Pros and Cons of Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism is concerned with the actions only. It doesn’t deal with motives or reasons behind those actions. In the view of a utilitarian, an action is good when it generates results or gives happiness. They are neutral in decision-making. It means friends and strangers are regarded as the same when making a moral decision.

Pros

1. Emphasis on happiness: Utilitarianism is a popular theory. Its main focus is on happiness as the reason behind human existence. Generally, people don’t feel this emotion. They are happy when they are financially stable. Another thing that makes them happy is they aren’t worried about their job in the future. Utilitarianism can help reduce the unemployment rate. It can make household income better as well.

2. Moral values: Utilitarianism inculcates ethics. According to this theory, morality is practiced by the community and not by the individual. If the choices made bring happiness on an individual level, it’s not right. It believes that harming others for one’s interests isn’t acceptable at any level.

3. Easy implementation: The process of implementing a society based on utilitarianism is nothing but happiness. To ensure this theory works smoothly, people must work in large groups. They should determine the positive as well the negative impact of every choice they’ve made. Decision-making is what everyone has to do from early childhood. The natural step ahead is to incorporate it into group theory.

4. Humanity-focused secular system: The vision of spirituality is involved when observing life from a societal point of view. This is among the most important efforts humanity has to make. There are around 4,200 religions that are practiced in the world currently, as several estimates reveal. It’s quite challenging to figure out what a person thinks is a spiritual belief and the other one considers a fact based on science. When the focus is on happiness, there’s no room for inconsistency.

5. Equal opportunities: A perfect world is where everyone has equal access to opportunities and happiness. There’s a high discrepancy within sub-communities of the society. It can make it almost impossible to attain. Utilitarianism emphasizes the majority of the group to be happy and not the individual alone. When the idea to bring joy at the community level is pursued, the potential for harm is limited.

6. Democracy to move ahead: When there’s a majority of the vote for a representative, he is elected. It’s a fair process that balances the different interests of the people. Modern democratic governments are based on this philosophy. This theory is used to bring happiness to society. It has to be applied in other areas of the community.

7. Objective approach: Utilitarianism adds universal moral values and an objective perspective. It’s possible to evaluate the positive and negative results of every action taken by the group. It’s a process that helps make an independent manner of knowing the right and the wrong from an ethical point of view. These rules apply to every human society.

Cons

1. All elements are ignored: In utilitarianism, the only focus is on happiness to determine ethics. Other things are not taken into account. It should be kept in mind that there are many other factors while considering humans’ overall experience. It’s a fact that love is a strong emotion giving immense happiness. But at the same time, it can cause serious heartbreak.

2. Unrealistic approach for society: In utilitarianism, it often happens that the ends don’t justify means. The focus is on group happiness more. There must be a consideration for creating happiness on the individual level as well. The majority of people feel it’s easier to harm others by using the principle of balance. Every member votes to save them as a group.

3. Unpredictability: Is anyone able to make an accurate prediction about the future? It’s possible to guess the upcoming happenings, but these are just estimates, not confirmed. The focus must be on the present, what’s occurring at the moment. It will give way to improve society. If only the potential is taken into consideration, the desired results will never be generated.

4. Inconsistency in decisions: It’s hard to trust a person to ask for a favor when the majority decides to stay away from a healthy life and well-being. Humans frequently change their minds. They never make consistent decisions. In hard times, they opt for other options to resolve the conflict and find a solution. This will surely happen when society follows utilitarianism.

5. Multiple meanings of happiness: The definition of happiness differs from one person to another. There can indeed be similarities to some extent. It’s quite impossible to find two people with the same perspective. What causes a person to be happy may make the other one bored and dull. So, it gives us two choices.

6. Possibility of tyranny: When the majority group considers something right, it doesn’t mean that it has become ethical. This thinking made women have no right to vote for hundreds of years. It also gave way to slavery. It also allowed child trafficking, exploitation, and many other harmful practices that exist even today. So, it’s not a good idea to consider happiness as the basis of societal pursuits.

7. Wrong approach toward ethics: Utilitarianism is often wrong about moral values. Bad results don’t make anything wrong. It’s the negative action that makes something unethical or immoral. A policeman enjoys the picture of an abused woman. But as long as it’s a secret, it’s considered acceptable. When his action was exposed, the results were horrible and grim.

According to utilitarianism’s pros and cons, it’s evident that this theory has more advantages than a dark perspective. To make society happy and balanced, it needs to implement this theory properly. Taking the joy of a person at an individual level is also important. So, it has to be considered.

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