Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Do it for the vine (gram)

Utilitarianism is a system of ethics according to which the rightness or wrongness of an action should be judged by its consequences. The goal of utilitarian ethics is to promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number. Therefore because utilitarianism focuses on the happiness of the majority, which to be fair is most practical, it does not account the happiness of the minority. An example of utilitarianism is if a pharmaceutical company releases a drug with approved side effects, because the drug is able to help more people than are bothered by the minor side effects. This act of utilitarianism showcases the “ends justify the means” mentality. Utilitarianism major fault is that the “little guy” doesn’t get his way, for this reason, I would not consider myself to fully follow the utilitarianism ways. Although I do agree with Mills concept of higher and lower pleasures. The best example I can think of, for a person who just recently found a new love for hiking, is that the view after a day long hike, is much more gratifying than one that you took a gondola/elevator to get to and that the amount of work and time put into something accounts for how much pleasure that thing will give you.

Categorical Imperative is an unconditional moral obligation that is binding in all circumstances and is not dependent on a person’s inclination or purpose. While I agree with the idea of doing things for because it is the right thing to do. I find it hard to wrap my head around a deed that is truly in the nature of good will, for I find that it’s easy to find an ulterior motive behind every action. What I interpreted from Kant’s Categorical Imperative, was that if you commit an act that benefits someone, yet one of the reasons you did it was to feel good about yourself, the act itself is not good anymore, and I don’t agree. The example I came across are the countless videos you see on Facebook, Instagram etc. of people doing good deeds, whether its giving food to the homeless or rescuing animals. This issue I have with these videos, is that it’s hard to detect whether the person is doing the deed out of the goodness in their hearts OR because they have a camera filming they want to flex and try to get as many likes and shares as possible. Now while these people may want fame, I still believe that it’s a good deed because in hoping for a viral video, in turn they are still helping someone out and I believe that that is still good.



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