In this essay I will examine and discuss the concept of utilitarianism and how it effects the society from different perspectives. I will show my view that utilitarianism may be beneficial for a personal aspect but will come to the objections to against the points. In the end, I will come to the conclusion that utilitarianism is bad for the society.
Definition / Concept
Utilitarianism is a philosophy belief that actions are right if they are useful for the benefit of a majority. It indicates that an action is right as long as it promotes happiness in the greatest number and result in the guiding principle of conduct. The concept is a complicated structure which require numbers of principle: what is good or bad, whom should we emphasis on, which issues have drawn attention for further evaluation and outcome in the future. As many people living in democratic countries such as the United States and Australia, people believe they technically have fundamental right to pursue self-interest that would bring extreme pleasure to themselves. According to the theory, the overall level of pleasure may only appear for own sake and could receive disagreement from the society or community. It can be defined as Hedonism, which do something in order to obtain pleasure regardless of the effects. It is important to understand the differences between pleasure and happiness.
Advantages / Disadvantages
Utilitarianism boost the happiness in the world by treating equally to everyone in spite of wealth and reputation. The objective of the peacefulness in regard to utilitarianism is to maximize pleasure and minimize the pain. The act of treating fairly also implies on animals. However, it is failed to be seen in certain aspect. For instance, killing and eating animals with emotion such as dogs and monkeys are unjustifiable. It can still be found in some tribes in developing countries namely China, Vietnam, and Nigeria where people are legal to consume dog meat. Due to food shortage during the world wars, meat was no longer seen as extravagant, therefore people started substitute dog meat as beef, chicken and pork which could help to satisfy their pleasure of eating meat. Nevertheless, many of us purely feel irritated toward those who consume animal with emotionally attached to humans. Additionally, some uneducated people living in poverty country believe that eating monkey’s brain is a legendary dish to live longer as it is highly nutritious. In fact, it is exceptionally cruel and hazardous to human health. It applies the same circumstance for Australian farmers. They love their livestock, but it does not cease from slaughtering them, so it is hypocritical to claim for treating equally to every living things in the universe.
Another ethical issue that is closely relating to utilitarianism is abortion. There is no single view of abortion among utilitarian and they are divided in the understanding of how to apply to principle of utility. In this case, comprehension of the purpose of abortion is crucial. According to religious belief that was written in Bible and Al-Quran, it is sinful to end the life of fetus regardless of any cause or intention. Despite of the fact that it may seem immoral for women who have chosen to terminate the life of infants before they are able to grow independently, nonetheless, adverse publicity cannot make the judgment by one single view. Conceivably, the circumstance such as rape, poverty, government policy for regulating population size and the health risk of mother could be the cause that abortion can be accepted. For that reason, people should respect their decisions and should not interfere with bodily integrity. On the contrary, in some countries particular India and Middle East countries are facing a major problem of Hedonism with female feticides (BBC 2014). For sociological reason, when parents discover the gender fetus in advance, they will choose to undergo abortion if it is a female because it is an indication of humiliation for the reputation of family. This issue should be taken seriously against this unethical action. Every human beings are equally valuable, it is extremely unforgiving for titling one life is less valuable than another. Similarly, some irresponsible couples may not take it the consequences genuinely, they care the pleasure option with partners without deliberate about the following seriousness. As a result, it has been shown that utilitarianism could cause impact on humans’ thinking about lives and priorities.
To sum up, utilitarianism endorses on slaughtering spiritual animals as well as abortion for the principle of acquire pleasure in short-term. It is acceptable for individual to act as utility in community, however the act of utilitarian to differentiate the main determinant of moral outcome and effect on general well-being. It is a divisive argument on utilitarianism. In my opinion, utilitarianism is bad due to careless logical analysis.