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Word Count: 1,433
An older gentleman lives on a large piece of farmland in an up and coming community His family has held onto the property for over a hundred years and it is the old mans last wish to die on this land like his father and generations of his family before him Residents in the community believe that the farm land would be best used for a new shopping mall The shopping mall would employ many in the area and would provide much needed retail stores The city council concludes that because the man is old and the happiness of the community far outweighs his individual happiness that he should be forcibly removed from his property The old man is taken from his home and is left homeless with nowhere to turn While many who read this scenario would agree that the old man was treated unethically the theory of utilitarianism would argue that the city councils decisions was in fact ethical because it promoted the greatest happiness for the individuals affected by it In John Stuart Mills book Utilitarianism he describes this as the Greatest Happiness Principle He believes the Greatest Happiness Principle to be an important theory in promoting human welfare because it is concerned with greatest happiness for the greatest number of people The greatest happiness for the whole group in the example above stripped the individual of his rights This is an unjust action In my essay I will argue that utilitarianism is not a moral ethical theory when the cost of happiness for the greatest number of people violates the rights and basic liberties of the minority Depriving any individuals basic liberties is unjust and therefore unethical Before beginning my argument against utilitarianism I will explain why being fair and just to the individual is ethical and important in moral philosophy I agree with Immanuel Kant who states that reason should dictate how to act morally In accordance with reason
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