Utilitarianism Pros and Cons

15 Interesting Utilitarianism Pros and Cons

Utilitarianism is one of the most influential moral doctrines that suggest that actions are correct if beneficial to most populations. According to the philosophy, every decision’s morality heavily relies on the resulting outcome instead of the other factors involved; thus, it is vital to note that this theory’s focal point is on the effects and types of actions.

By studying the Utilitarian principle, the significant assumptions include:
•    The fact that we believe that satisfaction is suitable for an individual in the first place.
•    A desire within the society to pursue what would be considered the creation of the reaction.
•    The desire to reduce suffering because all the community people work together to create a mutually happy world.

Utilitarianism applies three major fundamental principles in creating an ethical structure for society. Those principles include:
1.    The only good thing in society is its happiness.
2.    Actions are only correct if they can maximize the pleasure for almost everyone.
3.    Steps are only suitable for the community if their consequences maximize their good or “Bad” goals.
When studying this theory, there are significant advantages and disadvantages that arise. Some of those include:

Pros of Utilitarianism

1. We get to base our primary focus on the satisfaction of society.

The main reason that makes the Utilitarian theory famous is based on the fact that the theory bases its primary focus of existence on the contentment of society. By studying people across the globe, very few are experiencing this kind of emotion (satisfaction). It’s vital to note that people’s happiness is based on their access to financial resources and employment, and Utilitarian offers an option to this type of issue. According to Utilitarian, the contentment of those people can be obtained by mainly emphasizing direct actions; for example, we could decide to improve the unemployment rates and, on the other hand, improve the household incomes. By doing this, we could be looking at the effects rather than the process of the results.

2. The theory can be easily implemented.

In a society that functions with a Utilitarian foundation, contentment is the only process to focus on in its implementation. The process involves getting into a specific larger group in that society and then working with them to control the positive and negative results of each choice’s performance as dictated by the principle. It’s vital to note that the decision-making process is straightforward in any society since it’s something that everyone does from childhood to adulthood, thus, understanding the negativity and positivity of particular decisions. On the other hand, incorporating the theory into society still is a natural recurring step.

Utilitarianism Pros and Cons

3. Utilitarianism is a secular system that is mainly centered on humanity.

When looking at our lives from a societal perspective, our day-to-day activities and our vision of spirituality are the most significant struggle in our day-to-day activities. According to several resources, it’s estimated that more than 4100 religions are being practiced across the globe. It has brought a great controversy in our beliefs, significantly differentiating scientific and religious beliefs. All the arguments would be easily eliminated if we placed all our oral decisions on contentment alone, eliminating the inconsistencies when focusing on supernatural deities from individual perspectives.

4. The theory seeks to achieve the greatest good for society.

Everyone today dreams of a perfect world with equal opportunities and happiness, but this goal is impossible with the numerous differences within our sub-groups. Nevertheless, with the Utilitarian principle, which is mainly based on the more significant part as a group for pleasure rather than everyone, we may bring maximum joy levels into our lives. Based on the fact that this theory pursues ideas that bring maximum levels of pleasure into our lives by limiting the potential of harm occurring in our families, communities, and the overall culture.

5. The theory teaches us that it’s wrong to harm other people.

According to this Utilitarian theory, our clarity of morality is based on the general community’s perspectives rather than the individual outlook. It also gives individuals a platform for airing/her opinions, which are discussed by the city before being accepted into society. It means that the whole community cannot agree to a wrong choice because it makes you happy. It will only agree to ideas and approaches that make the city an entire happy but without harming others or violating others’ happiness.

Utilitarianism Pros and Cons

6. The theory sheds light on objectives that offer a universal solution.

The incorporation of objective manners and universal morals shows that the Utilitarian theory offers a promising goal of a principle to provide solutions to many of society’s problems.

The actions taken by each group can be accurately measured by the repercussions or the outcomes of the application of similar activities in another company, thus allowing us the liberty to establish independently what is right and what is wrong from moral and ethical v perspectives. It’s vital to note that using this principle to apply choices across human societies brings out similar outcomes.

7. The Theory works with our natural intuition.

Even though this theory struggles with approaching the issue of harm from an emotional perspective, it excellently works well with the natural human intuition of never harming the people we love (those we are emotionally attached to). The social conditions dictate that to go about living peacefully. We must abstain from acts that harm other people; hence, we must evaluate the potential consequences to justify the approach to take a confident step. We may never realize it, but this is one of the essential practices of this theory.

8. The theory is focused on the democratic process for forwarding movements.

Typically in a democratic society, successful passage of legislation or election occurs whenever a much higher vote of 50 percent plus one. This structure is used worldwide for all modern governing systems that feature accessible and fair democratic principles. Many view it as the most suitable solution for balancing the different interests everyone has in their lives. In a way, it means that they were successfully applying effectiveness in creating happiness in our lives. The only remaining step is to take this principle further and use it outside our government structures.

Related: Compulsory Voting Pros and Cons

Cons of Utilitarianism

1. This theory does not consider any other element besides happiness.

To determine an action’s morality and ethics, Utilitarian only focuses on majority happiness. It’s critical to note that various items have tremendous values to consider besides joy in our human lives. An example of such a matter is love. Love is one value that can offer a person extraordinary benefits, but it can also lead to unrepairable destruction. It means that we make numerous decisions each day, which look at the long-term perspectives or future perspectives rather than our feelings at that particular time. We learn that even though Utilitarian has several benefits, it also ignores many of our life experiences.

2. The theory relies on consistent decisions by the people.

One of the things that human beings are good at is continually changing their minds whenever they face a difficult decision. What if, for example, people decide now, and the moment its implementation starts, they get swayed and change their minds? It means that this theory would have failed to grow or take root. Human reasons’ unpredictability makes it harder for this theory to work since it’s impossible to trust one person to ask for a greater good when most people have selfishly decided to get rid of that idea even if they see a greater interest in it.

3. The theory lacks a similar clarity of contentment that will apply to all; thus, it relies on several reports.

Humans are complicated, unique beings, with every one of those beings having a different clarity of contentment. What makes a confident person happy is not what makes another one happy. It has made it quite impossible to find common ground on specific subjects or ideas. We’re faced with two choices to apply this principle to our lives. It includes finding common ground within our life experiences to compromise and agree on a single definition of happiness or allowing the majority’s intention to exist, which is unfair to the minority in that society.

4. The creation of an unrealistic societal perspective by the theory.

When critically analyzing the principle of Utilitarian, its ideas of balancing pleasure over harm jeopardize even the lives of other people. For example, if eight people around you require your organs to survive, you will have to die for the greater good of those eight people since you don’t belong to that majority. Those eight people will vote for you to be eliminated for them to survive. Hence, according to the study, the eight survive at the expense of their life. That means that the end game of this theory can never be justified by the means. It is convenient and comfortable for other people to use this balancing principle without considering the minority’s interests.

Utilitarianism Pros and Cons

5. The theory creates a potential for the significant part to rule through Tyranny.

Imagine an example of this scenario in the United States, whereby the older evangelicals in the United States reject the same-gender marriage idea. These people make up 67 percent of the whole American population. On the other hand, the young evangelicals, who make up 53 percent of the general population, support this idea. Based on the Utilitarian concept, the older evangelicals have a more significant hand on this issue; this law cannot be passed; hence in this society, those identified as LGBTQIA+ cannot get married until more of the population Is swayed to their side.

Observing numerous incidences across the globe, it’s vital to note that it does not necessarily make it right because most people have agreed to something. A good scene can be witnessed in the former centuries when these processes kept women out of the political system, let alone voting. It also permitted slavery to exist, allowed for the conduction of child trafficking, and, above all, allowed for the poor’s exploitation for the rich’s good. The above inhuman scenarios show that contentment cannot be the core foundation of society’s pursuits.

Related: Pros and Cons of Dictatorships

6. The theory is unpredictable.

Imagine a scenario whereby we base ethical choices on what may happen or may not occur in the future. First, we make educated guesses on end, but it’s scarce for us to receive a suspicion of that future occurrence happening as we predicted. To create an improved society, we must first focus on what will happen today to determine the paths to be taken rather than what will happen. If we mainly focus on the potential, there are high chances that were headed for failure.

7. Happiness is very subjective.

Typically it’s almost impossible to assign a given value to the amount of pleasure that something provides you. It’s critical to note that every activity we decide to do brings us a given level of joy, and the moment we try it again, the experience we receive will never be the same as the first it will either be high or lower. Knowing what will make you happy at a given time is very hard to predict, like utilitarianism, which provides immeasurable outcomes.

Sources

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/utilitarianism-history/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilitarianism


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