Utilitarianism: A thought investigation into the strive for equality. Utilitarianism is a consequentiality philosophy, where motives and actions are disregarded and only the end result is accounted for (Rachel 2009). Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that is based on the idea that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes the quantified ‘utility. Utility is the unit of measurement that to describes the benefit individuals can gain from an action. Utilitarianism argues that the greater the utility, the greater benefit to society. (Recalls 2009).
Rachel’ claims hat there are three characteristics of Utilitarianism: 1. Only consequences matter 2. Only the happiness of unhappiness of consequences matter 3. Strict impartiality is required in decision making Classic Utilitarianism, based upon philosophers Beneath and Mill claim that utility should be measured Hydroelectrically. According to the classical theorists pleasure is the only intrinsic good (Daniels 2013). Later thought leaders have discussed that individual preference satisfaction should be maximizes, given that individual experiences shape preferences.
To contextual hedonist utility mastication, one an imagine a scenario where a global corporation made anti-depressants, however, the factory conditions are poor and their workers are on average, depressed. Every 100 units of anti depressants made cause 100 people to gain pleasure. For every 100 units made, 20 workers become depressed. Therefore, there is a net pleasure increase of 80 individuals. A classical Utilitarian would argue that making those 80 individuals happy is more important than the 20 workers pleasure.
After long deliberation on Classic Utilitarianism, twenty- first century philosophers mound classic utilitarianism to be is riddled with flaws, and as such the moral agent should use either 1) Act, or 2) Rule Utilitarianism (Daniels 2013). Rule Utilitarianism holds that one should always follow rules that tend to promote general welfare, even at the expense of greater utility. Act Utilitarianism holds that one should always act as to promote general welfare (Recalls 2009).
These developments of utilitarianism make it easier to apply to the individuals own actions, without having to equate others individual motives into the decision-making process. As a philosophy, Utilitarianism has multiple flaws. I find the least excusable flaw to be the assumption that equality is obtainable. Recalls’ outlines that Utilitarianism requires strict impartiality. According to Utilitarianism, the needs of many are more idea of impartiality’s in decision making, with the attempt to eliminate subjectivity.
It follows that a utilitarian would argue that humans should be equally concerned for each person. My view is that equality cannot exist in the earth we live in for the following reasons: 1 . Re-allocation of earths resources is highly implausible 2. Evolution begets that humans naturally want to distinguish themselves from other unmans 3. If equality was to occur, individuals would have to spend large amounts of time calculating the added utility to those around them For a utilitarian to be satisfied, the re-allocation of earth’s scarce resources must be evenly distributed, to maximize overall utility.
My view is that the relocation of earths current resources, is an impossible task due two reasons: * The resources taken to re-distribute the resources individuals currently have would be huge, and would therefore be a counter productive exercise. * Worldwide co-operation would have to occur to ensure equality. Which simply could not exist, due to different countries various needs and motives. A reasonable utilitarian could argue that dividing earths resources equally is an extreme measure to ensure utility is maximizes.
Ones individual utility may not require the same resources as others and society could never be certain that equal resource utility is gained. Although this is a strong point to make, the subjective nature of this argument is impossible to resolve. To eradicate subjectivity, full system equality must be undertaken. Evolution, although questionably a theory, is the widely accepted view is the scientific hurry developed by Darwin on how inherited characteristics of biological populations change over successive generations. For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume evolution is an unquestionable fact.
The idea premise underpinning this theory is that the most desired traits are passed on. With the foremost motivation of humans to stand out surpass from one other (so they may pass on their genes as a successful mate), comes the reality that equality cannot exist. Without individuals being able to fulfill their simplest motivation of natural selection, the needs of ones self would out way the needs of many. A Utilitarian could easily argue that humanity is self aware of these motives and can therefore choose to not act on the need for inequality. That would be a fair assumption if the failure of communism never occurred.
History has shown that although humans have striver for forms of equality in economic terms, individual motives prevent equality. The final, and most counter intuitive aspect of equality, is the time implication of calculating the utility of those affected to gain impartiality’s. If the moral agent were to be able to successfully be impartial the time consumed calculating utility mummifications would result in a net loss of utility. If the individual were occupied worrying about infinite event ramifications they would be too preoccupied to gain any utility of their own.
This is a fundamental flaw with classical utilitarianism, hence why later philosophers followed an Act or Rule approach. A Rule Utilitarian would be reasonable to suggest that the moral agents should only worry about their own ethical actions. Recalls’ would argue that if rule utilitarian were only concerned because it wouldn’t be impartial and would become a subjective measure of utility. Conclusively, Utilitarianism provides a practical framework for fairness of decision making in society.
However, stipulations about the impartiality’s of the philosophy make Utilitarianism a challenging ethical theory to adhere to. Human nature begets impartiality’s is unrealistic, therefore making Utilitarianism obsolete in its current state. References: Rachel, J ; S, 2009. The Elements of Moral Philosophy. 7th De. United States: McGraw-Hill. Paul Daniels. 2013. Utilitarianism REMIT Lecture Notes. [ONLINE] Available at: HTTPS:// alms. Remit. Dude. AU/webs/portal/frameset. Jsp? URL=/appeaseslblackboardcessed 26 August 13].