Utilitarian Ethics: The Greatest Happiness Principle and Moral Judgments

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Utilitarian ethics bases right and wrong on the greatest happiness principle. This principle states that actions are considered moral when they tend to promote happiness and deter its opposite, and immoral when the opposite occurs. This principle was formulated by Jeremy Bentham. Mill claimed that it is demeaning to reduce the meaning of life to pleasure. Utility is defined as pleasure itself and the absence of pain. Happiness is a sign that we are exercising our higher faculties.

When making a moral judgment on an action, utilitarianism thus takes into account not just the quantity but also the quality of the pleasures resulting from it. A pleasure is of higher quality if people would choose it over a different pleasure even if it is accompanied by discomfort, and if they would not trade it in for a greater amount of the other pleasure. Mill wrote, 'It is better to be a human dissatisfied than a pig satisfied.' Mill defines happiness as pleasure and the absence of pain, and that it is the sole basis of morality.

Act Utilitarianism and Rule Utilitarianism

Act utilitarianism is defined as an act is right if it results in as much good as any available alternative. Rule utilitarianism, on the other hand, is when an act is only right if it follows correct rules to achieve the greatest number of goods for everyone. Lying to save a life is an example. Mill defines morality as a system of rules that is protected by sanctions. A moral dilemma can arise when two best friends are involved, and one is cheating.

Writers have said that mental pleasures are better than bodily ones, more permanent and inexpensive. Hedonism is the belief that one should do what brings about the most bodily pleasure. The principle of utility states, 'We should always act so as to produce the greatest good for the greatest number.' I would follow the rule.

Kantian Ethics: Categorical Imperative and Hypothetical Imperative

Kant argues that one should never tell a lie because it uses a person as a 'mere means,' which means to use them for your own benefit, with no thought to the interests or benefit of the thing you're using. Using someone in a plan of action in which they can't in principle consent to. The categorical imperative states, 'Act as you would want all other people to act towards all other people.' The focus is on actions done out of duty, not incitation. Our moral obligations. The hypothetical imperative declares a possible action to be practically necessary as a means to the attainment of something else that one wants. Kant viewed morality more in terms of categorical imperative. He believed that they are derived from pure reason. The universality principle states, 'Act only according to that maxim which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law without contradiction.' A maxim is a rule or principle of action.

Gilligan Care Reasoning and Justice Reasoning

Gilligan care reasoning focuses on the moral agent striving to be kind and foster caring relationships with others. It involves being attentive, compassionate, valuing the well-being of others, and having emotional sentiments. It emphasizes maintaining connections, empathy, and compassion. Justice reasoning, on the other hand, is based on reasoning, logic, and math. It focuses on rights, autonomy, and independence. Heinz's dilemma is an example. For caring, one can find alternatives, talk it out, create a payment plan, or take a loan. For justice, life is considered greater than property, so one doesn't hesitate to help when someone's life is at stake, even if it means breaking the rules. For example, a wife who is ill needs medication, and the pharmacist doesn't donate it.

Virtue Theory and Proper Functioning

Virtue theory is an ethical theory that emphasizes an individual's character rather than following a set of rules. Proper functioning means that everything has a function, and a thing is good to the extent that it fulfills its function, and bad to the extent that it doesn't. Having virtue means doing the right thing at the right time, in the right way, and in the right amount, towards the right people. Vice deficiency is cowardice, virtue golden mean is courage, and vice excess is recklessness. Courage, in this case, would be finding the right way to act. Virtue is a skill that can only be learned through experience. Eudaimonia is a life well-lived and human flourishing. Virtues are character traits such as courage, honesty, loyalty, temperance, justice, and prudence. An act is right if it is what the virtuous person would do. Act-centered ethics focus on identifying procedures for determining moral obligations, while agent-centered ethics focus on long-term patterns of actions. The hypothetical imperative states, 'Treat others with respect if you want the same.' It is based on perceived consequences. The categorical imperative, on the other hand, does not consider consequences. The golden rule states, 'Act towards others as you would want them to act towards you.' Cultivating moral virtues involves practicing virtues from a young age and developing the habit of practice. According to the Doctrine of the Mean, virtue is the mean state toward good activities, and a virtuous person behaves appropriately out of this mean state.

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