Loading

'Act Utilitarianism is the most effective form or moral decsion making' Discus

Summary of Act Utilitarianism: Normative, consequential ethical theory that advocated for a post enlightenment, secular approach towards morality. Bentham was hedonistic, developed felicific calculus in order to quantitavely measure pleasure. Believed in the principle of utility "The good is that which will bring about the greatest sum of pleasure of the least sum of pain"
Pros: . An effective government ethic that's concerned with overall well being, still used in modern parliament with Blair's government adopting a utilitarian approach to social policies.           . Simple and straightforward, theoretically should create happier, authentic lives for individuals           .  Rejects eccliesastical hetronomy and reasp empirical benefits (Hume's quote about sophistry and metaphysics)
Cons: . Ayn Rand's  'Virtue's of selfishness' points out how the majority of people won't put their needs behind others, Hobbes equally upholds this view of human nature            . Takes too long to complete, isn't practical and can cause a paradox of hedonism e.g. drinking to forget example            .  Basic principle of an ethical theory is that it should work/produce a better world, but maximising happiness could be chaotic e.g. oxfam example. We still require rigid moral principles.
Alternative of Rule Utilitarianism: JS Mill's approach, rejected the "pig headed" philosophy of Bentham. Believes an act is right if it is in line with a set of rules that would produce the most happiness if everyone obeyed it/ Greatest Happiness Principle                                                                      . Doesn't advocate scapegoating/abandoning a minority                                                                      .Belief in public and private acts overcomes the fallacy of compisition through considering minority                                                                      . Involves the whole community in creating rules that work for everyone/ prioritizes long term happiness opposed to pleasure.
Con: . Strong rule utilitariamism can be guilty of legelistic worship, can become deontological and unflexible, which ignores hosrter term good conseuqences and isn't flexible.           . Weak rule utliitarianism collapses into Act, can modify the rules too much to account for all exceptions/modify too many rules
Alternative of Preference Utilitarianism: . A more modern form created by Peter Singer, believed we should take the view of an impartial spectator and the best consequences  would lead to the best results for the individuals concerned. Takes people's preferences into account e.g. considers self secrifical preferences, such as Euthanasia, a woman experiecing pain in childbirth.                                                                                 . Respects autonomy and right to self determination                                                                                 . Overcomes speciesism and anthropocentric ethics. Calls for a copernicun revolution that replaces religious imago dei with the concept of personhood