Customer Perception on Buying House Essay

5883 Words Mar 2nd, 2013 24 Pages
Principles of Ethical Reasoning
Adapted from Business Ethics, Concepts and Cases: Manuel Velasquez (2006) Prentice Hall

Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism is a general term for any view that holds that actions and policies should be evaluated on the basis of the benefits and costs they will impose on society. In any situation, the “right” action or policy is the one that will produce the greatest net benefits or the lowest net costs (when all alternatives have only net costs).

Many businesses rely on such utilitarian cost-benefit analyses, and maintain that the socially responsible course to take is the utilitarian one with the lowest net costs.

Jeremy Bentham founded traditional utilitarianism. His version of the theory assumes
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These goods always take precedence over instrumental goods, which are things that are good because they help to bring about an intrinsic good. The other common-sense criterion depends on the distinction between needs and wants. Goods that bring about needs are more important than those that bring about wants. However, these methods are intended to be used only when quantitative methods fail.

The most flexible method is to measure actions and goods in terms of their monetary equivalents. If someone is willing to pay twice as much for one good than for another, we can assume that the former is twice as valuable for that person. Many people are made uncomfortable by the notion that health and life must be assigned a monetary value. Utilitarians point out that we do so every day, however, by paying for some safety measures but not for those measures that are considered more expensive.

The major difficulty with utilitarianism, according to some critics, is that it is unable to deal with two kinds of moral issues: those relating to rights and those relating to justice. If people have rights to life, health, and other basic needs, and if there is such a thing as justice that does not depend on mere utility, then utilitarianism does not provide a complete picture of morality. Utilitarianism can also go wrong, according to the critics, when it is applied to situations that involve social justice. Utilitarianism looks only at how much utility is…

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