Sidgwick saw nothing intrinsically, self-evidently, and even derivatively wrong in getting sexual pleasure for its own sake. However, the overall consequences of attempting to modify common sense in matters of sexual ethics seemed to him to be worse, at his time, than retaining the moral category of purity. I wish to thank two anonymous referees for their comments. This paper was written while holding a Mobilitas Grant no. Parfit is right to the extent that Sidgwick saw nothing intrinsically wrong in getting sexual pleasure for its own sake.
We must be clear about the fact an all ethically oriented conduct may be guided by one of Dating transvestites fundamentally differing and irreconcilably opposed Consequentiality reasoning and sexual morality conduct can be oriented to an "ethic of ultimate ends" or to an "ethic of responsibility. One common illustration is called Transplant. This contrast is brought out in issues such as voluntary euthanasia. It does not say: sexual appetite ought never to be indulged etc. Smart32; Feldman17— Rule-utilitarianism favours change of a rule prohibiting a certain behaviour at a certain time when at that secual such a reform can be reliably predicted to increase expected happiness.
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Thank you! Murphy, Liam B. Yet he destroyed her mind in the process, eliminating the source of the benefits. Almost all lack standard names, so the names used here are mostly invented here. From 4 and 5 Consequentialism is true. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Ovid wrote in his Heroides that Exitus acta probat "The result justifies the deed". Thus, one might pursue an increase in material equality or political liberty instead of something like the more Consequentiailty "pleasure". Act Consequentialism Table. Section 3 above presented several objections to consequentialism, arguing Consequentiality reasoning and sexual morality consequentialism conflicts with one or another basic piece of common sense about morality. Now, rationality and Sighisoara webcam are impartial; they do not favor one person over another.
Consequentialism, as its name suggests, is simply the view that normative properties depend only on consequences.
- There are three major categories of ethical systems that students typically learn about in philosophy classes: consequentialism, deontology and virtue ethics.
- Consequentialism is the class of normative ethical theories holding that the consequences of one's conduct are the ultimate basis for any judgment about the rightness or wrongness of that conduct.
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- Deontological ethics , in philosophy , ethical theories that place special emphasis on the relationship between duty and the morality of human actions.
In teleological reasoning, a person will do the right thing if the consequences of his or her actions are good. Jeremy Bentham developed the principles of utility by defining it as a measure of maximizing pleasure while minimizing pain. Bentham wrote that everyone prefers pleasure over pain. It is with this belief that utilitarian moral principles are founded Sandel, John Stuart Mill reconsidered the principles of utilitarianism and suggested that pleasure should not merely refer to sensual pleasure but also to mental pleasure, such as music, literature, and friendship.
Mill sought to make intellectual pleasures preferable to sensual ones. There are two formulations of utilitarianism: act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. Act utilitarianism concerns the consequences of the first instance, where the utility of that act is all that is regarded. The second formulation of utilitarianism, rule utilitarianism, concerns the consequences of the majority of people following a certain rule that is immoral, which would be negative.
The best way to illustrate consequentialist theory is through an implausible story proposed by Michael Sandel Imagine you are the driver of a trolley car train and are speeding along. Ahead you see five workers on the track.
They are busy jack hammering and do not see you approach. You as the driver have the ability to determine where the train goes by switching the tracks to another track. However that track has one worker, who is also oblivious to your approach. By physically switching the tracks, you will save five, but your actions will kill the lone worker.
The moral dilemma is such that we are required to determine what the consequences or the end result should be. The questions you need to ask are:. Law enforcement officers possess a great deal of discretion that must be exercised by all officers of every rank, regardless of their experience. Law enforcement officers also are required to make exigent decisions, without the ability to consult with senior officers or policy and procedures.
In some instances, when confronted with decisions, officers may want to rely on utilitarianism to make an ethical decision that is defensible when scrutinized in the future. For example, an officer tasked with policing a large pro-marijuana protest group may observe a person within the group selling marijuana. Legally, the officer has the duty to charge that person with trafficking in a controlled substance under the Controlled Drug and Substance Act, a serious indictable offence.
However, from a utilitarian position, the officer may elect not to arrest and charge the suspect for two reasons:. From a rule utilitarianism perspective, the officer should consider what the consequences would be if there were a rule that everyone was allowed to smoke and sell marijuana. If the officer believes that society would be well served by this rule, then the officer should allow the sale to continue.
Should the officer believe the rule would be detrimental to society, the officer should consider this as well, and at least consider making the arrest.
Like all normative theories of ethics, utilitarianism cannot address all of the ethical dilemmas we face. Sometimes using utilitarian principles may be harmful to a group of people or to an individual. Some of the major problems with utilitarian consequentialist ethics include the following:. Skip to content Increase Font Size. Chapter 2: Ethical Systems.
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It takes human life as the abstract or general standard of moral evaluation. That Job should suffer and Socrates and Jesus die while the wicked prosper, then seems unjust. Therefore, a legislator must consider carefully the best resolution for everybody for now and in the future. If virtue is an internal character trait, how can one identify it externally? Pleasures pass by as quickly as actions. Further Arguments for Consequentialism a. Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics.
Consequentiality reasoning and sexual morality. Navigation menu
It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne.
They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think In summary, Jeremy Bentham states that people are driven by their interests and their fears, but their interests take precedence over their fears, and their interests are carried out in accordance with how people view the consequences that might be involved with their interests. It can be argued that the existence of phenomenal consciousness and " qualia " is required for the experience of pleasure or pain to have an ethical significance.
This form of utilitarianism holds that what matters is the aggregate happiness; the happiness of everyone and not the happiness of any particular person. John Stuart Mill , in his exposition of hedonistic utilitarianism, proposed a hierarchy of pleasures, meaning that the pursuit of certain kinds of pleasure is more highly valued than the pursuit of other pleasures.
Other contemporary forms of utilitarianism mirror the forms of consequentialism outlined below. Ethical egoism can be understood as a consequentialist theory according to which the consequences for the individual agent are taken to matter more than any other result. Thus, egoism will prescribe actions that may be beneficial, detrimental, or neutral to the welfare of others. Some, like Henry Sidgwick , argue that a certain degree of egoism promotes the general welfare of society for two reasons: because individuals know how to please themselves best, and because if everyone were an austere altruist then general welfare would inevitably decrease.
Ethical altruism can be seen as a consequentialist ethic which prescribes that an individual take actions that have the best consequences for everyone except for himself. In general, consequentialist theories focus on actions. However, this need not be the case.
Rule consequentialism is a theory that is sometimes seen as an attempt to reconcile deontology and consequentialism—and in some cases, this is stated as a criticism of rule consequentialism. However, rule consequentialism chooses rules based on the consequences that the selection of those rules has. Rule consequentialism exists in the forms of rule utilitarianism and rule egoism.
Various theorists are split as to whether the rules are the only determinant of moral behavior or not. For example, Robert Nozick held that a certain set of minimal rules, which he calls "side-constraints", are necessary to ensure appropriate actions. Thus, while Nozick's side-constraints are absolute restrictions on behavior, Amartya Sen proposes a theory that recognizes the importance of certain rules, but these rules are not absolute.
One of the most common objections to rule-consequentialism is that it is incoherent, because it is based on the consequentialist principle that what we should be concerned with is maximizing the good, but then it tells us not to act to maximize the good, but to follow rules even in cases where we know that breaking the rule could produce better results.
Brad Hooker avoided this objection by not basing his form of rule-consequentialism on the ideal of maximizing the good. He writes:. The best argument for rule-consequentialism is that it does a better job than its rivals of matching and tying together our moral convictions, as well as offering us help with our moral disagreements and uncertainties. Derek Parfit described Brad Hooker's book on rule-consequentialism Ideal Code, Real World as the "best statement and defence, so far, of one of the most important moral theories".
Rule-consequentialism may offer a means to reconcile pure consequentialism with deontological , or rules-based ethics. The two-level approach involves engaging in critical reasoning and considering all the possible ramifications of one's actions before making an ethical decision, but reverting to generally reliable moral rules when one is not in a position to stand back and examine the dilemma as a whole. In practice, this equates to adhering to rule consequentialism when one can only reason on an intuitive level, and to act consequentialism when in a position to stand back and reason on a more critical level.
This position can be described as a reconciliation between act consequentialism — in which the morality of an action is determined by that action's effects — and rule consequentialism — in which moral behavior is derived from following rules that lead to positive outcomes. The two-level approach to consequentialism is most often associated with R.
Hare and Peter Singer. Another consequentialist version is motive consequentialism which looks at whether the state of affairs that results from the motive to choose an action is better or at least as good as each of the alternative state of affairs that would have resulted from alternative actions.
This version gives relevance to the motive of an act and links it to its consequences. An act can therefore not be wrong if the decision to act was based on a right motive. A possible inference is, that one can not be blamed for mistaken judgments if the motivation was to do good. Most consequentialist theories focus on promoting some sort of good consequences.
However, negative utilitarianism lays out a consequentialist theory that focuses solely on minimizing bad consequences. One major difference between these two approaches is the agent's responsibility. Positive consequentialism demands that we bring about good states of affairs, whereas negative consequentialism requires that we avoid bad ones.
Stronger versions of negative consequentialism will require active intervention to prevent bad and ameliorate existing harm. In weaker versions, simple forbearance from acts tending to harm others is sufficient. An example of this is the Slippery Slope Argument, which encourages others to avoid a specified act on the grounds that it may ultimately lead to undesirable consequences.
Often "negative" consequentialist theories assert that reducing suffering is more important than increasing pleasure. Karl Popper , for example, claimed "…from the moral point of view, pain cannot be outweighed by pleasure When considering a theory of justice, negative consequentialists may use a statewide or global-reaching principle: the reduction of suffering for the disadvantaged is more valuable than increased pleasure for the affluent or luxurious.
Teleological ethics Greek telos, "end"; logos, "science" is an ethical theory that holds that the ends or consequences of an act determine whether an act is good or evil. Teleological theories are often discussed in opposition to deontological ethical theories, which hold that acts themselves are inherently good or evil, regardless of the consequences of acts. Teleological theories differ on the nature of the end that actions ought to promote.
Eudaemonist theories Greek eudaimonia, "happiness" hold that the goal of ethics consists in some function or activity appropriate to man as a human being, and thus tend to emphasize the cultivation of virtue or excellence in the agent as the end of all action.
These could be the classical virtues— courage , temperance , justice , and wisdom —that promoted the Greek ideal of man as the "rational animal", or the theological virtues— faith , hope , and love —that distinguished the Christian ideal of man as a being created in the image of God.
Utilitarian-type theories hold that the end consists in an experience or feeling produced by the action. Hedonism , for example, teaches that this feeling is pleasure—either one's own, as in egoism the 17th-century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes , or everyone's, as in universalistic hedonism, or utilitarianism the 19th-century English philosophers Jeremy Bentham , John Stuart Mill , and Henry Sidgwick , with its formula of the "greatest pleasure of the greatest number".
Other utilitarian-type views include the claims that the end of action is survival and growth, as in evolutionary ethics the 19th-century English philosopher Herbert Spencer ; the experience of power, as in despotism ; satisfaction and adjustment, as in pragmatism 20th-century American philosophers Ralph Barton Perry and John Dewey ; and freedom, as in existentialism the 20th-century French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.
The chief problem for eudaemonist theories is to show that leading a life of virtue will also be attended by happiness—by the winning of the goods regarded as the chief end of action.
That Job should suffer and Socrates and Jesus die while the wicked prosper, then seems unjust. Eudaemonists generally reply that the universe is moral and that, in Socrates' words, "No evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death," or, in Jesus' words, "But he who endures to the end will be saved.
Utilitarian theories, on the other hand, must answer the charge that ends do not justify the means. The problem arises in these theories because they tend to separate the achieved ends from the action by which these ends were produced.
One implication of utilitarianism is that one's intention in performing an act may include all of its foreseen consequences. The goodness of the intention then reflects the balance of the good and evil of these consequences, with no limits imposed upon it by the nature of the act itself—even if it be, say, the breaking of a promise or the execution of an innocent man.
Utilitarianism, in answering this charge, must show either that what is apparently immoral is not really so or that, if it really is so, then closer examination of the consequences will bring this fact to light. Ideal utilitarianism G. Moore and Hastings Rashdall tries to meet the difficulty by advocating a plurality of ends and including among them the attainment of virtue itself, which, as John Stuart Mill affirmed, "may be felt a good in itself, and desired as such with as great intensity as any other good".
Since pure consequentialism holds that an action is to be judged solely by its result, most consequentialist theories hold that a deliberate action is no different from a deliberate decision not to act. This contrasts with the "acts and omissions doctrine", which is upheld by some medical ethicists and some religions: it asserts there is a significant moral distinction between acts and deliberate non-actions which lead to the same outcome.
This contrast is brought out in issues such as voluntary euthanasia. One important characteristic of many normative moral theories such as consequentialism is the ability to produce practical moral judgements.
At the very least, any moral theory needs to define the standpoint from which the goodness of the consequences are to be determined. What is primarily at stake here is the responsibility of the agent. One common tactic among consequentialists, particularly those committed to an altruistic selfless account of consequentialism, is to employ an ideal, neutral observer from which moral judgements can be made.
John Rawls , a critic of utilitarianism, argues that utilitarianism, in common with other forms of consequentialism, relies on the perspective of such an ideal observer. Consequentialist theories that adopt this paradigm hold that right action is the action that will bring about the best consequences from this ideal observer's perspective. In practice, it is very difficult, and at times arguably impossible, to adopt the point of view of an ideal observer.
Individual moral agents do not know everything about their particular situations, and thus do not know all the possible consequences of their potential actions.
For this reason, some theorists have argued that consequentialist theories can only require agents to choose the best action in line with what they know about the situation. Acting in a situation without first informing oneself of the circumstances of the situation can lead to even the most well-intended actions yielding miserable consequences. As a result, it could be argued that there is a moral imperative for an agent to inform himself as much as possible about a situation before judging the appropriate course of action.
This imperative, of course, is derived from consequential thinking: a better-informed agent is able to bring about better consequences. Moral action always has consequences for certain people or things. Varieties of consequentialism can be differentiated by the beneficiary of the good consequences. That is, one might ask "Consequences for whom? A fundamental distinction can be drawn between theories which require that agents act for ends perhaps disconnected from their own interests and drives, and theories which permit that agents act for ends in which they have some personal interest or motivation.
These are called "agent-neutral" and "agent-focused" theories respectively. Agent-neutral consequentialism ignores the specific value a state of affairs has for any particular agent. Thus, in an agent-neutral theory, an actor's personal goals do not count any more than anyone else's goals in evaluating what action the actor should take. Agent-focused consequentialism, on the other hand, focuses on the particular needs of the moral agent.
Thus, in an agent-focused account, such as one that Peter Railton outlines, the agent might be concerned with the general welfare, but the agent is more concerned with the immediate welfare of herself and her friends and family.
These two approaches could be reconciled by acknowledging the tension between an agent's interests as an individual and as a member of various groups, and seeking to somehow optimize among all of these interests.
Many consequentialist theories may seem primarily concerned with human beings and their relationships with other human beings. However, some philosophers argue that we should not limit our ethical consideration to the interests of human beings alone. Jeremy Bentham , who is regarded as the founder of utilitarianism , argues that animals can experience pleasure and pain, thus demanding that 'non-human animals' should be a serious object of moral concern. One way to divide various consequentialisms is by the types of consequences that are taken to matter most, that is, which consequences count as good states of affairs.
According to utilitarianism , a good action is one that results in an increase in pleasure , and the best action is one that results in the most pleasure for the greatest number.
Closely related is eudaimonic consequentialism, according to which a full, flourishing life, which may or may not be the same as enjoying a great deal of pleasure, is the ultimate aim. Similarly, one might adopt an aesthetic consequentialism, in which the ultimate aim is to produce beauty. However, one might fix on non-psychological goods as the relevant effect.
Thus, one might pursue an increase in material equality or political liberty instead of something like the more ephemeral "pleasure".
Other theories adopt a package of several goods, all to be promoted equally. As the consequentialist approach contains an inherent assumption that the outcomes of a moral decision can be quantified in terms of "goodness" or "badness", or at least put in order of increasing preference , it is an especially suited moral theory for a probabilistic and decision theoretical approach.
Consequentialism can also be contrasted with aretaic moral theories such as virtue ethics. Whereas consequentialist theories posit that consequences of action should be the primary focus of our thinking about ethics, virtue ethics insists that it is the character rather than the consequences of actions that should be the focal point.
Some virtue ethicists hold that consequentialist theories totally disregard the development and importance of moral character. For example, Philippa Foot argues that consequences in themselves have no ethical content, unless it has been provided by a virtue such as benevolence. However, consequentialism and virtue ethics need not be entirely antagonistic.
Iain King has developed an approach that reconciles the two schools. Similarly, a consequentialist theory may aim at the maximization of a particular virtue or set of virtues. Finally, following Foot's lead, one might adopt a sort of consequentialism that argues that virtuous activity ultimately produces the best consequences.
For example, according to virtue ethical theory, one may be considered morally good for being courageous — even though he was robbing a bank. How does this facilitate the development of a standard code of behavior? Virtuous character traits do not reflect the variety of moral values in society. Deontological Ethics refers to a class of ethics in which the principle of obligation is the basis of moral decision making. The Greek terms, deon and logos , means duty and reasoning ; hence, deontology is the "reasoning of duty.
Correct moral choices are made when one understands what their moral law, duty, or rule is and acts according to the corresponding prescribed behavior. When one follows the law, duty, or rule, he is behaving morally. Duties Theories consider behavior morally good when one acts out of a list of duties or obligations.
There are duties to God, duties to oneself, family duties, social duties, and political duties. Rights Theories consider behavior morally good when one acts on principles of rights or respects the rights of others. For example: human rights. Categorical Imperative , originated by Immanuel Kant, is moral law determined by reason and having the nature of command or imperative. For example, one Categorical Imperative states, "Act so as to use humanity, whether in your own person or in others, always as an end, and never merely as a means.
In elevating reason to the highest level, man is the end in himself independent of any higher authority. Prima Facie Duty is a revision of Duties Theory. It is a moral obligation, which is initially binding until a stronger obligation emerges. It attempts to provide a means to resolve moral conflicts by appealing to the highest duty. There are seven general foundational prima facie duties: fidelity - duty of fulfilling promises, reparation - duty to makeup for harm done, gratitude - duty to repay for past favors, justice - duty to be fair, beneficence - duty to improve the condition of others, self-improvement - duty of improving one's own condition, and non-malfesence - duty to not harm others.
Utilitarian Ethics – Ethics in Law Enforcement
About the Book. Instructor Resources. Student Resources. Chapter 1. Chapter 2. Chapter 3. Self Quizzes. Fill in the Blank. Media Resources. Chapter 4. Chapter 5. Chapter 6. Chapter 7. Chapter 8. Chapter 9. Chapter Power Point Slides. Contact Your Sales Rep. Higher Education Comment Card. In his article, Corvino discusses arguments against the morality of homosexuality that appeal to:. The primary difference between a proposal that is a threat and a proposal that is an offer is:. One of the main problems Gallagher sees in the legalization of same-sex marriage is an erosion of the idea that:.
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