An analysis of the issue of utilitarianism on its failure to protect individual rights

Utilitarian theory of rights

He had already participate It then became one of the bridgeheads of a revisionist interpretation of Mill, which is associated with the work of David Lyons, John Skorupski and others. Moore Principia Ethica 71—72, 77— Bentham is not unaware of this tension. The line of action will be marked out according to the possibilities. However, this justification depends upon the assumption that human rights are alienable. Social Choice Theory and J. The second task is to make plausible that the various types of judgments about justice can be traced back to a systematic core; and the third task consists in showing that the principle of utility constructs this core. Obligatory acts are those whose omission it is optimal to blame. Insofar as moral rights secure the basis of our existence, they serve our natural interest in self-preservation — this is the reason why their harm calls forth such intense emotional reactions.

Similarly, public officials can and should be partial to people in the jurisdiction in which they work. Act utilitarianism is the most familiar form of direct utilitarianism applied to action, whereas the most common indirect utilitarian theory of duty is rule utilitarianism.

But what about cases in which two actions produce different amounts of pleasure?

An analysis of the issue of utilitarianism on its failure to protect individual rights

The state cannot claim with this logic rights that an individual does not possess. Thus Mill is not to blame for failing to make explicit which of the two approaches he advocates. Moral rights are concerned with the basic conditions of a good life.

utilitarianism and human rights

If our happiness should reflect the sort of beings we are, Mill can argue that higher activities that exercise these deliberative capacities form the principal or most important ingredient in human happiness.

This, being, according to the utilitarian opinion, the end of human action, is necessarily also the standard of morality; which may accordingly be defined, the rules and precepts for human conduct, by the observance of which an existence such as has been described might be, to the greatest extent possible, secured to all mankind; and not to them only, but, so far as the nature of things admits, to the whole sentient creation.

Mill, "Jurisprudence", p.

act utilitarianism

We have, then, certain meta-legal rights that can be the deontological authority of law.

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The Challenge of Utilitarianism and Relativism to Human Rights