Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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What is Utilitarianism, where did it come from and how does it affect our lives today. Before I bore you to death with tons of information that no one really needs to know let me worn you; this paper will most likely bore you with information you don?t really need to know. It will make your head hurt when you think of how such a stupid idea could?ve helped shape the free world as we know it. Utilitarianism is the type of subject that is blunt but has no end. So bear with me as we take a look at a philosophy developed by some dudes who had way too much free time.

The term Utlilitarian was coined by a strange little man named Jeremy Bentham (Colliers, 1). It is defined by the ethical theory that the conduct which is right is that which will produce the greatest amount of happiness (Colliers, 3).

If a law makes the majority happy then that should make it right. Bentham figured laws should be socially useful and not merely reflect the status quo (Jeremy, 3). He believed men inevitably pursue pleasure while at the same time avoid pain. Utilitarianism seeks the greatest happiness for the greatest number (Jeremy, 4). Another idea is that morality can be gained from enlightened self-interest, and that a man who acts for his own satisfaction will in the long run do right (Jeremy, 5).

Many Aspects of Utilitarianism are found in governments today.

The ?Bill of rights? is a pretty good example. They majority of the people in the United States wanted freedoms that could not be taken away, and the ?Bill of Rights? made them happy (JeremyX, 5). Utilitarianism combines ethics, morality and Politics to create a society (Thomas, 4). It sounds great but the theory can...