Utilitarianism

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Submitted by to the category Philosophy and Psychology on 06/03/2011 03:40 PM

Six Points about Utilitarianism

The right action to perform is the one which creates most happiness. That is what Utilitarianism is and there are six points that cover it. First, instead of only considering happiness and what action will produce the most of it, we must think about also think of unhappiness. Suppose there are 5 pounds of happiness and three pounds of unhappiness, we are left with two pounds of happiness. If happiness is not a factor and only unhappiness is left, we should choose the least amount of unhappiness as possible

The second point is that actions affect people very differently. Not everyone likes what everyone else likes. For instance, 2 people like pasta and 2 people don’t. One person isn’t sure whether they like it or not but we should add pleasures with pain rather than subtract who does and doesn’t like pasta; choosing the action that brings the most happiness.

Thirdly, since Utilitarians evaluate their actions based on the consequences, they typically try to stay positive and not commit actions in which produce unhappiness unless it causes my happiness than not. Sarah breaks up with Tom and although Tom is heartbroken, Sarah is happy and so are her parents. She also has more time to spend with her friends and studying. Since she produced more happiness, Tom’s heartbreak is justifiable.

Fourth, Utilitarians don’t only think about now but also what happens in the future. If we rob a bank we’ll get rich quick now but it will hurt the economy in the long run which in turn will also hurt us. Happiness is not about taking the risks which brings us to the fifth point. We don’t know what the future holds, therefor we must make the best decisions to make sure happiness will be the ultimate goal for the future as well as now. If I tell a lie and my friends find out, they won’t want to be my friend, but if my lie becomes the truth, they will never know. That’s a one in a million chance so I should just be truthful....

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