Type
Essay
Pages
2 pages
Word Count
763 words
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N/A
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Ethics Final

April 26, 2014
Jason Kolt
Final Exam Essay Questions
1). Utilitarianism is an ethical framework that states, so long as an action maximizes
pleasure and minimizes pain for the greatest number of people, said action can be deemed
ethically moral, this is also known as the Greatest Happiness Principle. A major problem
with this theory is the “Peeping Tom" dilemma. A peeping tom is person who spies on
someone for their own pleasure, unbeknownst to the victim. Since the victim has no idea
this is going on, one can argue that no one is actually being harmed. Meanwhile, the
peeper gets all the pleasure out of it. Now of course this sounds socially awkward, and no
one other than a utilitarian would be able to accept this to be an ethical deed. So in order to
solve this problem, they attempt to make a distinction between rule-utilitarianism and
act-utilitarianism. The latter just being a situational based utilitarianism. In which they
would say it’s okay to break the law if it follows the Greatest Happiness Principle, and
considers peeping ethical. As opposed to rule-utilitarianism, which attempts to solve the
peeping tom dilemma by stating that there are laws in place that generally protect the
public and there are no exceptions to them. Therein lies the logical inconsistency. If under
rule-utilitarianism, a law should never be broken even if said law inhibits one’s attainment
of pleasure. However this goes against what a utilitarian’s framework is built upon, which
is to follow the Greatest Happiness Principle and striving to maximize pleasure, as such it

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