Asked in History, Politics & SocietyPsychologyEthics and Morality
History, Politics & Society
Ethics and Morality
Does utilitarianism succeed as a moral theory?
Asked in Authors, Poets, and Playwrights
What has the author Jan Narveson written?
Jan Narveson has written: 'Are liberty and equality compatible?' -- subject(s): Equality, Social justice, Liberty, Social ethics 'This is ethical theory' -- subject(s): Ethics 'Moral matters' -- subject(s): Moral and ethical aspects, Moral and ethical aspects of Social problems, Social ethics, Social problems 'Respecting Persons in Theory and Practice' 'Morality and utility' -- subject(s): Utilitarianism, Ethics
Did John Stuart Mill define freedom using rights theory?
Asked in Philosophy and Philosophers
Discuss the Relevance of kant's utilitarian theory?
Kant did not have a utilitarian theory but rather a categorical imperative that utilitarians have attempted to link to Kant's theory of categorical imperative in order to reconcile the flaws that come with their own theory. Utilitarianism comes in many forms such as John Stuart Mills theory of utilitarianism, but the for the purposes of this answer we will only discuss the ethical theory behind utilitarianism. In that regard, utilitarianism theorizes that the moral worth of an action is determined solely by its contribution to happiness or pleasure as summed up by the whole of humanity. Machiavelli, while not a utilitarian, had actually stated this in his manifesto the Prince, only he stated it as such: "The end justifies the means." This as an ethical theory is problematic and any ethical being knows full well that the end does not justify the means but rather it is the means that justify the end. Kant had no regard for the utilitarian theory and because of that formulated a dentological moral system to counter the utilitarianism of his day. Kant had argued that hypothetical moral systems do not persuade people to act moral because they are concerned with the outcome as a whole and do little to instruct an individual why it is in their best interest to behave morally. This dentologicalc moral system was based on his own categorical imperative which supposes that morality can be summed up in one assertion of reason. Kant defined imperative as any action or inaction that of one that is necessary. A categorical imperative then makes an unconditional requirement to behave in such a way that it is an end in and of itself rather than a justification of that end. He stated this as such: "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law." The major problem with Kant's theory, although much more sound than that of utilitarianism, is in the notion that we can will universal law. We, of course, can no more will gravity than we can will the speed of light and the act of murder is not wrong because we as humanity have willed it so, it is wrong because it disparaged the right of that who was murdered to life. The law of murder is universal and applies on distant planets the same as it does here, just like gravity or the speed of light. The major problem with the ethical theory behind utilitarianism is in defining ethics as either happiness or pleasure. While happiness is indeed a moral duty it is not morality in and of itself. Pleasure, on the other hand is not a moral duty but rather a biological command to seek that which pleasures us. Sex, drugs and rock and roll can give many people pleasure but has nothing to do with morality or ethics. Out of control orgies where carnal knowledge is gained with people we have no knowledge of is not only not an ethical theory it is just plain dangerous for more than just the parties involved and as such and as pleasure it has no place in an ethical framework
Where is a place where people practice utilitarianism?
Utilitarianism is a philosophical theory - that is, 'everything is done for the greater good', for the benefit of the majority. It's not something that is actually practiced like communism, it's not a religion or government system. It's just a theory of morality, a world view. this is not a very good example, but you'll get the idea... take 'pessimism'. you don't practice or have a nation run on pessimism. it's not one of those things. Utilitarianism is a way of seeing the world to make moral decisions. That said, the fact that ' the greater good' or the majority rules in western democratic nations is an example of how utilitarian thought has influenced us.
Asked in Friedrich Nietzsche
What three moral theories prevalent in Europe did Nietzsche reject?
What is the difference between universalism and utilitarianism as it relates to business ethics?
Asked in Insects
What moral lesson that you get on parable of the moth?
Asked in Ethics and Morality
What is The ethical theory that purports to use happiness as a main criterion for ethical action?
Utilitarianism is a moral theory that focuses mainly on?
The outcome of actions. Utilitarianism comes so perilously close to the Machiavellian idea that the means justify the end, it is hard to accept as an ideal ethical or moral philosophy. The major problem with utilitarianism is that by waiting for the out come of ones action, that person doesn't have any reliable standard by which to decide what is good or bad and can only wait and see. This can mean a lot of apologizing and cleaning up messes afterward. It is somewhat like gambling with ethics, a moral lottery ticket, that if in the end turns out all right, then jackpot!, if not, oh well, better luck next time. Morality and ethics is not the realm of lucky people, it is the field of those who have endeavored to take responsibility for their own actions, the actions of others, and for those unforeseen events that require responsibility be taken. Hardly a game for people who rely on luck.