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Universidad del Quindío

Facultad de ciencias humanas y bellas artes

Programa de filosofía. Semestre 02 de 2014

Asignatura: Idioma extranjero II

Profesora: Janeth Obando

Estudiante: Juan José Gallego

Utilitarianism: utilitarian ethics

Utilitarianism is an ethic theory developed by Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832).
Utilitarianism has two basic characteristics, knowledge, happiness and
Consequentialism. Beneath these characteristics, an aspect can be deduce, an
action can be good or bad according to its consequences, and happiness can
be justified by the utility. Therefore, the right decision can be define as the
highest benefit for most of the people. In other words, if this action makes most
of the people is consider right decision, but if that action makes them unhappy
is consider something wrong.

Utilitarianism consequentialism, this means that utilitarian ethics measures the
moral value of the actions under its consequences. Therefore, none action
cannot have intrinsic value. However, the fact of taking into consideration that
the greatest good is the one that brings more benefits and happiness to most
people. In addition, this means at moment of face an ethical dilemma, seek the
greatest good for the greatest number of people should be the determining
factor to solve the dilemma. The value of this theory is in its simplicity and in
its easy adaptation to democracy, in which the utilitarianism can reconsider
seeking the greatest good for the greatest amount of people, although, this
means affect few.

Taking into consideration the following situation, imagine that you are a train
driver and the train cannot stop. You have two options, turn right or left, if you
turn to the right, you will hit a boy, but if you turn to the left, you will hit a crow.
Now, according to the utilitarianism approach, the decision that you must turn
to the right, due to this action will have a less negative impact. Then, the
utilitarianism ethic is not only based on the seeking of a greatest people, but it
can be seen as the way to provoke the less discomfort for most people.