The goal is to demonstrate that utilitarianism theory should not be used when making ethical decisions due to its massive disadvantages outweighing its strengths.
It is important to note that utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory, where morality is derived not from the action or actor but from the outcome. Utilitarianism believes that “actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness” (Levin, 2019, p. 137).
Reasons that Support the Thesis Statement
According to utilitarianism, all decisions in favor of all decisions made in favor of the racial/ethnic majority would be considered moral, even at the cost of minority groups (Levin, 2019). A murderer, rapist, or even stranger is of equal value to one’s beloved wife, children, and parents.
Unpredictability of Future
Imposing the death penalty for even the smallest crimes would be plausible because it would save taxpayers’ money spent on prisons in the future. Allowing a murderer to roam free might be good if he or she would kill another murderer, who would kill even more people making the former a savior.
Utilitarianism maximized happiness and pleasure, but these cannot be measured (Scarre, 2020). It is impossible to know what prevents pain and suffering and by how much.
Counter Arguments and Responses to Them
Neutrality might seem good, but it is a weakness because one’s loved one is more important than a stranger (Levin, 2019). It would be more moral for a parent to starve his/her child if he/she can feed two other children elsewhere.
Simplicity is not good but rather a flaw because it fails to consider nuances (Levin, 2019). The argument fails when future consequences are accounted making them immeasurable.
In conclusion, utilitarianism theory has more weaknesses than strengths.
Levin, N. (2019). Introduction to ethics: An open educational resource. N.G.E. Far Press.
Scarre, G. (2020). Utilitarianism. Routledge.