Philosophy Paper on Utilitarianism and Ethical Relativism

Philosophy Utilitarianism and Ethical Relativism

Joseph Butler decided to put across his thoughts on moral motivation and human nature. He rejected the egoistic concepts but analyzed human nature in regards to affections, passions and principles of conscience, self-love, and benevolence. Moral values can be considered as human inventions known as ethical relativism. Butler argued that human motivation is more complex but less selfish. However, the various impulses together with the principles is what makes humans thus the reason they have appetites, affections and emotions like sympathy, anger, hunger, fear. Butler makes an argument that people who are self-centered and unethical are never happy thus objectively they are wrong. For an action to be considered good, it has to be morally obligatory. Based on the above arguments, it is the reason Butler believed that psychological egoism is not true.

According to utilitarianism any action can be considered morally right when the consequences of the act is more favorable compared to that which is seen as not favorable to everyone. One of the philosophers who first presented the developed the system of utilitarianism is Jeremy Bentham.  He proposed that it is important take into consideration the consequences of every action that is performed after which evaluate each case to determine which action is morally wrong or right. Bentham idea and thoughts on this theory is known as act-utilitarianism. He also came up with the hedonistic utilitarianism theory which involves pleasure and pain which can be used to determine the consequences of an action whether it is moral or not. On the other hand, John Stuart Mill had a different idea regarding utilitarianism looking at it on the line of rule-orientation. The rule-utilitarianism is being used to judge conduct. For instance, any particular action like stealing a car can be judged as wrong because it defies the moral rule beside theft. The consequences is favorable because the rule which is against theft making it morally binding.