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Utilitarianism, Euthanasia, Abortion & Death Penalty

What do you think utilitarian theory tells us about the morality of such questions as abortion, capital punishment, or euthenasia?

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Dear Student,
Hello and thank you for using Brainmass. The solution below should get you started. I am going to assume that you are familiar with the gist of utilitarian ethics and what you need is a discussion that takes into account utilitarian ethics in relation to the social choices listed in your question. If you wish to expand on the information provided, you can use the listed references. Good luck!

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones


The Utilitarian Theory

Utilitarianism is a deontological theory of ethics. Deontological theories focus on the validity of the action by ascertaining if the action itself is right or wrong based on the resulting consequences/outcome. What makes an action right then is the ultimate result with the reasons of the action weighing far less in the overall judgement. Utilitarianism is just among the many deontological ethical theories but is one of the most prominent in that it is used more often in ascertaining the morally of actions that have massive social consequences. The gist of the utilitarian ethical theory is as follows (Jones, 2010):

"Utilitarianism - an ethical position of the consequentialist view that proposes that the moral worth of any action is judged according to its overall utility in providing resolutions, happiness, use or pleasure to man and his concerns."

What then does it imply? In a way, it proposes that the best course of action is that ...

Solution Summary

The solution is an 847-word discussion of the utilitarian theory in relation to abortion, capital punishment and euthanasia. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing. References are listed following the APA format.