Case Analysis : ' The Best Good For The Greatest Number ' Essays

1431 Words Nov 19th, 2014 6 Pages
Name: Alvin Banks II
Date: 11/19/14 Research Paper
Mr. Wilson
Ethics

The scenario I want to discuss in this paper is, whether a utilitarian would be for or against using torture in a given scenario. If a terrorist planted a bomb in a mall, and in order to save the people in it and the only solution was to torture the innocent terrorist’s daughter, would the terrorist be “for” or “against” torturing one person to save thousands of others? Personally with what knowledge I have obtained in class, I can automatically say that a Utilitarian would be in agreement with, torturing the daughter because the central goal is to maximize utility.
With that being said a philosopher by the name of Joshua Green found out just that. Bentham said “The Greatest good for the greatest number”, essentially referring to quantity of pleasure. Joshua used the comparison of hitting and killing one person instead of five people with a trolley as example for what a utilitarian would have chosen to do. Another example that Joshua gives is a famous one that we discussed in class. His comparison involved taking someone off the street and taking their organs to save five other people ( The Rational optimist ). Again it’s all about “the greatest number (Quantity) as Bentham said. Utilitarianism are the acts that are morally right simply because they maximize the amount of goodness in the world. The most common type of utilitarian is a hedonistic utilitarian, whose ultimate goal is to maximize pleasure.…

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