Evaluate a Utilitarian approach to Abortion Essay - Paper Example Evaluate a Utilitarian approach to Abortion Essay Abortion, the deliberate termination of a pregnancy, has been the subject of discussion and controversy for many decades - Evaluate a Utilitarian approach to Abortion Essay introduction.
Evaluate a Utilitarian approach to Abortion Categories Free Essays Tags Abortion, the deliberate termination of a pregnancy, has been the subject of discussion and controversy for many decades.
Utilitarianism is the chief teleological ethical theory today which considers the consequences of an action; such as abortion. It considers the hedonic calculus, designed by Bentham, which weighs up the pleasure and pain generated by the available moral actions; the theory mainly focuses on both pleasure and pain and the ability to maximize pleasure over pain.
It also emphasises the ends of abortion over its means; so it judges the rightness of abortion by the end result, possible pleasure, it produces. The views of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill are significant in illustrating the effects of a Utilitarian approach to abortion. His theory remains teleological, using the outcome of an action to determine whether it is good or bad.
With abortion being a personal issue, it seems that act utilitarianism is the most adequate theory because it looks at the consequences of an abortion, taking each situation into separate account of all others. This would then enable women who have been raped, for example, to choose whether they go ahead with the birth because they may not be able to live with the consequences of their situation and bring the child up with the history of the conception attached to the child, thus in theory giving the mother a more pleasurable life, without the constant reminder of what happened to her.
However, act utilitarianism, is considered a flawed theory because it can be seen as a tool to justify potentially evil actions purely because it fulfils the principle of bringing the greatest good to the greatest number.
It is potentially essential in relation to abortion because it determines whether it is intrinsically right or wrong, based on seven factors. Secondly, the duration of the pleasure caused, might refer to the lifelong highs or lows from your child.
The richness of the pleasure may refer to the birth of a baby, which will bring happiness to many.
The purity of the pleasure means whether the action will bring more or less harm, for example, by having a child at a young age could jeopardise an education or a career.
Finally, the extent of the pleasure amounts to the number of people affected by it, such as the effect a newborn can have on a whole family. This method is effective in decision making because the calculations can be made over a longer period of time. Bentham concluded that the action that produces the best consequences is the morally correct option to follow.
Although the hedonic calculus seems to have been purpose built for abortion, the negatives of the quantative method outweigh the positives by far.
He accepted the idea of a woman giving birth because the outcome of that would be a child so it would be a higher pleasure for the parents and as a consequence the child would cause much pleasure for the parents, whose individual liberty to choose to have a child is maintained.
As a rule utilitarian, Mill was concerned with which certain actions have tendencies to produce pleasure, in order to determine its rightness or wrongness. He also believed that utilitarianism was a moral idealist theory, meaning that there is an ultimate morality for humans.
This means that it is considered unjust to hinder the individuality of someone other than you. Mill would consider abortion immoral because of his principles about how we achieve this moral idealism that Utilitarianism holds. Therefore aborting a life would not be moral in his eyes because a life helps get closer and closer to the ideal morals of Utilitarianism.
Preference Utilitarianism is another form of utilitarianism, advocated by Peter Singer, to determine that an action, like abortion, is morally right if it produces the most favourable consequences for everyone involved.
A right action is what leads to this satisfaction. However, Singer expresses concern about the methods of abortion which cause a foetus to feel pain; he says that they should be avoided. In conclusion, act utilitarianism in particular, is a logical and more suitable approach to an emotive issue like abortion.
It aims to solve individual situations on whether an abortion would be the right action by enabling the hedonic calculus to be used for any length of time. This approach promotes pleasure and compassion for all involved; considering the feelings of the mother and father as well as the foetus.
However, it can be argued that the theory possibly overlooks the happiness of the foetus. Also it is very difficult to predict the consequences of abortion.Utilitarianism is the chief teleological ethical theory today which considers the consequences of an action; such as abortion.
This ethical approach to abortion is useful because it determines that “an action is right if it produces the greatest good for the greatest number”. Utilitarianism and Abortion (a) Explain how Bentham's version of Utilitarianism can be used to decide on the right course of action.
 (b) Evaluate a Utilitarian approach to abortion. Abortion A) Explain how a Utilitarian might respond to the issue of abortion Utilitarianism is a teleological theory basing the goodness of an action by its presumed consequences.
The aim is ‘greatest happiness for the greatest number of people’ and Utilitarian’s base the . Viewing abortion through the utilitarian approach, theorists would want to distinguish between the possibility of pleasure and pain instances of abortion over the amounts of pleasure and pain when abortion is not the option.
Act utilitarianism is the view that each individual action should maximise utility. Utility is the good, and the good is often taken to mean pleasure. For every applied act utilitarian question ever, you work out if it would maximise the good.
So, will the abortion increase or decrease happiness? If . Utilitarianism states that abortion, like all actions is an entirely neutral act until the consequences are evaluated.
Both ethical systems allow an opportunity for an individual to formulate an understanding of, and ethically right decision on abortion.