Utilitarianism Ethical Theory
My personal background
Ethics and values have been one of the most important aspects of my life. Ever since I was a kid, I was taught to do the right thing without harming anybody. My parents have been one of the biggest influences in my ethical formation. Their advice and guidance has lead me to a path of honesty. Also, my life as a Christian has build up a stronger formation that I want to pass on to upcoming generations. As a Christian, you don’t do certain things that will hurt your relationship with God, which helps the ethical aspect of a person. I have had many ethical situations throughout my life that have challenge me to do the right thing for others. I strongly believe if you do the right thing you’ll have a benefit at the end of the road. I always try to pursue happiness in my life without interfering with the happiness of others. I think one of the greatest achievements that a person can do in their lifetime is to be happy.
I define my personality as being a happy person that is always trying to have fun and make others laugh. This personality trait has opened me many doors and helped me interact better with society.
The theory of Utilitarianism
I believe one of the most interesting topics we have learned on the course so far is the theory of Utilitarianism in ethics. Its basic idea is simple. According to John Mill, it states “actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness”. Happiness is the central point of utilitarianism, because according to Mill, a person should follow the path of pleasure in order to avoid painful situations or outcomes. The most present correlation in life is between doing what is right and achieving happiness. Utilitarianism bases its success mostly on the happiness of the person. It also cares for the people surrounding the issue.
Points to Consider about Utilitarianism
There are six points to consider with the theory of utilitarianism. The first point to consider is to measure the points of happiness and unhappiness from a certain situation. We always have to consider unhappiness as a factor that could change an outcome. In this point, we deduct the points of unhappiness from the happiness points to get an overall measurement.
The second point is when actions could affect everyone differently depending on the person involved. For example, when two individuals enjoy playing video games on a Saturday night but a third one would prefer to go out to dinner. The grade of pleasure of the ones playing videogames is satisfied, but the third person is not having a happy moment at all.
Third, utilitarians evaluate actions according to their consequences and their results are different depending on the situations and people involved. For instance, when breaking a promise to someone that in the short term could cause unhappiness, in the long run would create more happiness.
Fourth, utilitarians want to create a life long experience of happiness. They care for short-term goals but also want to create a life experience in which they will pursue happiness wherever and whenever.
Fifth, they acknowledge future consequences and put a balance between present and future events.
The last point is that utilitarians do not disregard their own pleasure when choosing what actions to take in different situations.
When I first started reading about Utilitarianism on the textbook, I felt connected to its point of view about life. I strongly believe everybody should achieve happiness every day of his or her life. Sometimes, my Christian beliefs and family background could contradict my fight for my happiness. Homosexuality has been a hot topic in my family and Christian friends. There are many verses in the bible that talk about homosexuality as a sin. It is hard to contemplate this since I don’t have any problem with