1. Shaw and Barry distinguish two forms of utilitarianism. What are these two forms? Briefly describe each and use examples.
There are two types of utilitarianism, act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. Act utilitarianism is a theory which states an act is morally right if it benefits the greatest number of people; this theory is based on the act itself and accounts for the happiness (benefit) of the majority (even if others are disadvantaged). Rule utilitarianism bases morality on a rule which already exists, the action is right based on a rule (Shaw & Barry, 2013).
An example of act utilitarianism would be a wealthy person in need of an organ. If they donate a large sum of ...view middle of the document...
A person can 1) gain as much wealth as they wish and 2) have the authority to distribute it at their own discretion; there is no moral obligation to share or help someone who is less fortunate under this theory providing the wealth was obtained legitimately. 3) If any wealth is acquired outside the two guiding principles then the person is not entitled to it since it was not acquired justly (Shaw & Barry, 2013). An example of this would be an individual who gains wealth by drug dealing; he would not be entitled to the money since it was obtained illegally.
4. Two main features of John Rawl’s theory of distributive justice are particularly important. What are these two features? Describe them.
Rawl’s first principle states a person has the right to certain basic liberties which is granted to them by being part of society (Shaw & Barry, 2013). An example of these rights would be the basic freedoms granted to individuals- freedom of speech, religion, etc. Rawl’s theory also states it is justifiable for certain members of society to be granted privileges which may cause inequities as long as it benefits disadvantaged members of society.
5. What is the MAXIMIN rule of making decisions?
The MAXIMIN rule of making decisions states a person who is faced with a decision will look to mitigate risk. A person would choose the option of getting the maximum benefit from the worst circumstance, rather than choose a more favorable outcome with risky odds.