How does Utilitarianism impact society?

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Simple. Utilitarianism is concerned with "the good of the whole," "the greatest happiness," and "the ends justifying the means."

If you're too concerned about the good of the whole, you neglect the good of the individual...a mistake, as individuals collectively make up the whole. Not to mention that individual capability is a powerful thing.

As for "the greatest happiness" bit, one's person's happiness may not be the same as another's happiness, seeing as they are different people and have different perspectives, not to mention that trying to quantify something that is innately qualitative is kind of retarded. Trying to achieve someone's warped idea of what the greatest happiness for everybody makes no sense whatsoever. You can't achieve a uniform definition of happiness for everybody. This can be dangerous in that a government could use this as a justification for their actions however heinous or reproachable by saying that their means are only a way for their society to achieve happiness, when in reality that "happiness" is its definition of happiness, not those of their citizens.

As for "the ends justifying the means" part of it, it's pretty could use "brave new world" as an example...for the society in that book, it is acceptable to deliberately alcohol poison fetuses in order to lower their mental capabilities so that their society has more lower class workers and is thus able to function properly. The end is "good"--a working society...the means--not so much...but utilitarianism says it's ok...


philosophy lecture class last summer heh what i remember, at least

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thanks that help me out a lot
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  • Theron Q. Ramacharaka Panchadasi answered 7 years ago
    1) Think of the ways that ANY idea defining how to determine a right action might impact ANY group of people. Clearly define those ways. They are now your analytic criteria.

    2) Define Utilitarianism. As a theory of right action, it is a member of the Consequentialist set of theories. Whether the results of an action produce the best possible results for the greatest possible number of people, from an objective observers point of view, is the test of whether the action is right. In that definition, Utilitarianism qualifies "best" in "best possible outcome" with "happiness."

    3) Now, apply your analytic criteria to THAT (Utilitarian) idea about how to determine a right action.

    4) Test your conclusions against your understanding of actual states of affairs, and with common sense.

    That all done, you have your answer!
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  • kermit50000 answered 7 years ago
    The more medicine is socialized, the more the government will start to force utilitarian behavior on its citizens, and any activity that is seen as bad for peoples' health will began to be outlawed, or penalized as having no utilitarian purpose. Activities that would be seen as serving no utilitarian purpose would have to include things like: eating junk food, smoking, drinking, sitting on the couch too much, doing risky activites like skydiving or rock-climbing. Socialized healthcare will turn our lives into a budget for them to manage.
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  • eeklutop answered 7 years ago
    lett me tell you latey,

    by becoming the whole idea , of utility
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