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Explain what Utilitarianism theory would say is our moral obligation to help end world hunger. Is distance a morally relevant criterion according to Utilitarianism Why or why not - Essay Example

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Bentham saw the mechanism, which is the engine of human acts, in the human psyche, namely human feelings of pain and pleasure. “He famously held that humans were ruled by two sovereign masters —…
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Explain what Utilitarianism theory would say is our moral obligation to help end world hunger. Is distance a morally relevant criterion according to Utilitarianism Why or why not
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The Theory of Utilitarianism of Learning The Theory of Utilitarianism The founder of the theory of utilitarianism was Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). Bentham saw the mechanism, which is the engine of human acts, in the human psyche, namely human feelings of pain and pleasure. “He famously held that humans were ruled by two sovereign masters — pleasure and pain.” (Driver, 2009). The usefulness of human actions gives a sense of satisfaction, identical to the concept of happiness. Usefulness is able to bring prosperity, profit, pleasure, goodness and happiness (Driver, 2009). His successor, John Stuart Mill paid special attention to the justification of utilitarianism as an ethical theory (Beauchamp, 2013). According to Mill, ethical judgments should be based on the criterion of the usefulness of the human acts. A person can determine whether his/her action is good or evil based on its usefulness. However, the utility is seen not primarily as an individual utility, but as a public utility.
Utilitarianism takes into account the fact that the act can be considered ethically justified if it promotes happiness or benefit for a large number of people. It is seen as “the ‘greatest happiness’ principle” (Beauchamp, 2013). Based on this, utilitarianism evaluates human moral obligations to help end world hunger in accordance with the amount of benefit that it can bring to humanity. The distance between the people in this regard is not critical, since the emphasis is on the benefit for the whole of humanity in the case of our aid to poor countries. If the aid to the starving countries from developing countries will lead to higher overall benefit and happiness, then utilitarianism appreciates it. Otherwise, utilitarianism does not see the moral reasoning for such assistance.
References
Beauchamp, T. (2013). The principle of beneficence in applied ethics. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/principle-beneficence/#UtiThe
Driver, J. (2009). The history of utilitarianism. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/utilitarianism-history/ Read More
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