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Literature & Language
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Utilitarianism Literature & Language Essay Research (Essay Sample)

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Describing utilitarianism as an ethical theory ACCORDING TO JOHN STUART

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Can Utilitarianism be the Answer to Ethical Behavior?
Introduction
While many may believe that John Stuart or Jeremy Bentham was the first to introduce utilitarianism into society, this moral insight can be traced earlier on. Perhaps it was the best moral philosophy of all time, by promoting good towards one another, rather than harm and evil. Just to make it clear, utilitarianism is a philosophy that inclines towards the idea that: our actions should only be geared towards behavior that increases happiness, or what is called ‘utility’. What’s even more interesting about this philosophy is the fact that it plays a critical role in developing a framework of moral evaluation, as well as expanding on it. Many utilitarian thinkers believed in the promotion of human happiness, as it was an act equally approved by God.
Any obligation starts with a solemn purpose, and this is the building block of utilitarianism. Utilitarians promoted virtue rather than a vice. It is on this basis that God is free to either make a man happy or miserable, depending on his own deeds (Driver, 28). John Gay also gives his opinion that for mankind to achieve the utmost happiness, the criterion of virtue is the best way to follow. Based on the whole idea, it is not entirely clear as we are left with questions. What is God's purpose in creating ethics to govern society? God is the source of normativity, which is compatible with utilitarian beliefs. But does utilitarianism require this as a building block? Gay was really interested in how we as humans approve or disapprove of a certain character. It is human nature that we are bound to associate a majority of things just based on their effects, whether positive or negative

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