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Utilitarian Moral Theory Essay

Present in your own words the basic elements of a utilitarian moral theory. Utilitarianism is established as a theory promoting increasing utility and especially the happiness of as many people as possible. Utilitarian’s believe the function of morality as a social institution, is to advocate humans well-being by increasing welfare and decreasing damage. Thus, moral rules are regarded as a way to accomplish individual needs and meet social aims. The first basic element of a utilitarian moral theory is The Principle of Utility. In which, it’s important to understand that behaviours are considered correct when they foster happiness and wrong when they spread unhappiness. The public benefits of health care, research, medicine and so on should be maximised.

The second element is A Theory of Value, in which utilitarians consider what is good as happiness, fulfilment of wants and ambitions and achieving conditions such as liberty, understanding, security, health and deep relationships with loved ones. Utilitarians tend to look into production of good as an innate value, which doesn’t differ among people. Hedonistic approaches conceive that only happiness can be inherently good, conversely pluralistic approaches believe that values other than happiness have worth such as personal victory, knowledge, friendship, autonomy, love and culture. Since the hedonistic and pluralistic approaches tend to clash, many utilitarians define good as being an object or substance that is subjectively coveted and wanted.

The third element, Consequentialism means that actions are only seen as right when the results of actions are good not when the intent of actions is good. It doesn’t mean that future results should be foreseen, only that when judging the cause of an action it should be ensured that the consequence of that action endeavours to generate the best utilitarian conclusion. The last element is Impartiality which means all parties concerned in an action must be considered impartially. From a moral perspective people should receive unbiased judgement regardless of their gender, race and disabilities. This utlilitarian theory comes under general normative ethics. There are many elements of utilitarianism but the four described above are the most important ones and must be met for the sake of permitting a utilitarian theory.

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