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Utilitarian Theory Essay

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Updated: Apr 27th, 2021

“Utilitarianism can face very severe intuitive problems. However, the central utilitarian idea also has considerable intuitive appeal” (Mulgan 2014). Ethical and moral conduct is a requirement in various aspects of life, especially in the workplace. Ethics entail the culturally acceptable behaviors that are aimed at ensuring that the best outcomes are attained in all situations and activities. Morals, on the other hand, are the set of norms that are desirable to society.

There are many theories that provide guidelines for ethics and morals, and different entities embrace the concepts supplied by other ideas. For instance, utilitarianism is an ethical theory that compels entities to uphold conduct that fosters the attainment of the best outcomes for the entire society. Utilitarianism is applied in many fields of business through the development of social responsibility programs aimed at enhancing the well-being of the greater community.

Kantianism is another ethical theory that claims that the morality of an action is not measured by its consequences. According to the idea, a story is always right if it fulfills the intended duty. Egoism is a theory that claims that the efforts assumed by individuals should be geared toward attaining their personal goals. The idea of virtues claims that morality is influenced by the character of an individual rather than the rules that govern morals and their consequences. The highlighted theories are used by different entities to determine the conduct of individuals and the orientations of their actions in other settings. This paper reflects on ethics and their application on different platforms.

I strongly believe in the values proposed by the utilitarian theory. It is apparent that society should be compelled to think about the consequences of their actions concerning the global population. Utilitarianism stresses the need for individuals to follow the rules developed to ensure their efforts yield the greatest good for the majority of the people in the society (Hayry 2013). I believe in these values because I subscribe to the sentiment that if everyone embraced ethical conduct in a utilitarian platform, the world would be a better place.

Not only is utilitarianism deeply enshrined in promoting democracy, but it also ensures that the wellness of the entire society is enhanced. Utilitarianism views decisions as morally upright if they yield the best results for the majority of the community. For instance, going to war to defend a country is a utilitarian decision. While most critics would claim that war is not an honest approach to solving conflicts, it is a practical action because the nation sacrifices its troops to safeguard the entire society.

Over the years, I have encountered different situations where I was forced to make a utilitarian decision. For instance, I was once given the leadership position in a team project that was to be presented in an inter-school competition. During the preparation process of the project, one of the members of the team and the most knowledgeable member of the team in the subject got ill, and she (Jane) had to miss school for two weeks. Since the group had been counting on her to present the project in the competition, we had to elect a new member to handle this task. However, on the day of the competition, Jane showed up, and I decided to delegate the task of presenting the project back to her.

The rest of the team members were furious about the move because the alternative presenter had spent too much time researching and familiarizing himself with the associated facts. However, with Jane presenting the project, our team won the contest because she had all the right answers to the questions from the judges. This led to the school receiving a hefty amount of money to promote the development of better research facilities.

Judging from the personal experience above, it is apparent that utilitarianism can sometimes attract negative criticism, mainly because it influences the notion that some people can are expendable when considering the greater good of society. For instance, if the resources of a hospital can only help in saving one life and the doctors had to choose between saving a child or a scientist who is on the verge of discovering the cure for cancer, a utilitarian would propose that the doctors should save the scientist. Utilitarian ethics should be applied in all aspects of life to ensure that the well-being of society is embraced in every decision-making process (Mulgan 2014).

The globalization concept has led to companies being forced to adopt business ethics to harness the support of the global market. Companies are being compelled to embrace ethical conduct in their business activities, especially concerning environmental sustainability. Companies have to ensure they play an active role in conserving the environment and helping society to overcome the challenges posed by the environmental changes being experienced currently.

Society fails to support companies that are not considerate of the business ethics that revolve around their relationship with the environment. For instance, the Indian community was bitter about Coca Cola’s trend in polluting water with its industrial waste (Hoekstra 2013). The company ignored the responsibility to protect the environment, which led to a significant reduction of fresh, clean water for the affected society. Business ethics should have compelled the company to refrain from polluting the environment.

Additionally, business ethics should lure different companies to eliminate their carbon footprint. Based on the current issue of global warming, the climate in other parts of the world has been affected adversely. There is a need for business entities to reduce their rate of environmental pollution to safeguard the future of the global society. This is a utilitarian approach that must be adopted by every manufacturer in the world. While there are international rules that compel business entities to continue reducing their carbon footprints, nationals laws should also be devised to force companies to observe environmental sustainability (Dietz & Asheim 2012).

In conclusion, ethical conduct should be based on rules that promote the greater good for the members of society. A critical look at the claims of different ethics theories reveals that moral conduct must guide the decision-making process of people and other entities. The utilitarian approach is the most plausible ethical theory because it not only focuses on ensuring that moral decisions are made but also that the best consequences are attained concerning the well-being of the entire society.

Business ethics should be enshrined in utilitarianism because the associated entities have an obligation to consider the interests of the community. Companies should particularly look into embracing the policies that have been developed to reduce the rate of pollution in the environment. The main goal for companies in the contemporary world should be the promotion of environmental conservation.

List of References

Dietz, S & Asheim, GB 2012, ‘Climate policy under sustainable discounted utilitarianism,’ Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 321-335.

Hairy, M 2013, Liberal utilitarianism and applied ethics, Routledge, London.

Hoekstra, AY 2013, ‘Reducing the water footprint in India’, SustaiNuance, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 26-27.

Mulgan, T 2014, Understanding utilitarianism Routledge, London.

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