an act is morally right depends only on the consequences of that act or of something related to that act, such as the motive behind the act or a general rule requiring acts of the same kind (Winter, 2015). [3]
b. Happiness Principle
Utility is defined as pleasure itself, and the absence of pain. Thus another name for utility is the Greatest Happiness Principle. This principle holds that "actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness are intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure." Pleasure and the absence of pain are, by this account, the only things desirable as ends in themselves, the only things inherently "good." Thus, any other circumstance, event, or experience is desirable only insofar as it is a source for such...

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