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Utilitarianism - Essay Example

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Usually, opinions concerning them vary greatly and depend on the perspective from which a topic is being examined. Among such has been the question over the…
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Utilitarianism
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Utilitarian Defense of Torture At present, the United s and the world face the list of controversial issues that touch upon morality and ethics. Usually, opinions concerning them vary greatly and depend on the perspective from which a topic is being examined. Among such has been the question over the relevance of using tortures while interrogating criminals. It appears that although both sides of the issue cam be highly criticized, it is also possible to find justification for tortures when applying the principle of Utilitarianism.
As one of the most persuasive and influential approaches to ethics in the history of philosophical thought, Unitarianism was supported by different authors, which resulted in the creation of many varieties of the concept. However, among the most famous and powerful can be named the work by John Stuart Mill, in which he explains the details of the concept and provides logical grounding for its relevance. Therefore, I suggest resorting to the ideas of the famous philosopher to defend the practice of tortures.
The core of Utilitarianism is developed from the idea that that actions are as good as their consequences are. Mill argued that there is no value of searching for the morality of an action in the action itself while leaving the context in which it occurs without attention. Consequently, according to Utilitarianism, human morality should serve the principle of Utility or the “Greatest Happiness Principle” which persuades that “actions are right in proportion as they can promote happiness and wrong when they produce the reverse of happiness.” (Troyer 98-99) Moreover, the notion of happiness should regarded as a sum of happiness of the majority, which is more essential than the happiness of the one.
Applying the concept of utilitarianism to torturing terrorist or military, it becomes clear that its essence and purpose can be fully justified under the condition that this intervention is aimed at the common good. Firstly, under the principles of Utilitarianism, the happiness of one person is less important than the happiness of many. (Evans 53-66) Subsequently, interests of one person can be sacrificed for the sake of preserving interests of the majority. Secondly, the morality of an action should be evaluated taking into account consequences which they would bring, rather than whether a particular action is right or wrong. (Troyer 98-99) It follows that it is morally right to torture a person who hold the information related to the potential harm that can be caused to masses of people.
The issue of tortures remain a highly controversial and debated one as it has the list of moral, ethical, and legal implications. However, the relevance of tortures can be justified applying the moral principle of Utilitarianism which holds that an action is as morally right as the consequences it will produce for the majority of people affected. Consequently, it appears that torturing terrorists or military are morally right in case it is conducted with aim of extracting information that can prevent causing harm. Therefore, the happiness of the one person must be sacrificed in order to maintain well being of more people.
Works cited
Evans, Rebecca. "The Ethics of Torture." Human Rights and Human Welfare. 7. (2007): 53-66. Print. .
Troyer, J. The classical utilitarians : Bentham and Mill. Indianapolis: Hackett Publ, 2003. 98-99. Print. Read More
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