Utilitarianism Analysis

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In The Elements of Moral Philosophy by James and Stuart Rachels, several moral theories are introduced which require impartiality when considering taking an action. Utilitarianism is one of the theories discussed as, “Utilitarianism says that we must treat each person's happiness as equally important”(Rachels 117). Impartiality requires the individual making a decision to fairly give consideration to all parties; including self, regardless of family ties, race, gender, or any other characteristic which humans can be categorized by. However, considering each person's happiness in making decisions is difficult, and therefore renders a criticism bestowed upon Utilitarianism; it is too demanding. The objection of Utilitarianism based on its demanding…show more content…
Again, It is possible to achieve the high standard of consideration for others by giving all your money to those in need, but it has a large cost, personal security. If Utilitarianism directs us all to give until we are level, a seemingly impossible request is asked because it hard to get full cooperation. People differ and it can not be expected that everyone will be on the same page to take care of one other. If we give, with no insurance for ourselves, we then must depend on the other Utilitarians to provide for us in hard times. The demand to give until we are penniless, requires tremendous trust and homogeny amongst…show more content…
It is unfair to expect most people to adhere to the principles in this way because of the sacrifice needed. A Utilitarian may defend the criticism, however, by first stating that our concerns should be more aligned with helping others than our own self depravation. Is it correct to believe that the “demands of Utilitarianism seem so unreasonable”(Rachels 124)? Perhaps if selfishness was pondered more frequently, greater efforts would be made to help others. Utilitarianism may be the tool needed to get people to question how their actions affect others. Another retort on the behalf of Utilitarianism, is that all relevant outcomes should be explored when considering an action. If it is detrimental to family life to focus on the needs of everybody, than utility is not properly being served. The same can be applied to the individual giving away wealth until they are poor, the most utility is probably not going to be served if a person gives so much that they are needy. Focusing on the positive effects of an action and the negative effects of the action, enable us to make a balanced decision. Utilitarianism can defend itself of demanding too much because the whole point is to view the big picture and if someone is suffering greatly from an action, including ourselves, it is not the best choice. This leads to

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