Utilitarianism and Kant's Moral.

Essay by phetamineCollege, Undergraduate December 2005

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The utilitarianism principle states that we should do what produces the most happiness for the greatest number of people. With this in mind, we would be able to make a sound decision based on the amount of happiness it brings to others. To speak of it as a consequential moral theory means you are focusing more on the actual outcome of your actions and not the reason behind doing them. An example would be the suicide barrier mentioned in chapter four. Suppose that some of the people supporting the idea of building the suicide barrier were the people that are going to get paid and make profit when it is built, hence the reason they support it so strongly. Just because they make a large profit off the erection of the suicide barrier doesn't mean they are wrong, they still are possibly saving people's lives no matter what their motives for building the barrier may be.

So, while the reason behind the want may not be as ethical, the results are the same no matter what.

My only objection to the utilitarianism concept is that while it may make the mass majority of the group happy with the situation, what about the rest of them that don't agree? Suppose that two thirds of the community were strong supporters of building a suicide barrier, stating that it would save people's lives by not making it so easy to jump off. On the other hand, the remaining third of the community state that if someone wants to commit suicide then they are going to find a way no matter what kind of barriers you put up. Instead of wasting the money on a suicide barrier, they would rather spend that money on a new school or road repairs. That still...