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When first introduced to Utilitarianism one would think that it is pretty straightforward and easy to swallow Utilitarianism relates to the greatest happiness of the greatest number Although there are some problems with this theory In the paragraphs to follow I will illustrate what Utilitarianism is discuss why it is important to society and discuss some of the problems related to Utilitarianism Utilitarianism is what one ought to do or what one should do to promote happiness without the presence of pain Since it is always in everyones interest you must account for all of the people effected directly or indirectly by the action Although there are different levels of pain and pleasure One way to measure the values is by Utilitarianism calculus Based on the action you assign a number say 1-10 in increasing value of pain or pleasure You assign the numbers to several categories such as intensity duration certainty or uncertainty remoteness fecundity purity and extent Then you add up the pleasure side and the pain side and which ever one is greater that is what the action will cause Based on this you should choose the action which will promote the most pleasure There is a downside to this When a person is thinking about what levels to rate each factor the person is otherwise stating what they prefer on the pleasure and pain The problem is that different people have different values thus different people would then rate the factors differently This would cause different outcomes to an action by different people I will illustrate a personal example Say it is Wednesday and you and your girlfriend are making plans for the weekend Finally you decide that you will go see a new movie at the theater Well your friend comes in from out of state and asks you to do something that weekend Considering that Friday is your only day off from work that weekend and
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