Is Utilitarianism flawed?

I’m personally not a utilitarian but this is a (hopefully) unbiased answer to my essay question; “Utilitarianism has no serious weaknesses - Discuss” 

Utilitarianism is progressive and argues that, if implemented, the world would be a better place.

The most fundamental challenge to Utilitarianism’s argument comes from its claim that only one factor to be considered in deciding on the right or wrong in an action is the principle of the greatest good for the greatest number, it then therefore ignores the plight of minority groups – why is it that the minority should feel unhappy in order for the majority to be happy, is it fair?

Utility seeks for justice and is in essence a simple idea which is easily understood and therefore possible for everyone to use, however justice requires that people to be treated fairly, each person should be treated according to their needs. This then contradicts the premise as in theory is not a simple idea if applied as it must cater to all, which is extremely difficult to do while keeping moral order.

The principle of human rights also conflicts the idea of utility as it can be seen to provide grounds that deny rights such as freedom of speech, right of assembly and even life itself; in the argument proposed by Margaret Thatcher in defence of General Pinochet when he was placed under house arrest pending trial for crimes against humanity, She argues that his alleged actions (such as the torture of journalists and the disappearances of dissidents) were to secure the stability of Chile – the atrocities served a greater good.

Thus, the killing of innocent people was then justified – Utilitarianism seems to ignore the idea of self-sacrifice as a moral virtue yet, at the same time, it tolerates the sacrifice of individuals for common good.

In a day and age when religion is becoming more and more set aside when it comes to Law, Utilitarianism does not rely on what many see as out of date religious basis for morality, England is a Utilitarian state therefore its Laws are not made according to Christian belief but rather to a more ‘universal’ approach. However, there is a question of whether it is truly possible to set Laws that are universal due to the great scale in difference of opinion on matters. (Such as abortion)

It takes into account other sentient beings such besides humans including animals and their pleasures, although the killing of animals is justified as they feed the greater people in order to survive – people question why animals should be considered, as humans are seen as superior.

When applied Utilitarianism is extremely flawed; if ten rapists were to rape the same women one might conclude that such an action is morally justified on the basis that the pleasure of the rapists altogether would outweigh the pain of their victim.

Nothing is right or wrong in itself for a utilitarian, nothing; as it all depends on the consequences of the act, the results are what matters as they set the universal precedent.

Reality cheque for rugby’s southern hemisphere as exodus takes hold

Rugby union’s landscape is changing and, with the lure of the euro and the yen, Australia and New Zealand are facing a fight to keep hold of their players
• World Cup winner Ali Williams warns over southern hemisphere exodus
• Leicester sign Australia international wing Peter Betham from Waratahs

Will the last player out of Australia and New Zealand please turn out the lights? An exaggeration, perhaps, but never has the lure of heading offshore to Europe or Japan been so strong for the southern hemisphere’s top talent. If you are planning to take a long-haul flight from Brisbane, Auckland or Johannesburg later this year, do not be surprised if there is a big bloke with a crooked nose sitting next to you.

The exodus is destined to intensify in the final six months of this year as the four-year Rugby World Cup cycle reaches its end. Already it is possible to pick a classy backline from those preparing to head north from Australasia. Dan Carter, Charles Piutau, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Quade Cooper, Colin Slade, Will Genia, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Nic White and Peter Betham – plus forwards such as the Harlequins-bound James Horwill and Bordeaux’s incoming prop Sekope Kepu - are merely the advance guard. Assuming South Africans such as Duane Vermeulen, Francois Hougaard, Willem Alberts and Willie Le Roux join them, that is a lot of eye-catching talent to replace.

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from Network Front | The Guardian
- Bonsoni
New Zealand star Aaron Cruden crocked for Rugby World Cup


Aaron Cruden is set to be sidelined for six months after sustaining a cruciate knee ligament injury

Aaron Cruden sustained cruciate knee ligament damage playing for the Chiefs on Saturday and scans have revealed he is set to be sidelined for least six months.

While Cruden, a former world junior player of the year who has scored 280 points for the All Blacks in 37 Tests, is clinging onto the hope he could be back in time to join the side as a replacement in the knockout stages – “if my recovery ticks along nicely then who knows what can happen” he said – the reality is that the All Blacks are a man down.

It is a blow for New Zealand but they have enviable depth in the No 10 position with Test rugby’s record points scorer Dan Carter, Beauden Barrett and Colin Slade to call on.

Leicester have signed Waratahs’ back three player Peter Betham to help fill the gap which will be left by the departures of Blaine Scully and Mat Tait at the end of the season.

The 26-year-old, who has been capped twice by the Wallabies, will join the Tigers in July, ruling out any chance of a World Cup call unless the ARU lift their home-only selection policy.

The Barbarians will field a one-eyed stand-off when they face Heriot’s in Edinburgh this evening.

Ian McKinley, a former Ireland under-20s international who retired in 2011 after losing the sight in his left eye following a training ground accident involving a teammate’s stud, made his comeback playing social rugby in Italy last season wearing protective goggles.

The 25-year-old has since jettisoned them and earned a professional contract at Viadana for whom he has scored 133 points this season in the Italian Championship.

via bad-breath

Leicester Tigers: Club close in on two deals but Barbieri set to leave, Leicester Tigers chief executive Simon Cohen has said the club are close to sealing deals for London Welsh back-rower Lachlan McCaffrey and Waratahs winger Peter Betham. Betham, 26, has won two caps for Australia, while McCaffrey, 25, is an ex-Wallabies Under-20 international.

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