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Utilitarian Ethics Essay

2077 words - 9 pages

Ethics are a set of acceptable principles that guide the way individuals should act in a given situation. Utilitarian Ethics is morally right acts that bring the most happiness to individuals. For instance, utilitarian ethics main focus is happiness and what decision will produce the maximum amount of happiness for everyone involved. Jeremy Bentham believed that individuals were governed by two masters, which are pleasure and pain. The utility test helps individuals select the best outcome that will result in the most happiness and minimize pain or discomfort.

Utilitarian Ethics
Utilitarian Ethics is the theory that "an action is morally right if and only if it ...view middle of the document...

The company is facing a key utilitarian ethical problem. The key ethical problem is the decision to sell their transistors to a company that manufactures and sells heart pacemakers. The company has had incidents and the company in the case is the only supplier left who is selling transistors to the pace making company. The company in the case is selling transistors to a company that manufactures pacemakers for the heart. The company producing the pacemakers is relatively new, and they have problems with the pacemakers. “Pacemaker technology is in its infancy. When doctors implant a pacemaker, the patient's normal heartbeat is disabled, and he or she relies entirely on the device. If it fails, the patient's heart stops. Doctors are not very adept at installing the pacemakers, which are extremely delicate; there is even a story of a person yawning deeply, pulling the pacemaker wire in his chest, and dying” (Driver, 2009). In addition, the technology for the pacemakers is still in the beginning phase, and there is a greater possibility for failure. For instance, if the pacemakers are installed the wrong way, this could lead to death or if the patient moves the wrong way this could also lead to death or possible health problems. The company and the board of directors believe that they could be liable for the negligence; therefore, the company does not want to be faced with a lawsuit. Furthermore, the company has strong doubts about selling the transistors to the pace making company.
Advice from Jeremy Bentham
Jeremy Bentham believed that humans were ruled by two sovereign masters, which are pleasure and pain. In addition, he believed that individuals should promote pleasure and reduced pain. “He sometimes seemed to think that he could reconcile the two commitments empirically, that is, by noting that when people act to promote the good they are helping themselves, too” (Driver, 2009). “Bentham then notes that people are prone to use their physical antipathy as a pretext to transition to moral antipathy, and the attending desire to punish the persons who offend their taste” (Driver, 2009). Jeremy Bentham would advise the company to sell the transistors to the pace making company for different reasons. First, the company is the only suppliers of the transistors left. Next, individuals who have heart conditions need these pacemakers because their life and well being depends upon the company selling the transistors for the pacemakers. For instance, the individuals receiving the pacemakers will receive the pleasure. The company would be promoting pleasure by selling the pacemakers because the patients will have a greater life expectancy with a heart pacemaker. Furthermore, this will also result in pleasure for the family members. Jeremy Bentham further stated that, “when called upon to make a moral decision one measures an action's value with respect to pleasure and pain according to the following: intensity (how strong the pleasure or...

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