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Js mill utilitarianism essay



hey, i have a essay to write, and i am wondering if any off you can help me by giving me some infomation, tips and websites ( new to philosophy so keep it easy)

Contrast with illustration and example the difference between utilitarian and Deontological approaches to ethical thining in consequential terms.

with reference to either abortion and/or active euthanasia debates assess which of the utilitarian or deontological approaches to these debates provides the strongest possile arguments either in favour or agaisnt active euthanasia or abortion

the above is the title, i do not want you to write it for me, i just need some help in turning that into english what is it asking for me to do ?

what does Deontological mean, and how would it be approached.
What is Consequential terms?

what do utilitarian mean and what would Deontological and utilitarian arguement look like towards euthanasia or abortion?


I thank you all in advance!
have a great weekend!

I'm doing phil & ethics at the moment-
Utilitarianism is Joseph Bentham's consequential ethical system. He states that all situations must lead to the greater happiness. His system revolves around "The greatest happiness for the greatest number and the least amount of pain" Consequential means that all consequences must be considered before taking any action. Teleological means exactly the same thing, and is generally a better word to use.

Utilitarianism would probably allow abortions and euthanasia providing it met certain guidelines ( greatest happiness)

I would use a deontological ruling like natural law (Which is what the Roman Catholic church follow) to compare to. Deontolgical means following absolute rules, ie, the bible states "Thou shalt not kill" so euthanaisa and abortion simply are not allowed.

Deontological is the exact opposite of consequential. The consequences of following these rules are simply not considered.

Sorry I can't give you any good sites :P But I think you have enough there to get on with some great research

You can find all of the other topics along the top (euthanasia, genetics. ) and all of the different responses down the right hand side.

I kinda know Kant and Utilitarianism inside and out.

Deontological comes from the Greek word deontos. meaning 'duty', and it is with duty that Kant is concerned. Kant believed that an absolutist approach to ethical decision making is superior to any relative approach, as it provides a consistent and unambiguous point of reference.

Utilitarianism is a relative approach to ethical decision making, It's main advocate being Jeremy Bentham. Bentham wanted to 'iron out the deep inequalities in society', and believed that the morality of an action was derived from the amount of pleasure that it created.

If you need any help you can PM me and I'll tell you more. I'm quite good at ethics, Even better at genetic engineering than abortion and euthanasia, but I still know a bit about those.

Purple Ninja is mostly accurate, although NEVER say that Joseph Fletcher is a Utilitarian in an essay. Bentham and Mill are the Utilitarian philosophers you need to know. Joseph Fletcher came up with Situation Ethics and while it may share similarities, the two are NOT the same and should not be confused. It'll cost you dearly in an exam.

Liam G is spot on and is to be commended for his accuracy.

Bentham would argue that for an action to be good, the consequences must produce the greatest pleasure for the greatest number. Thus, it would accept active euthanasia in most circumstances, because the pleasure of the old person (s/he who is to be euthanased) AND their family if they are helped to die with dignity would outweigh the pain of being left to die as nature intended.

If you use Natural Law for Deontology (you can also use Kant) then the Primary Precept of the Preservation of Innocent Life would not accept active euthanasia as it would consider that life is to be preserved. HOWEVER, it would allow passive euthanasia (as that's nature taking its course).
If you want a way to differentiate between the two, I would look at the distinction between the quality of life (Utilitarianism) and the sanctity of life (Natural Law).

When you bring Kant in, remember that Kant believed each individual to be autonomous moral decision makers and thus it could be argued that a follower of Kantian ethics would condone active euthanasia because the person is actively asking for it and exercising their moral autonomy. You should also look at the Categorical Imperative and seek to apply abortion and euthanasia to it.

Utilitarianism and euthanasia - the guide I give my students:

One of the first questions we need to ask when considering Utilitarianism and euthanasia is; what counts as a good consequence? One answer is that given by JS Mill; good consequences are simply happiness, and happiness is pleasure and freedom from pain – not only physical but also mental and psychological pain. In his “Essay on Liberty” Mill states that good consequences depend not only on the quantity of the pleasure but on the quality as well – this higher happiness stresses self-development and develops people’s rational nature. Mill’s notion of victimless crime may also be applied to voluntary euthanasia; as there’s no victim of crime since the patient wishes to die. However, even though the patient has their wish and the doctor is simply carrying it out, there are still the effects on society and on the doctor-patient relationship, making society itself the victim as human life loses its values.
Both Bentham’s hedonistic Utilitarianism and Mill’s view argue that euthanasia is right. Bentham would say that if a person’s continued existence brings more pain than suffering, both to them and to their family, then their life could be ended. Utilitarianism would also consider the resources that are being spent in keeping them alive and argue that more happiness could be produced if these resources were used in other ways. The idea of ‘death with dignity’ through voluntary euthanasia also fit’s Mill’s Utilitarianism as it is possible to claim that the good they seek is not just the absence of pain but the preservation of dignity and the exercise of personal autonomy.
However, there is a problem with the way Utilitarianism can be used to justify euthanasia, as it seems to justify too much – if enough people gain happiness and quality of life from the death of one person, then such an action is justified. There is no protection for the individual against the majority and no safeguarding of the individual’s rights.

(Original post by Clareicles )
Purple Ninja is mostly accurate, although NEVER say that Joseph Fletcher is a Utilitarian in an essay. Bentham and Mill are the Utilitarian philosophers you need to know. Joseph Fletcher came up with Situation Ethics and while it may share similarities, the two are NOT the same and should not be confused. It'll cost you dearly in an exam.

Liam G is spot on and is to be commended for his accuracy.

Bentham would argue that for an action to be good, the consequences must produce the greatest pleasure for the greatest number. Thus, it would accept active euthanasia in most circumstances, because the pleasure of the old person (s/he who is to be euthanased) AND their family if they are helped to die with dignity would outweigh the pain of being left to die as nature intended.

If you use Natural Law for Deontology (you can also use Kant) then the Primary Precept of the Preservation of Innocent Life would not accept active euthanasia as it would consider that life is to be preserved. HOWEVER, it would allow passive euthanasia (as that's nature taking its course).
If you want a way to differentiate between the two, I would look at the distinction between the quality of life (Utilitarianism) and the sanctity of life (Natural Law).

When you bring Kant in, remember that Kant believed each individual to be autonomous moral decision makers and thus it could be argued that a follower of Kantian ethics would condone active euthanasia because the person is actively asking for it and exercising their moral autonomy. You should also look at the Categorical Imperative and seek to apply abortion and euthanasia to it.

Utilitarianism and euthanasia - the guide I give my students:

One of the first questions we need to ask when considering Utilitarianism and euthanasia is; what counts as a good consequence? One answer is that given by JS Mill; good consequences are simply happiness, and happiness is pleasure and freedom from pain – not only physical but also mental and psychological pain. In his “Essay on Liberty” Mill states that good consequences depend not only on the quantity of the pleasure but on the quality as well – this higher happiness stresses self-development and develops people’s rational nature. Mill’s notion of victimless crime may also be applied to voluntary euthanasia; as there’s no victim of crime since the patient wishes to die. However, even though the patient has their wish and the doctor is simply carrying it out, there are still the effects on society and on the doctor-patient relationship, making society itself the victim as human life loses its values.
Both Bentham’s hedonistic Utilitarianism and Mill’s view argue that euthanasia is right. Bentham would say that if a person’s continued existence brings more pain than suffering, both to them and to their family, then their life could be ended. Utilitarianism would also consider the resources that are being spent in keeping them alive and argue that more happiness could be produced if these resources were used in other ways. The idea of ‘death with dignity’ through voluntary euthanasia also fit’s Mill’s Utilitarianism as it is possible to claim that the good they seek is not just the absence of pain but the preservation of dignity and the exercise of personal autonomy.
However, there is a problem with the way Utilitarianism can be used to justify euthanasia, as it seems to justify too much – if enough people gain happiness and quality of life from the death of one person, then such an action is justified. There is no protection for the individual against the majority and no safeguarding of the individual’s rights.

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