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Utilitarianism Essay

1230 words - 5 pages

Utilitarianism
*Missing Works Cited*

The principal of utility is to maximize the happiness in ones self by using benefits misusing the harms. It acts as to produce advantage, pleasure, good or happiness and the greatest net balance of benefits over harms for all affected impartially. In Utilitarianism, J.S. Mill was trying to show that actions and institutions should increase the overall amount of happiness in the world, and stressed the importance of utilitarianism as the first principle in ethics. Happiness should be judged, not only by pleasure, but by pain as well, Mill believes that a person should always seek to gain pleasure and reject pain. According to Smart, the ...view middle of the document...

If someone is not found in responsible for the crime, the angry mob will own there own revenge on a much smaller and quite vulnerable section of the community. If the judge knows that the real culprit is unknown and that the authorities do not even have a good clue as to who he may be. The judge could frame a disliked and useless man who though innocent could easily be framed in order to save the community from the mob. The mob would believe that this man would be the one responsible for the wrong doing and after his execution would not take revenge on the community. “Most of us regard such a framing and execution of such a man in such circumstances as totally unacceptable.”(Nielsen, 150)
In such a case some critics would say that an act-utilitarian may find it difficult because by framing the innocent man would actually be the right choice. By framing him, it will satisfy the angry mob and indeed save the community from bloody savage and revenge.
However, Nielsen argues that a reasonable act-utilitarian could conclude that framing an innocent person would not be the rational act. If the magistrate were a tough minded but morally conscientious consequentialist, he could refuse to frame and execute the innocent man, even knowing that this would unleash the mob and cause much suffering and many deaths. The rational for his particular moral stand would be that, if he framed and executed the innocent it would bring long term effects and still cause more suffering through corrupting effects on the institution of justice. With the knowledge that the man was framed, that the law had prostituted itself, would surely eventually leak out.

“This would encourage mob action in other circumstances, would lead to an increased skepticism about the incorruptibility or even the reliability of the judicial process, and would set a dangerous precedent for less clearheaded or less scrupulously humane magistrates.” (Nielsen, 50)

Given such a potential for the corruption of justice, an utilitarian or judge argue that it was morally wrong to frame an innocent man. And if the mob must rampage because of this, then let it be.

In Williams case of George, he has this father of small children and husband of a wife whom has just taken his Ph D in chemistry, and finds it extremely difficult to get a job. He is also not very robust in health, which cuts down the number of jobs he might be able to do satisfactorily. His wife has to go out to work to keep them, which itself causes a great deal of strain, since there is a...

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