Principle of Utilitarianism
Denontological Vs. Teleological
-Bentham created an ethical system which determined how good an action was according to how many were satisfied.
-this is a quantitative theory, as it concentrates on the number of people who are satisified.
Happiness= amount pleased - amount dissatisfied.
John Stuart Mill
-He developed a qualitative approach to ethics, wherein the moral standpoint of an action was determined by how good the pleasure was.
-This stopped the issue with Bentham's theory, which justifies actions based upon how many people are pleased. this would have allowed actions which we know are wrong, to be judged as morally right.
The principle is applied directly to a particular action in a particular circumstance.
-A person must decide what action will lead to the greatest good in the particular situation you are facing and apply the principle of utility directy.
-The person needs to examine the CONSEQUENCES of a particular act, and know what will bring about the greatest happiness.
-The only ground rule is that we must always seek the greatest mount of happioness for the greatest number of people in any given situation.
Application of Bentham and mill
-Principe of Uitility: What would bring the greatest happiness for the greatest number?
-Happiness= pleasure-pain What would bring about the greatest happiness?
Hedonic calculus (apply it)
Strengths of Mill/Bentham
-It is straight forward and based on a single principle of minimising pain and maximising pleasure and happiness.
-It relates to actions which can be observed in the real world (e.g. giving to charity promotes happiness for poor people and is seen as good, whereas an intentional act of cruelty is condemned as bad.
--Its consequentialist nature allows people to weigh up consequences.
-It considers others and not just the individual. It is concerned with the common good as it takes into account those who will be affected by the action.
-it is morally democratic which seeks the fairest result. Bentham's quantitative approach will examine what brings the most happiness to thr greatest number of people.
-The calculus is thorough inits consideration of measuring aspects of pleasure. The fact that the calculus has 7 criteria means it can be easier to calculate the amount of happiness.
The ending of pain is suffering is more important than the increase of pleasure.
-Karl Popper's negative utilitarian principle is that we should act to minimise suffering rather than maximise pleasure. He arged that philosiphers should consider the fact that the greatest happiness principle can easily be made an excuse for a benelovent dictatorship.
-It makes sense that the priority of the ethical system is concentrated on eradicatuing issues such as famine, disease and death, rather than maximising the amount of pleasure felt by people.
-Fellow philosipher David Pearce reflects the ideas expected by Karl Popper. He beleives that no pain, physical or emotional is necessary. he argues that we should strive oto eradicate suffering in all life.
-Pearce and Popper would point out that it is easier to define what constitutes pain, than what we define define as happiness. Happiness is far too subjective whereas all humans can agree on areas which wil cause emoional and physical suffering.