Fundamentals of Ethics
Ethical theories and principles form the basis to ethical analysis. The theories provide the points of reference to obtain guidance when arriving at a decision. There are different theories and as would be expected, each theory tends to provide an emphasis on different points.
In ethics, there are key ideologies that the human species adopts on a daily basis, more so when it comes to execution of daily activities. These ideologies including points like hedonism. The terminology “hedonism” refers to a principal ethic of maximizing pleasure through minimizing pain. It is a normative ethics theory, which cites that the right course of action can be both directly and indirectly responsible for maximization of utility. In other concepts definition, it can be viewed as reducing suffering through maximizing happiness.
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Utilitarianism is founded on the basis that an action is to be judged as moral or immoral based on its consequences. Thus, if an action has beneficial consequences, then such an action should be considered right and moral. For Utilitarian, the greatest good is considered as the greatest happiness. Happiness was equated to pleasure by Jeremy Bentham while he associated unhappiness with pain.
Thus, a life of pleasure could be considered as a good life. John Stuart Mill dealt with the concern about different types of pleasures. Utilitarians do not support an action as being moral on account of maximizing happiness on an individual but rather it is when there is a great good for a whole society (Lindberg 31).
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