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The Utilitarian Theory on the Moral Issue

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According to the research findings, it can, therefore, be said that the ethical theory of hedonism holds that the supreme end of man consists in the experiencing pleasure. This implies that man’ s action is good or bad depending on whether it gives pleasure or earthly happiness to man. Utilitarian Ethics is a British speculative conception which is viewed to be hedonistic, as it is “ a philosophy, based on the empirical investigation, hedonism, the association of ideas and a liberal and human approach to political and economic affairs” . In utilitarianism, the “ good” is understood to be an earthly pleasure, happiness or well-being.

And Jeremy Bentham used a quantitative calculus to measure and determine the proper moral choices in which pleasure is greater than pain. John Stuart Mill, who originated Utilitarianism with Bentham, added qualitative measures to the quantitative calculus in order to evaluate higher pleasures of the intellect and the imagination. For the classical Utilitarian Ethics which Bentham and Mill developed, there are two types of utilitarianism: Individual or egoistic utilitarianism, or simply egoism. Herein the norm of morality resides in the individual.

What redounds to individual happiness is good, what prevents it is bad. Social utilitarianism, or simply altruism. This holds that an act is good when it is conducive to the collective good of society. And today, several features of social utilitarianism appeals to modern-day societies and organizations. These are: First, its clear and orderly basis for formulating and testing policies/ programs/processes. What promotes the general welfare more than other alternatives is good. That which does not promote total utility equal to other alternatives is wrong or must be modified.

Principles, policies, and rules must be subjected to the test of utility standards, and not accepted blindly. According to this principle, it can be seen that the World Health Organization formulated and imposed a code of ethics to safeguard general welfare, particularly of mothers and infants, as opposed to the advantage of individual groups or business companies.

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