Essay on Pros and Cons of Utilitarianism

1101 Words Dec 13th, 2006 5 Pages
Pros and Cons of Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism is a philosophy in which the ends justify the means, or in which the morality of an action is determined by the function that follows the action. Although Utilitarianism has many good principals that are both logical and appealing, the contradictions of the philosophy make it incompatible with Christian ethics. The moral standards that utilitarianism is supposedly based on only work when a person doesn't consider the personal emotions that might hinder or get in the way of what the end result of the action is. The function may not be changed or diverted according to the philosophy. It also cannot change when someone does not think about the bigger picture in perspective to the function.
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It says we have to look at the bigger picture and if one thing may cause pain for a few people but save the pain or unhappiness of many people than the action is good. The end result justifies the action by how many people can be happy. The Catholic Church does agree with Utilitarians on some things such as the intentions of the action must be factored in to get the end result of the morality. But unlike Utilitarians, the Church doesn't believe that the actions are the sole determination to weather or not the action is moral or immoral. This and the golden rule are the only ties to Utilitarianism that Christianity have together. They are two logics that have very different principles that are based on totally different ideologies. The Christians base their logic on the teachings of Jesus and Utilitarians base their logic on the teachings and writings of John Stuart Mill. Mill inspired such movements as Hedonism, which the Catholic Church calls Utilitarians because they only look for worldly pleasures. (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15241c.htm) One of Mill's principles was Jesus' Golden Rule. This rule that both have in common can be viewed upon as a link to Christianity. But this simply is not true. The Christian perspective would be that an action is only good if the intentions of the action are true and genuine and the action is morally right. These two things are taken into
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