|Topics:||🤷🏻♀️ Ethical Dilemma, Ethics, Utilitarianism|
Utilitarian good is the good that is realized from a particular outcome having the characteristics of benefiting more people in the society as compared to the individuals who feel the burden of the result in the society. Utilitarianism, according to Mill & Piest (1957), is the state in which happiness results to a positive and desirable pleasure without any form of pain. Mill further argues that these pleasures are varied depending on the outcome of a specific action (Mill & Piest, 1957). Some people may feel higher pleasures while other may end up feeling lower desires in the same outcome (West, 2006).
According to Krantz (2002), Singer argues that decisions, actions, and the results should ensure that they benefit people positively than those who are burdened by these decisions, actions or results. Singer states that we should respect and strive for the greatest good to help more people in the society even if a minority of individuals may be affected negatively (Littlejohn, 1993). The good that Singer is referring to does not have all the characteristics of being good because the minority people in the society are affected by that good negatively (Krantz, 2002). They may also be subjected to pain.
Consequences of decisions are not always known or clear, and good that was meant to benefit the large group of people in the society may end up harming them (West, 2006). Failure in identifying a good, as suggested in the utilitarian good, can lead to the violation of the rule of law. In addition, it can make people in the society disregard judicial processes because people argue that their actions were for the good of the members of the community (Mill & Piest, 1957). Consequently, it leads to demands that are unreasonable in the society because not all people can selfishly make decisions that benefit the whole community (Krantz, 2002).
Our moral consideration should include all humans, regardless of their level of cognitive ability, because people have the capacity to wrong or be wronged. Even individuals with low levels of cognitive ability can be wronged (Krantz, 2002). This is denied to non-human animals because of their low levels of cognitive abilities for several reasons with the leading reason being thir inability to respond to wrongs done to them after thinking deeply or abstractly on the wrong. They also cannot differentiate between a wrong that is done to a morally or immorally valid sense.
Non-human animals also express their emotions differently from the human beings (Littlejohn, 1993). They also have no systems of solving or addressing social problems or differences. In addition, non-human animals cannot express themselves using an understandable language. This means that human beings, even those with lower levels of cognitive abilities, should be considered about social values and morals. Singer argued that all animals should be morally considered in the society and not only human beings with animals also having an emotional state (Krantz, 2002). They also know how to express their feelings to their partners or owners in the social environment (Littlejohn, 1993). Also, animals are valuable in the society and should be morally considered in the society. It is therefore controversial in the society on how human and animal behaviors and thinking capacities are to be morally considered in the society (Krantz, 2002).
- Krantz, S. (2002). Refuting Peter Singer’s ethical theory: The importance of human dignity. Westport, Praeger.
- Littlejohn, R. (1993). Ethics: Studying the art of moral appraisal. Lanham: University Press of America.
- Mill, J., & Piest, O. (1957). Utilitarianism. New York: Liberal Arts Press.
- West, H. (2006). The Blackwell Guide to Mill’s Utilitarianism. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.