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This paper discusses the basics of utilitarian philosophy according to Immanuel Kant, Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill and their application to the act of lying. In particular, the paper looks at how Mill's rule of exception, which allows that lying is wrong only 'in general,' is one founded on the intent to disestablish the hegemonic establishment of moral values. In contrast, it examines how Kant makes a compelling case that it is not necessarily permissible to abandon certain unchangeable parameters to ethical decision-making. While it is still debatable whether or not there are exceptions to morality regarding lying, Kant illustrates effectively that the subject of truth is too important to be left to the chance of subjectivity.
From the Paper:"Mill's conditional approach to lying, for example, is analogous to the discussion which Rachels engages over the utilitarian perspective on euthanasia. If Kant's points are to be assimilated when adopting a moral stance which is consistent with man's dignity, such absolute terms are inevitably defined by dominant social structures. The inextricable relationship which theology and morality have shared throughout history tends to have a tangible impact on the way these hegemonic standards are defined. "The dominant moral tradition in our society is, of course, the Christian tradition. Christianity holds that human life is a gift from God, so that only he may decide when it will end. The early church prohibited all killing, believing that Jesus' teachings on this subject permitted no exceptions to the rule." (Rachels, 93) This jars with the utilitarian view however, which does not readily accept biblical tradition as the most likely route to happiness."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Albot, Phillip. (2002). Two Senses of 'Right.' Department of Philsophy: Washington University. Online at http://faculty.washington.edu/wtalbott/phil338/trFCSS&N.html
- Kant, I. 1785. Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. Jonathan Bennett
- Rachels, James. (1993). The Utilitarian Approach. The Elements of Moral Philosophy, pg. 91-101. New York: McGraw Hill.
- Rachels, James. (1993). Kant and Respect for Persons. The Elements of Moral Philosophy, pg. 127-138. New York: McGraw Hill.
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Utilitarian Morality (2010, December 24) Retrieved September 30, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/utilitarian-morality-146244/
"Utilitarian Morality" 24 December 2010. Web. 30 September. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/utilitarian-morality-146244/>