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Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism

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Utilitarianism

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  1. Utilitarianism KoreenaBaublit Cyndi Mattson Holly Paulin Corey Dixon Tyler Teskey T / 5:30 Ethical Theories Presentation October 21, 2008

  2. Utilitarianism • “Greatest Happiness Principle” • Provides most good • Does the least harm • Greatest balance of good over harm (community, environment) • Ethical Warfare • Consequences that increase good and decrease harm

  3. Origins of Utilitarianism traces as far back as the Greek Philosopher Epicurus

  4. Jeremy Bentham • Credited for origination • Derived the rule of utility • Good brings greatest happiness to most people

  5. "nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure."

  6. John Stuart Mill • Wrote Utilitarianism, famous short work • Cultural, intellectual, spiritual pleasures greater value than physical

  7. Criticisms Distastefulness • 1st common • problems when sentiment involved • can’t dismiss emotions such as pity and compassion • Example: Would you kill a hundred citizens or save your mother?

  8. Impossibility • 2nd common • Can’t be quantified or measured • Can’t compare happiness to suffering • Example: From a great amount of suffering sometimes comes great happiness

  9. Too Much Change? • You're at a department store, a grocery store, a restaurant -- and the cashier gives you too much change. • Should you keep it? Is it the store's misfortune and your lucky day? • http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/Story?id=2754830&page=1

  10. Consider the overall good Keep the money • Gain money for self • Use towards family • Extra money for bills or goods

  11. Consider the overall good Give back the money • Keep money in the economy • Pay for the workers • Sense of Righteousness

  12. The Overall Good • Whole country relies on economy • People need jobs to provide for family and self • Based on these reasons, the answer would be to give back the money

  13. "Primetime" set up hidden cameras in a New Jersey diner and gave the cashier a stack of extra $10 and $20 bills.

  14. Over two days, 46 different people were given too much change. What would they do?

  15. 18 returned the money right away, but 26 people walked out. Are you surprised?

  16. Questions • How can you use Utilitarianism to make better decisions in your family affairs? • Can you think of a situation where your idea of overall good differed from that of a friend or family member?