Keishia Quizon
Miss Clarkson
7 December 2015
Examine the reasons why Utilitarianism may be thought to be persuasive ethical theory (21)
Utilitarianism was coined by a hedonist, pursuer of pleasure, named Jeremy Bentham. Bentham put forward the ‘principle of utility’ which said, ‘the greatest happiness for the greatest number,’ which is then lately attributed to John Stuart Mill. Utilitarianism is a theory which basis on the end, purpose or outcome (teleological) of achieving pleasure. Our decisions should be based on consequences in pursuit of the principle of utility (consequentialist). Utilitarianism has shown itself to stand the test of time with more recent variations of the theory, developed even further by contemporary scholars such as Karl Popper and Peter Singer.

Utilitarianism was coined at a time they were in need of social and legal reform for the suffering of the working class majority - people employed for wages.   Bentham was famous for his version of Act Utilitarianism, performing an action which promotes greatest happiness, which focused on applying the principle of utility to each individual to each unique situation. Bentham believed that happiness was the first thing to consider when making a decision, and our pleasure helped us achieve the most happiness (quantitative). Bench said that, ‘Nature has placed mankind under two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure, and it is them that will determine what we ought to do,’ meaning the right moral decision will come about through the considerations of pleasure and pain. Bentham devised the ‘Hedonic Calculus’ (hedonic meaning pleasure) a piece of universal apparatus which helped him quantify happiness. The Hedonic Calculus holds seven aspects which needs to be considered: duration, remoteness, purity, richness, intensity, certainty and extent. Peter Vardy in ‘The Puzzle of Ethics’ cites the case of a young pregnant woman who is planning a skin trip. If she chooses to abandon the holiday,...