utilitarianism business ethics essay

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Utilitarianism business ethics essay loan modification specialist resume

Utilitarianism business ethics essay

These critics claim that since utilitarian theorists argue that morality of an action depends on what the product of the action will take to all affected persons, then almost every action is moral. That is to say, utilitarianism is a consequentialistic ethic and thus, we cannot know whether an action is immoral until we see its bad consequences. Given that, utilitarian ethics in some ways holds morality of an action hostage to the result, morality of the action appears relative.

However, we refute ethical relativism since utilitarian ethics is a type of universalism, given its grounds in trust in universal human nature. Utilitarian theorists say that all people have altruistic and egoistic elements, and all people seek to evade pain and augment pleasure. Then, instead of ethical relativism, they support a liberal ethics that acknowledges there are universal principles and values.

The utilitarian perspective that ethics is more inclined to our feelings and not our rationality may seem to give evidence that utilitarianism is a type of relativism. Obviously, people have different outlooks about different matters. However, description of ethics may not always be from this perspective. Think about a cruel act such as premeditated murder.

How comes that this act immoral? Is it due to societal, divine, or natural laws? The truth is that human beings cannot make the moral judgment that premeditated murder is immoral until they experience negative sentiments about such acts.

If there are human beings who do not get negative sentiments after reflecting on the idea of premeditated murder, or other monstrous acts, it is because those persons have something wrong with them and thus, cannot feel others pain. Desensitization is the contemporary psychological word that describes why some people may not have feeling for the pain of others.

People become desensitized making them not feel others pain. This psychological thought matches perfectly well with the utilitarian idea of sentience. However, human nature is universal and a universal ethics rests upon nothing more than human sentiments. At the center of the utilitarian argument that shifts from the concern we physically have for our personal feelings of pain and pleasure, to others feelings of pain and pleasure, is the belief that this is the nature of human beings.

When we hear about calamities happening to others, we may find ourselves flinching or grimacing. However, to go from a claim about our human nature to a moral claim that we ought to do this, and it is correct that we do this, and wrong when we fail to do this, includes an extra step in the argument. This, for instance, is a problem to any racist. If dissimilar races experience equal pleasures and pains, then how come one race sees itself as superior to another race?

If there is actually no difference between our pains and pleasures with others pains and pleasures, then we ought to, just due to consistency, view their suffering as just as significant as ours. It is clear that equality is a main concept involved in this reasoning. Hence, considering ethics along utilitarian line takes us from egoism through altruism to equality. Other critics of utilitarianism argue that it is difficult and impossible to apply its principles.

Those that hold that it is difficult to apply utilitarian principles argue that calculating the outcomes for all persons is impractical due to uncertainty and the big number involved. The truth, however, is that utilitarianism offers a clear way of determining whether an action is moral or not, and this does not involve calculations. As mentioned earlier, a morally right action should have pleasurable consequences.

Therefore, the argument that it is difficult to calculate what is right does not hold any water, since it has no harm to the principle of utility. Rather, this is a problem of the human condition. Other critics that oppose the application of utilitarian principles argue that it is not possible to gauge or quantify happiness and there is no defined method of weighing happiness against suffering.

However, the truth is that happiness is measurable and comparable through words like happier and happiest. If it were not measurable, then these words would have little meaning. In conclusion, the theory of utilitarianism is sound, logical and consistent.

Utilitarian ethics follow the law of greatest happiness. Writing application essays can be very difficult. You not only are juggling your topic with evaluation but applying it to an ethical issue. In this case, the question is even harder because you also have two compare two topics together. Now you could just talk about ethical dilemmas in general and whether Utilitarianism or Kant is more useful. However I think you run the risk of producing a vague and bland answer.

I would stick with the dilemmas surrounding Business Ethics this is what your examiners are really looking for. So before you start writing decide which dilemmas or issues you are going to talk about e. This is an example of what I would class as a good introduction.

This is because it displays to an examiner all the necessary elements in a simple and clear way, yet remaining informative not descriptive and is effective in the way it handles the question. From reading this introduction it is obvious what the question is. Always a sign of a good start! When answering a question that specifies two theories Util and Kant in this case then you need to decide your four paragraph rule for each — this is your structure. It is only four paragraphs not the usual five: The Five Paragraph Rule because you are required to compare two theories rather than one e.

Second paragraph compare second themes together with a different business dilemma. I recommend you keep Utilitarianism as the structure of the essay for two reasons. One because it is the topic mentioned in the question first, so by starting the paragraphs with Util means you are always keeping the question in mind. Secondly I advise you to stick with the same topic at the start of your paragraphs to avoid adding further complications one paragraph starting with Utilitarianism another starting with Kant etc.


All human behavior could be explained by reference to this basic instinct, which Bentham saw as the key to unlocking the workings of the human mind. He created an ethical system based on it, called utilitarianism. In this section we look at both systems. Revolutionary movements broke out that year in France, Italy, Austria, Poland, and elsewhere. In addition, the Industrial Revolution transformed Great Britain and eventually the rest of Europe from an agrarian farm-based society into an industrial one, in which steam and coal increased manufacturing production dramatically, changing the nature of work, property ownership, and family.

This period also included advances in chemistry, astronomy, navigation, human anatomy, and immunology, among other sciences. Given this historical context, it is understandable that Bentham used reason and science to explain human behavior. His ethical system was an attempt to quantify happiness and the good so they would meet the conditions of the scientific method.

Ethics had to be empirical, quantifiable, verifiable, and reproducible across time and space. Just as science was beginning to understand the workings of cause and effect in the body, so ethics would explain the causal relationships of the mind. Instead, the fundamental unit of human action for him was utility —solid, certain, and factual.

What is utility? It has these characteristics: 1 universality, because it applies to all acts of human behavior, even those that appear to be done from altruistic motives; 2 objectivity, meaning it operates beyond individual thought, desire, and perspective; 3 rationality, because it is not based in metaphysics or theology; and 4 quantifiability in its reliance on utility. In the spirit of utilitarianism, Jeremy Bentham made a seemingly bizarre request concerning the disposition of his body after his death.

He generously donated half his estate to London University, a public university open to all and offering a secular curriculum, unusual for the times. It later became University College London. Critics insist he was merely eccentric. Bentham was interested in reducing utility to a single index so that units of it could be assigned a numerical and even monetary value, which could then be regulated by law.

He intended utilitarianism to provide a reasoned basis for making judgments of value rather than relying on subjectivity, intuition, or opinion. The implications of such a system on law and public policy were profound and had a direct effect on his work with the British House of Commons, where he was commissioned by the Speaker to decide which bills would come up for debate and vote.

Utilitarianism provided a way of determining the total amount of utility or value a proposal would produce relative to the harm or pain that might result for society. Utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory. In consequentialism , actions are judged solely by their consequences, without regard to character, motivation, or any understanding of good and evil and separate from their capacity to create happiness and pleasure.

Thus, in utilitarianism, it is the consequences of our actions that determine whether those actions are right or wrong. In this way, consequentialism differs from Aristotelian and Confucian virtue ethics, which can accommodate a range of outcomes as long as the character of the actor is ennobled by virtue. For Bentham, character had nothing to do with the utility of an action. Everyone sought pleasure and avoided pain regardless of personality or morality.

In fact, too much reliance on character might obscure decision-making. Rather than making moral judgments, utilitarianism weighed acts based on their potential to produce the most good pleasure for the most people. It judged neither the good nor the people who benefitted. For him, utilitarianism reflected the reality of human relationships and was enacted in the world through legislative action. To illustrate the concept of consequentialism, consider the hypothetical story told by Harvard psychologist Fiery Cushman.

When a man offends two volatile brothers with an insult, Jon wants to kill him; he shoots but misses. Matt, who intends only to scare the man but kills him by accident, will suffer a more severe penalty than his brother in most countries including the United States. Applying utilitarian reasoning, can you say which brother bears greater guilt for his behavior? Are you satisfied with this assessment of responsibility?

Why or why not? Watch the video on the streetcar thought experiment and consider these questions. How would you go about making the decision about what to do? Is there a right or wrong answer? What values and criteria would you use to make your decision about whom to save? As you might expect, utilitarianism was not without its critics. In a similar vein, the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge — accused Bentham of mixing up morality with law.

Others objected that utilitarianism placed human beings on the same level as animals and turned people into utility functions. There were also complaints that it was mechanistic, antireligious, and too impractical for most people to follow. John Stuart Mill sought to answer these objections on behalf of his mentor but then offered a synthesis of his own that brought natural rights together with utility, creating a new kind of utilitarianism, one that would eventually serve to underpin neoclassical economic principles.

According to Mill, at an early age he learned enough Greek and Latin to read the historians Herodotus and Tacitus in their original languages. His studies also included algebra, Euclidean geometry, economics, logic, and calculus. What he ended up with, however, was not a rejection of utilitarianism but a synthesis of utility and human rights.

Why rights? He believed the effort to achieve utility was unjustified if it coerced people into doing things they did not want to do. Likewise, the appeal to science as the arbiter of truth would prove just as futile, he believed, if it did not temper facts with compassion.

His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. For instance, is society culpable for not intervening in cases of suicide, euthanasia, and other self-destructive activities such as drug addiction? According to Cardon , and with the concept of the FAIR approach, it deals with how well and factual communication is, deals with how well facts are presented, how well presented the relevant facts are, and wants to know if any information is misleading.

With access, it deals with how well or accessible are someones motives, reasoning, and information. Unfortunately, there are may self-centered individuals who only care about themselves and how much they can benefit from a decision, regardless of how it will affect others. Some examples of this could be someone who takes part in insider trading and someone who take part in collusion where they solely receive financial.

As described above, the main purpose for the article written by both authors is to introduce and makes further discussion and argument on how sustainable marketing create values and importance in the consumers perception and its society. According to this article, the writer argues that there is a new era which is emerging and he is referring to this era as Marketing 3.

In this era, marketing is a value driven process where people are not viewed as target consumers based on demographic factors. Instead, they are considered as intelligent and thoughtful partners who have emotions, spiritual values and feelings. People choose their governments and they should operate the economy and practice its power to maintain a stable growth of business and balance the income between poor and rich.

In conclusion, Friedman fights for the concepts of the soulless capitalism and shows that the benefit of the people is increasing the profits. In contrast, Colin disagrees with Friedman and argues that the arguments of Friedman do not reflect the reality how corporations act and their independence of the society is a huge logical mistake Friedman presents. Business ethics is a window dressing by corporations to advertise their brands and attract people to buy their products; a corporation can act ethically just to hide its real intentions of maximizing.

Ethics is a moral principle or value that comes within our everyday life. Ethics is not based on our feelings or following the laws. By using utilitarian moral principles we can argue the case from a different perspective. Utilitarianism holds that an action that produces the greatest balance of benefits over harms for everyone affected.

As long as a course of action produces maximum benefits for everyone. Utilitarianism does not care whether the benefits are produced by lies, manipulation, or coercion when holds a greater outcome for many. ABSTRACT The long term success of the investors not only depends on the narrow financial performance of the companies of whom share they buy but also on their efficiency to manage the ethical questions that will result in image of the company. Many organizations and business investors take this responsible investment as an obligation but with the changing industry scenario and with many Gen Y employees and owners entering the market this responsible investment is actually becoming the core value of the company and also the key reason for the sustainability and brand building of the company.

The bulk of corporations prioritize their wealth over the condition of the Earth beneath them. Economic growth is important for the people, yes; it is how we develop as a society, but at what cost? The Earth takes the brunt of society 's success, and denying the inevitable will not stop it from occurring. In fact, denying climate change will only harm society and the Earth further; because by denying it, those who deny climate change are willingly aiding the damage and the danger climate change brings.

Climate change is denied is due to the prioritization of business and the economy. Actions delivers consequences Luck is a phenomenon present in our lives in very different ways, so much so that it is not easy to imagine a world without it. But, even so, it seems that when it comes to making moral judgments about the actions or beliefs of other people we want to find ways to neutralize it. Our main guide is the purpose of being fair to those we judge and, therefore, we want to set aside what does not strictly depend on them, aspiring to eliminate any possible distortion of this goal.

However, the nature of luck is such that it makes it difficult to neutralize it in any sphere of human life. Reflected in many of the most important policy decisions of today is the philosophy of Utilitarianism.

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Mill's Utilitarianism

We accept sample papers from condone any type of plagiarism. Hopefully, products are fit for purpose, safe, and give value. Moral Responsibility Stanford Encyclopedia of. How many pages words do Utilitarianism and Ethics in Business. ID Password recovery email has been sent to email email. Therefore, these two dominant perspectives perspectives on sweatshops. On the other hand, Ethics entails systemizing, recommending, and defending concepts of right and wrong conduct. Accessed 22 July Essay On students via the submission form. San Francisco: Jossey- Bass. They feel safer and pleasant you and you no longer no longer wish to have through piles of garbage and.

Utilitarianism is a teleological ethical theory based on the idea that an action is moral if it causes the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest. Utilitarianism and Business Ethics. Info: words (10 pages) Essay Published: 14th Jul in Philosophy. Reference this. Free Essay: Richard T. DeGeorge defines utilitarianism as, “an ethical theory that holds that an action is right if it produces, or if it tends to produce.