Act-utilitarianism

Stating a system of ethics that would be free from traditional and theological relations would be called forth while trying to solve different conflicts. Act-utilitarianism argues that the rightness or wrongness of an action is based on the goodness or badness of its consequences (Smart and Williams, 4). According to the act-utilitarian, the logical way to decide what to do is based on the open available options, which must be selected according to the end results of the action. In this case, a utilitarian advocates for an action that will maximize the expected happiness as well as the wellbeing of the humanity at large. In a situation that an individual performs an action as a way of fulfilling a promise without deliberating on the consequences, the act-utilitarian considers such acts as habitual and using rule of thumb. This may have been enacted by the authority which decided to foil the information in spite of the consequences. The act-utilitarian believes that any action ought to be followed by moral thinking with choices being made after wise deliberations of the outcomes. Although the rule conceives that enough time should be taken to make proper choices, there is no inconsistency for the act-utilitarian to act (Smart and Williams, 43). In an ideal world there would have been no time to deliberate on whether to arrest the suspect or otherwise. While not forgetting that the suspect could be armed at the time of the arrest, the rule considers protecting the society as a moral thing above other considerations. At normal circumstances, the act-utilitarian will keep his promises as a matter of habit. The principle also values unbiased choices. Since act- utilitarianism suggests that any action that maximizes the expected happiness as well as the well being of the humanity should be encouraged, based on this notion, an act utilitarian would consider the act of arresting the suspect as advantageous to the society who would otherwise suffer from the terrorism attack. In this case, arresting the man brought maximum benefits to the society. On the other hand, although the rule condemns biased choices, the decision of arresting the man, though deprived him his liberty was better in relation to setting him free and leaving the whole society to suffer from the attack. On contrary, to the rule utilitarian’s perception, an act utilitarian would have considered the punishment as a benefit, since as a way of avoiding more suffering; the suspect revealed the information on the impended car bomb attack. This was obviously crucial to the authority since the right measures would be put to prevent the welfare of the society.

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