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Analysis of Ethical Theories of Michael Sandel - Assignment Example

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The author of the "Analysis of Ethical Theories of Michael Sandel" paper argues that the different theories discussed by Sandel do not show superiority among any other. However, all of them contribute to the body of knowledge in understanding “what is the right thing to do”…
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Analysis of Ethical Theories of Michael Sandel
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Download file to see previous pages Based on the utilitarian principle of Jeremy Bentham, humans like pleasures and not pain. For Bentham, the right thing to do then is to maximize the overall level of happiness, which is the highest principle of morality. However, this principle brings forward a highly debatable issue when applied in the context of murder. The reason why murder can be categorically wrong is due to the following considerations: the fundamental rights of each individual, fair procedure and the moral work of consent.

The second episode first introduced Bentham’s theory of utilitarianism in a wider context and a cost-benefit analysis was discussed in order to analyze this in great detail. It was critically considered then that the value of life cannot just exactly fit under the utilitarian principle. The utilitarian principle raises two important considerations: it fails to respect individual rights, and it is not possible to aggregate all values into something which primarily includes lower and higher pleasures. However, J.S. Mill, a utilitarian philosopher argued that seeking “the greatest good for the greatest number” is compatible with protecting individual rights and which would make room for utilitarianism for a distinction between higher and lower pleasures. Sandel has proven this in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Fear Factor, and The Simpsons experiment.

In the third episode, Sandel entirely talked about the libertarian principle, which primarily criticizes the utilitarian principle and giving more emphasis on respecting individual rights. Sandel made the entire lecture interesting by using Bill Gates and Michael Jordan as examples particularly on the issue about redistribution. Sandel raised important concern on taxation as equivalent to forced labor because under the libertarian principle this basically would possibly contradict two important points in the acquisition of wealth: justice in acquisition and justice in transfer. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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