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Analyzing the Differences between Utilitarianism and Libertarianism: Ethical Issues and Moral Judgments Research Paper

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Updated: Nov 22nd, 2018

1. “Although there is no complete list of adequacy criteria for moral judgments, moral judgments have certain requirements that should be followed”. Explain the three requirements for moral judgments.

Taking account of every single element which the moral judgments are based on is practically impossible; indeed, if embracing the entire amount of these criteria, one must consider not only every possible factor that can impact a moral judgment, but also the system of moral judgments of every single individual. However, according to Luntley, it is possible to distill three key requirements which define moral judgment.

As Luntley says, t6he first and the foremost is the ability to make sure that the truth is independent from judgment (Luntley 199). Indeed, in search for the objective evaluation of certain situation, one must make certain that the assessment is carried out without any subjective ideas intervening. The second premise for moral judgment, as Luntley explains, is the condition according to which moral judgments must have a systematic structure (Luntley 199).

Taking a closer look at the given requirement, one can see distinctively that it demands following a certain established standard. As for the third one, Luntley claims that it is more complicated. Supposing that there is a “state of affairs that makes the judgment true” (Luntley 1999), the given state of affairs will be the justification for someone to pass the judgment in a corresponding situation.

2. “Before evaluating utilitarianism, one should understand some points that might lead to confusion and misapplication”. Explain and comments on three points only.

A for the principles of utilitarianism, like any other theoretical set of concepts, they imply a number of specifics which are to be taken into consideration before the evaluation of the actual theory, since one can possibly come up with a wrong idea.

The first and the foremost objection towards the utilitarianism rules to be mentioned is the fact that its principles are by far too demanding. To be more precise, the idea that happiness is evaluated not according to the demands of the person in question, but the demands of the majority (Sampford and Ransome) might seem unfair.

As Sampford and Ransome put it, “in one way, it is morally over-demanding” (71). Thus, one can confuse utilitarianism for altruism. However, it must be mentioned that utilitarianism strives for the needs of the majority when these needs do not conflict with the ones of an individual (Sampford and Ransome).

Another confusion that can possibly arise is the emphasis on happiness as the ultimate goal. On the one hand, happiness is the goal worth striving for; yet on the other hand, ultimate content presupposes that there is nothing else to strive for and that there is no more major goal to pursue.

As Sampford and Ransome explain, “The problem here is that, because utilitarianism reduces all morality to the service of happiness, any other values that people hold dear are overwhelmed by the utilitarian view” (Sampford and Ransome 71)
3. Explain the differences between the two approaches: Utilitarian and Libertarian?

Unlike Utilitarianism, which presupposes striving for common happiness (Sheng and Sheng 68), Libertarianism claims that no action should be prohibited as long as it does not affect common state of happiness (Miron 3). Thus, while Utilitarianism focuses on altruistic ideas, Libertarianism concerns personal freedom.

Works Cited

Luntley, Michael. Reason, Truth and the Self: Getting to Know the Truth about Postmodernism. New York, NY: Routledge, 1995. Print.

Miron, Jeffery A. Libertarianism, from A to Z. New York City, NY: Basic Books, 2010. Print.

Sampford, Charles and W. Ransome. Ethics and Socially Responsible Investment: A Philosophical Approach. Farnham, UK: Ashgate Publishing, 2010. Print.

Sheng, Quinglai, and C. L. Sheng. A Defense of Utilitarianism. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2004. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2018) 'Analyzing the Differences between Utilitarianism and Libertarianism: Ethical Issues and Moral Judgments'. 22 November.

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