Complete 7 pages APA formatted article: Strengths and Weaknesses of Benthams Utilitarianism. Ethics or moral philosophies come in many different forms, each of which seeks to take a unique dimension of human interactivity and conduct. One of these is utilitarianism, championed by philosophers such as Jeremy Bentham. Utilitarianism generally argues that the best course of action is one that maximizes utility by taking full advantage of benefits and reducing suffering (von Kutschera, 1999). Based on the moral and ethical arguments behind Bentham’s utilitarianism, many studies have come to critic the strengths and weaknesses of utilitarianism.
As far as the socio-ethical perspective of Bentham’s utilitarianism is concerned, it is very useful in the promotion of majority benefit, based on which an egalitarian basis is promoted. By saying utilitarianism promotes majority benefit, reference is being made to the fact that it upholds and encourages pleasure for as many people as possible (Scanlon, 1998). By implication, the theory elaborates ethics as a social responsibility that must be implemented from one person to the other and for the collective good of a majority of people. The reason this is so is that under an egalitarian basis, all humans are seen as equal and thus, equally justified to enjoy pleasure. It is for this reason that von Kutschera (1999) explained Bentham’s utilitarianism as a universal ethical hedonism that sees pleasure from a spiral approach. The spiral nature of pleasure means the individual must first be self-satisfied but whiles .doing this must also consider the expansion of pleasure to the larger society. The majority benefit doctrine of Bentham’s utilitarianism and the fact that it has an egalitarian basis, thus, helps to create a universally desired state where the majority of people are happy (Mill, 1998). A typical example of this can be seen in utilitarian bioethics wherein a state of limited resources, nurses are first expected to give care to patients whose future productive value and happiness are quantified as higher (Birnbacher, 2003).
Halevy (1966) championed the need for ethical theories and philosophies to directly address and help solve problems with society, and this is exactly what Bentham’s utilitarianism seeks to do.
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