The Principle of Maximum Utility: Achieving Optimal Benefits with Minimal Costs

Categories: Theory

This theory brings the greatest good and the least amount of bad for everyone involved. The most benefit for all involved is considered good. Doing what is best for one's self. Allows for freedom to determine what is good for one's self and take responsibility for one's actions. There are different views about ethics between men and women. Men view ethics as living by the rules, or justice, and women want to maintain close relationships. Everyone should adhere to the same rules, and morals and if they do it would be considered ethical.

All rules would have to apply to everyone to be considered ethical, no exceptions. Humans must obey in a universal way including fidelity, reparation, gratitude, justice, beneficence, and self-improvement, before considering any outside factors.

Good is determined by a higher being and following the orders without concerning themselves with consequences, self-interest, or anything else. Higher beings communicate to human beings what they should and should not do in a moral sense.

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This theory focuses not on consequences or rules, but more on the development of people's character to do good.

Jeremy Bentham

John Stuart Mill Ayn Rand Carol Gilligan Immanuel Kant Sir William David Ross Joan of Arc Aristotle

Attempts to consider all involved. Attempts to bring the most good to the most people. Easy to determine what is going to benefit one's own interests. Encourages freedom and responsibility for one's own actions. This theory gives opportunity for different viewpoints to be recognized and explored. Men view the justice side of a situation, and women view the caring side of a situation.

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Acting out of duty to do good, instead of the inclination to do good. Moral truth must be consistent. Always act in accordance with the strongest duty. Always do the act that has the highest degree of rightness over wrongness. Morality is determined by religious beliefs. Religious beliefs are supported by other ethical practices. To be considered moral you must only follow commands and prohibitions from one higher being. This theory brings reason and emotion together. It is easy to teach children this theory. People are already referred to with these characteristics.

Hard to determine what is good for others.

Ignores the rights of those that do not benefit, or the minority.

No set rules or guides for educational purposes. People are not self-sufficient, and their best interest is not everyone's best interest. Self interest will only be partially served or may not be served at all. There is no good way offered to resolve conflicts of self-interests of people. This theory may setup and unfair gender roles, men are good for certain jobs and women for other jobs. Could portray men as inferior to women who would be considered normal. Hard to have rules that are consistent and universalized. No exceptions can be made to rules of morality. Hard to decide which duty has the highest degree of importance. There is no logic or evidence to define the duties as prima facie, or at first glance. Requires a high level of interpretation. Different backgrounds make standards hard to regulate. Hard to apply to specific ethical issues. It is hard to determine what is virtuous or considered good. Hard to determine the ultimate goal of people such as happiness, or wealth.

Updated: Apr 29, 2023
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The Principle of Maximum Utility: Achieving Optimal Benefits with Minimal Costs. (2019, Dec 16). Retrieved from

The Principle of Maximum Utility: Achieving Optimal Benefits with Minimal Costs essay
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