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Normative Ethics Writing Essay (Essay Sample)


Normative Ethics Writing Essay

Normative Ethics Writing Essay
Utilitarianism theory was founded by Betham Jeremy. The term utilitarianism derived from a Latin word ‘utilis,’ which means ‘useful.’ The theory deals with the consequences of actions, which are measured in accordance to a certain value. The value must be ‘useful’ and may include things such as pleasure, happiness and welfare, which should be maximized. Basically, the theory considers the principle of utility, which means that the greatest happiness should be given to many people. This simply implies that more worth is put in the people’s benefit. Ethical egoism is a theory, which states that people’s actions should be conducted from the views of self-interest. Individual’s needs are granted the first priority in preference to other people’s needs and interests. Although this is viewed to be practical in real life, its main shortcoming is that everybody may not be interested in acting from the perspective of self-interest since it can lead to conflicts due to conflicting interests. This is because one person’s interest may be totally different from other people’s interests. If such cases occur, many problems will be encountered and this may lead to instability in the society, hence resulting in hatred.
Ethical egoism is a normative claim, which emphasizes that individuals should always do everything to satisfy interest. Therefore, the theory suggests that, one’s interests should be contented by their resources rather than other people’s resources. Besides, the theory emphasizes that, once the self-interest is met, the society will be the most efficient in serving the interests of all individuals. It actually supports the idea of acting in one’s self-interest, but it does not consider how it leads to endless conflicts since it deals with other people’s concerns and values. The essay below contrasts ethical egoism and utilitarianism theories.
The issue used to contrast both theories is, whether it is morally permissible to do things that only favor one’s interests and benefits, without considering other people’s concerns. If we take into consideration the two theories, we find that both theories are consequentiality theories. However, they both contrast with each other. The distinctions between the two theories are diverse. Firstly, ethical egoism emphasizes that the right act is the one which favors only the interests of the individual, while utilitarian theory emphasizes that the right action should favor the interests of others. Secondly, there are present motives of selfishness and self-interest in ethical egoism. Hence, the term ‘selfish’ weakens this normative theory. Utilitarian theory is teleological since it emphasizes on happiness in a particular group, as the final result of human actions. Besides, the theory views morality as the action that enhances good deeds over bad deeds for everyone. Basically, ethical egoism theory has a belief similar to micro ethics, which considers happiness of an individual as the best outcome. It emphasizes that self-comfort and satisfaction are more important than other people’s desires. On the other hand, utilitarianism theory is related to macro ethics, which regards the happiness of a whole group and states that the right action is the one that maximizes the outcome’s effect. This puts more consideration on satisfying many people rather than single individuals. In this case, a particular group represents people in a specific nation, race, state or city.
According to Freeman “any specific group is more important than a specific individual within it, since its good goes beyond the sum of any and all its parts” (49). Utilitarian theory also means that a certain individual can sacrifice his/her own wants as long as the benefits favor the whole group. Basically, it is clear that if many people are satisfied, it becomes easier to narrow down to satisfying individuals. Ethical egoism’s moral philosophy suggests that it is senseless to be selfish because people should always mind the lives of others. However, some people argue that people should look out at their own prior interests since it may lead to benefitting the whole society by trying to care about others. Ethical egoism theory is associated with racism, as viewed by some of the philosophers, because they argue that “we should care about other people’s interests the same way we care about our interests; for their desires and needs are comparable to our own” (Mack 30). In real life, it is very hard to apply the ethics in ethical egoism theory since it is not ethically acceptable to consider one’s major interests without caring about others. Actually, the comfort and happiness of other people’s lives is usually essential for making certain individuals happy.
Utilitarianism, on the other hand, contradicts the ethical egoism theory in some cases because it is among the best theories for most people. The thinkers who developed and explicated it, namely Betham, Hume, and Mill, made sure that it enhances ethical thinking in the best way. In essence, the theory contradicts with ethical egoism since it accounts for delivering as much happiness to the largest number of people as possible. Besides, a theory that is out to favor everyone may not be faulty as ethical egoism. Normative ethics should always consider what is morally right and wrong and besides, should formulate moral rules that guide human behaviors.
Betham and Mill explained the classical utilitarianism version, which states that actions are judged according to the virtue of their consequences. Basically, the felicity or unhappiness caused is all what matters. Lastly, individuals’ happiness counts equally, without favoring anybody. Utilitarianism does not deal with happiness by following acts, but rather comes up with rules that lead to the state of happiness. The theory does not consider one’s benefits and advantages because each person in a particular group must be contented. This contrasts with ethical egoism theory, whereby the whole society’s happiness is not taken into consideration. Essentially, ethical egoism theory is inferior to utilitarianism theory since it enhances oppression, whereby, the privileged access and own resources before the poor, while pursuing their self-interests (Medlin 115).
Ethical egoism states that promoting one’s good is in line with morality. It emphasizes that it is morally good to enhance one’s own bliss, and it is immoral not to enhance it. In essence, the theory is inferior to utilitarianism since it does not consider the good of all people in the society. Utilitarianism theory overpowers this theory since it considers the interests of both the individual and society as a whole. Therefore, this theory is fair and more considerate than ethical egoism. Moreover, ethical egoism theory, when applied in the society, may lead to conflicting self-interests, which later may result to violence. Utilitarianism theory does not deal with personal self-interests and, thus, conflicts are rarely likely to occur when implemented in the society. For instance, a young person ...
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