How does utilitarianism determine what we ought to do? Utilitarianism


Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that suggests that the most moral action is that which produces the greatest amount of happiness for the largest number of people. This often means sacrificing the interests of some individuals for the benefit of the majority. According to utilitarianism, in order to determine what we ought to do, we must weigh the costs and benefits of our action, and then choose the action that produces the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people. For example, when faced with a decision between providing aid to refugees and providing aid to the homeless, a utilitarian would weigh the costs and benefits of each action and then choose the action that would maximize happiness for the most people. Utilitarianism is often criticized for its lack of consideration for individual rights and its focus on the collective good. However, as philosopher Peter Singer explains, “Utilitarianism correctly identifies the ultimate goal of our actions: the production of the greatest possible balance of happiness over unhappiness” (Singer, 2016). In essence, utilitarianism encourages us to consider the greater good when making ethical decisions. By looking beyond our own self-interests and considering the potential impact of our. Cont…

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