Contemporary Moral Issue in our Society
Read Chapter 2 and watch Week 3 Lectures. Choose a contemporary moral issue in our society (course materials) and apply the ethical principle of Utilitarianism to approve this moral issue. You must pick a moral issue that you strongly support and apply the utilitarian claims (course materials) to back up your arguments. The paper must be done in MLA format with a minimum of 500 words (quotes are not included in the word count). You must use at least 3 sources from LIRN (code 24439) in the library. This assignment is due on July the 14th before 11:59 pm. You must apply Bentham/Mill’s “Principle of Utility” for 50 points and Bentham’s Felicific Calculus for 50 points. Both are under course materials.
Week 3 Lectures:
List of Contemporary Moral Issues
- Child Labor
- Gay Marriage
- Capital Punishment
- Stem Cells
- Forced Prostitution
- Voluntary Prostitution
- War, Terrorism, and Counter-terrorism
- Race and Ethnicity
- World Hunger and Poverty
- Environmental Ethics
- Animal Rights
- Animal Testing
- Sexual Harassment
- Abortion (as a result of rape, incest, or mother/baby health at risk)
- Drug Legalization
- Health Care Costs
- Education Cost
Utilitarianism: is the ethical doctrine that the moral worth of an action is solely determined by its contribution to overall utility.
It is thus a form of consequentialism, meaning that the morality of an action is determined by its outcome
*the ends justify the means.
*Utility: the good to be maximized
Peter Singer defines it as the satisfaction of preferences.
* an action may be considered right if it produces the greatest amount of net benefit and the least loss/cost of any available alternative action.
* the consequences of a particular action form the basis for any valid moral judgment about that action.
*morally right action is one that produces a good outcome, or consequence.
* the good is whatever brings the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people.
* “the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
* calculate the utility of an action by adding up all of the pleasure produced and subtracting from that any pain that might also be produced by the action.
Utilitarianism approach to morality quantitative and reductionistic
Utilitarianism can be contrasted with deontological ethics – focuses on the action itself rather than its consequences
In general use the term utilitarian often refers to a somewhat narrow economic or pragmatic viewpoint.