Sample Philosophy Paper on Utilitarianism


Utilitarianism refers to the good moral of a deed. An action is considered to be morally good when its benefit the community. My personal formulation of utilitarianism is that moral dealings needs to be weighed according to the environment and circumstances surrounding the endeavor. This means that an act will not be branded as immoral from its face value. Bentham believed and outlined that persons are controlled by twinge and delight. Consequently, man is in steady mission of seeking contentment. This means that he/she tries to a large extent to avoid pain. Therefore, the utility of an accomplishment comes about as a result of facilitation of enjoyment and ecstasy. Moreover, it also disapproves pain or unwelcomed events that cause harm to the recipients.

Straurt mill on the other side denotes that human actions were influenced by the inner feelings and emotions such as remorse and guilt. He deviated from Bentham argument that acts are guided by the general good or public good of the people. Therefore, he stressed that utilitarianism is a product of grouping personality of human beings. The societal life is controlled by principles. The society needs to embrace morality and utilitarianism in order to attain happiness. The justification of an act is pegged on the utility derived for such an activity by human beings. Individual civil liberties are provided to facilitate happiness. This means that rights are not guaranteed for individuals as well as groups.

Kant’s Deontological Ethics

Kant is one of the theorists who have contributed immensely to the development of ethics and morality theories. He came up with a formula that the moral acts emanate from the nature of measuring tool which should be good regardless of the qualification hitherto. This insinuates that morality of actions is determined by categorical imperative. The first imperative denotes that human actions should be in line with universal laws. Thus, an act will be branded as a moral proceed in the event it is carried out without any condition imposed on it. He applied the word maxim to represent universal principles and laws. This ensures that individuals are not under any obligation to act under the influence of others. The second imperative states that people should behave or operate in a way that show respect to human life. In addition, they should desist from hurting their fellow humans or animals. Thus, a rational action is weighed through principles and end result. This means that, if somebody wants to do something; he or she must evaluate its authenticity through principles and attainment of intended results. Lastly, we have the third imperative which stipulates that human beings need to perform their duties through maxim which defines the moral end of an action.  Therefore, the responsibility of definite imperative is to offer imminent knowledge on the nature of actions and guiding principles. Going in opposition to these values results to unethical dealings.

However, each of these accounts is faced with critics from other theorists. For the first account, Bentham and Mills are accused of putting more emphasize on moral good of all, an action that brings about individual conflict. Some actions that bring in moral good are inconsistence with personal desires and needs. Kant is criticized for discounting the end result to morality of actions. It therefore leaves a gap between public good and moral duty. In evaluating the two accounts, Kantian ethic is more plausible. The reason behind this is that it explains about ethical principles that control actions. People need to follow these principles when conducting their duties to avoid conflict or unprecedented outcomes.

Ethical Egoism

Rand’s argued that humans are in constant search of personal happiness. Thus, an individual should be determined to pursue person interest in order to achieve ethical egoism. Altruism is seen to act as a hindrance to attain personal goals. One must engage in actions that are mismatched or inconsistence with the public good. This is because a person must develop disrespectful characters towards fellow men. This will allow the person to advance his/her individual goals. He adds by saying that the common good of an action should not be enjoyed by strangers. This denotes that the favor accorded to friends and close relatives should never be universalized to incorporate everybody. Thus, individuals should not harm or hurt other through their actions. However, the duty that a bid us to help others should not be used as the basis of utility. Those carrying out these activities should be keen not to expose themselves to the risk of extreme generalization. These activities should be conducted with some reservation imposed on them. This will allow individual to gain as much as possible from the ordeal. The love of others leads to demoralization of personal effects and self-respect. For example, if an individual does not put his or her personal goals first he or she is more likely to embrace group interests. Benefits derived from the endeavor goes to the group.

However, moral principles should be implemented and utilized during decision making process to enhance relationships. Thus, the natural conflict that exists between men is kept at bay due to selfness and contribution to personal effects. The determination of morality will depend on personal opinion and views rather than the opinions of a group. Medlin’s responded to the argument by Rand’s through upholding the idea of logical moral language. The application of logic into the morality brings in an insight into this line of argument by rand. I tend to concur with Medlin because the action of an individual should be logic in terms of authenticity and accrued benefits. Though a person is expected to act and behave in a manner that reinforces personal interest, he or she needs to keep group interest in his or her mind. The reason behind this is that an individual may engage in activities that endangers the lives of others. If such an activity must be carried out, then it must be within logical arguments and standards of acts. On the contrary, actions that fail to meet these standards will be regarded as immoral. In addition, individuals do not live on their own hence actions that brings in pain to others need be eliminated or discouraged by the community.

In conclusion, deontological ethics and morality of ethics are determined by many factors both internal and external. Individual happiness is central to the development and growth of individual needs and wellbeing. However, these pleasures should not supersede the need to do well to other. This is for the reason that an attempt to harm others renders an action unethical and immoral at the same time. Thus, personal interests should be exercised with caution and care.