The Principle of Utilitarianism

The Principle of Utilitarianism

ThePrinciple of Utilitarianism

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ThePrinciple of Utilitarianism

Accordingto Mosser (2014) “Whengiven a choice between two acts, utilitarianism states that the actthat should be chosen is the one that creates the greatest amount ofhappiness for the greatest number of people.” Thebasic principle of utilitarianism is, therefore, the greatesthappiness principle. In this principle, an action is deemed right ifit provides the greatest utility for the highest number of people.The utility is identified in terms of happiness, thus, the bestaction is the one that brings happiness to the highest number ofindividuals. The essential assumption of the principle ofutilitarianism is that priorities are decided according to theinterest of the majority of people.

However,using the tyranny of the majority has some problems. The most evidentproblem is the lack of consideration and justice for the minority(Mill, n. d). Since, the tyranny of the majority has been aboutmaximizing the general happiness the happiness of the majority maybe maximized at the expense of someone else going against theirrights. This makes it unjust to the minority members as theirhappiness is neglected, although they still deserve it.

Anexample of the principle of utilitarianism is mob justice. When analleged criminal faces the wrath of the public, most people maydesire to beat up the person. In such a scenario, the principle ofutilitarianism gives them the power to do so as it will lead to someperceived justice maximizing the happiness of the majority. However,the person’s rights to a trial before sentencing are disregardedfor the sake of the general public.

Inconclusion, the principle of utilitarianism pays attention to thehappiness of the majority of people. However, this principle has someshortcomings as the desire of the majority is against some of therights of a person. The principle should, therefore, be used insituations where all the people are in agreement. In case there is aminority group, it should be considered before the final decision ismade.

References

Mill,S. (n. d) Siue.edu.Retrieved 12 September 2015, fromhttp://www.siue.edu/~evailat/i-mill.html

Mosser,K. (2013). Understanding philosophy. San Diego, CA: BridgepointEducation, Inc.