Essay about The Principle Of Utility By Jeremy Bentham

1003 Words Aug 3rd, 2015 5 Pages
Final Paper
It is a reflex of our conscious to conclude that the killing of innocent people is morally wrong. However, there are certain circumstances that can easily persuade our bleeding hearts to sympathize with those who have committed murderous actions we would have previously deemed unforgivable. Survival is one of the most basic instincts of all living creatures. Nevertheless, there are times when dying seems like the only solution to the suffering a human being may endure. As a society we have already given moral lenience to killing in war, self-defense, and the use of capital punishment, yet when it comes to the death of virtuous individuals by the hands of someone else, even if that someone is a medical professional, people hesitate. Why are we so divided on the issue of Euthanasia? Perhaps a look at a few moral theorist perspectives could give us an answer as to why we find ourselves justifying what should be seen as a heinous act of execution.
To start, we can look at Utilitarianism. The Principle of Utility, developed by Jeremy Bentham and expanded on by future advocate John Stewart Mill, arguably holds one of the most straightforward foundations for ethical choices; whatever brings the most amount of happiness and the least amount of suffering is the morally right choice. If we were to apply such reasoning to an example of euthanasia; say a doctor who assists a man suffering from an immensely painful cancer in suicide, then the answer seems incredibly simple.…

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