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Ethics Course Work
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From the assigned reading, the argument about the principle of happiness explains that actions are right as long as they promote happiness. As such, they tend to be wrong when they cause pain, unhappiness, and displeasure. According to the argument, the moral standard requires that pleasure and the freedom from pain remain the only desirable ends. Thus, every other thing either promotes pleasure or prevents pain.
I think that the argument is deductive. It is because all its premises are valid. I believe that the actions that people engage in are usually right if the result is happiness and also the contrary is true.
The argument has the right structure since one can follow the argument and link it with the premises to make it valid.
My analysis of the argument shows that the premises are true since every action that is good always leads to happiness, and the bad one usually leads to pain and displeasure.
The objection to utilitarianism selected states that, “the moral quality of the pleasure derived from an action appears to be considerate when deciding whether or not an action is ethical. Utilitarianism is unable to take the moral quality of happiness into consideration; it becomes inadequate as an ethical theory. “
I think that a utilitarian should address the issue of moral quality of pleasure by focusing on the means to achieve the pleasure and not only the result. As such, he/she will easily determine whether the action is ethical or not without considering the results only.
I think that the objection given to utilitarianism is valid since the moral quality of an action is important to consider. Some actions may lead to pleasure, but they differ in intensity and duration. However, it does not make either of them ethically better or worse. As such, utilitarian should not define ethics regarding morality since the routes of getting the happiness may be unethical.
Stuart J. M (1863) Utilitarianism: Chapter II-What Utilitarianism is.
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