Unfinished theory of Utilitarianism Essay examples

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Utilitarianism is a school of thought from consequentialism. Consequentialists believe that we must guide our actions by the consequences that follow them. Utilitarian’s specifically believe that we should maximize happiness, and we ought to implement the actions that bring the most happiness overall. I will consider two cases from a utilitarian’s perspective, and then give reasons why this would not be a good theory to undertake. Our first main issue is conflicts with impartiality; a utilitarian is required to be impartial in order to produce greatest amount of happiness. Our second main issue is the idea of a ‘unit of happiness’ and how it is supposed to be measured either in terms of quantity or quality? The final main
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Regardless of these possible stipulations, the utilitarian would require the most happiness overall, and that would mean possibly worsening oneself for a greater good. This is an issue with utilitarianism because some people are unable to be altruistic out of their very nature for self-preservation. It imposes unfair burdens on others to require such strong impartiality. Quality vs. Quantity Argument
My next argument against utilitarianism regards the practical application of this theory. When weighing between choices to achieve the most happiness overall, there must be some sort of satisfaction criteria that aids in the decision process towards finding happiness. In the second case you are directing a trolley and notice the brakes are not working, ahead you see the trolley is going to kill five workers. You have the choice to switch the track and change the path to where you will only kill one worker. What do you do? Jeremy Bentham one of the founders of utilitarianism would say the only criteria we need to come to a result for happiness is quantitative. In this case, killing the one person would generate the most happiness overall according to Bentham, since its only the death of one instead of five. John Stuart Mill, a noteworthy political philosopher

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