is one of the ma...
is one of the many ethical theories and according to which an action is right
or wrong depending on the maximization of the overall well-being. In other
terms, an action is termed as being ethical if the number of people benefiting
from it is higher than those that do not get positive benefits. The theory
requires people to make decisions and actions that maximize the well-being of
the highest number of people possible. The welfare, in this case, is closely
associated with happiness (Eggleston, B. 452).
is universal where every community has its own set of rules and if followed
maximizes happiness. In most cases, it applies in the modern democracy where
governments use the theory to determine what is right for the people (Eggleston,
B. 453). The approach has flaws however that cannot be assumed. One of the
weaknesses is that it does not adhere to individual rights like the right to
life, to liberty, and to fair treatment. When one has a right to something, it
means that they deserve to be given even though people do not agree with the
person. However, the theory disregards an individual and instead supports what
the majority want in spite of it being a violation of the single individual’s
other flaw in the theory is that it is consequential and does not look at the
past actions of an individual. As a result, an individual who follows this
theory does not look at the past to weigh but instead focuses on the future and
in a way blurs the intention of the act. Finally, the utilitarian theory is
excessively demanding. For example, if an individual has a resource needed by
another person, the person with the resource is obliged to give it to the
person in need if the person would benefit more the person giving would lose
(Eggleston, B. 456).
implication of this is that although the theory is applicable in some cases, it
should not be the only theory to be used as when looking at an act, it is
always good to consider the other side of the situation. For example, when
considering an individual’s contribution to the greatest good, his/her
happiness should be put into consideration.
Eggleston, B. "Utilitarianism." Encyclopedia Of Applied Ethics, 2012, pp. 452-458. Elsevier,