Utilitarianism that anything else has value only

Utilitarianism starts from the basis that pleasure and happiness are intrinsically valuable, that pain and suffering are intrinsically invaluable, and that anything else has value only if it’s causing happiness or preventing suffering for the majority. To borrow the words of Bentham, “it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong.” Its goal is to justify the utilitarian principle as the foundation of morals. This principle says actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote overall human happiness. In philosophy, normative statements make claims about how things should or ought to be, how to value them, which things are good, that is, bring about “the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people” (Hutcheson, 2002). My good counts for no more than anyone else’s good. Furthermore, the reason that I have to promote the overall good is the same reason anyone else has to do so promote the good. Nothing strange about that. When choosing the most moral action, virtue is in proportion to the number of people a particular action brings happiness to. In the same way, moral evil, or vice, is proportionate to the number of people made to suffer. It’s not confined to happiness caused by a single act but how it affects the happiness of other people involved and its future consequences. In this day and age, survival of the fittest is the key to success, to each of his own. We tend to have a natural interest in self-preservation, which manifests itself as the desire to seek pleasure and to avoid pain. Naturally, we would seek our own happiness in this life, which sometimes can be in the expense of others. Utilitarianism supposedly prevents that. In order to determine what is right, one must therefore look at what the result will be for everyone. Isaac Newton’s law of motion states that for every action, there is equal reaction. So utilitarians don’t just focus on their friends or family, or their fellow-citizens, but are also concerned about distant strangers. They are concerned about future generations as well. The animals, the plants and every living thing should not just be for granted. Even global warming, to take into consideration the happiness and well-being of others, could’ve been prevented.
Now in the case of Rorschach, as a utilitarian, it is totally the opposite of what is taught. It may have been his actions only justified his own happiness. He may that he is only seeking to avenge his friend’s death. Well to those who loved and who may have known his friend who was killed, yes they may have benefited as well for the death of the kidnapper. But it is not the “utility” of the majority that was satisfied but it was revenge, a life was taken therefore a life would also be a payment. In this case 14 lives were the payment. Virtually everyone agrees that it’s better for human beings to be happier and have less suffering. That’s not enough to make everyone a utilitarian, because some people think that in addition, there are absolute moral rules one must never break. Most moral rules are useful guides to what will bring about the best consequences. But if they are not — if we really know, with certainty, that obeying a moral rule will have worse consequences than breaking it — should we still obey it? We have to look also and distinguish the relevant consequences that would result from the actions we need to do to promote the greater good. On the utilitarian view one ought to maximize the overall good — that is, consider the good of others as well as one’s own good. There are also other moral values that we need to check and to follow that should be in harmony as well with the philosophy of utilitarianism.


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