Choose a contemporary moral issue in our society and apply the ethical principle of Utilitarianism to approve and be in favor of this moral issue. You must pick a moral issue that you strongly agree with and apply the utilitarian claims to back up your arguments. In addition, you must apply Bentham’s Felicific Calculus. The paper must be done in MLA format with a minimum of 500 words (quotes are not included in the word count). You must read Chapter 2 (Book Ethics) and watch the Week 3 Lectures before you do this paper. You must use at least 3 sources from LIRN, in our library. This assignment is due on Jun 20th, NO LATER than at 11:59 pm. Not applying Utilitarianism or the Felicific Calculus results in an automatic F. Utilitarianism is the ethical theory that the moral worth of an action is only determined by its contribution to overall utility . It is thus a form of consequentialism , meaning that the moral worth of an action is determined by its outcome-the ends justifies the means.

Utilitarianism is a consequentialist ethical theory that focuses on the overall utility or happiness that the actions produce. It asserts that the moral worth of an action is determined solely by its contribution to the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. In this paper, I will apply the principle of Utilitarianism to a contemporary moral issue, namely the legalization of euthanasia, and use Bentham’s Felicific Calculus to support my arguments.

Euthanasia, also known as assisted suicide, is a highly debated topic in our society. It involves giving terminally ill patients the choice to end their lives with the help of a medical professional. Many argue that legalizing euthanasia would violate the sanctity of life and go against moral principles. However, from a Utilitarian perspective, the legalization of euthanasia can be justified based on its potential to maximize overall happiness.

According to Utilitarianism, the ultimate goal is to maximize happiness and minimize suffering. By legalizing euthanasia, we would be allowing individuals who are suffering from unmanageable pain and a poor quality of life to make a decision that brings them relief and peace. This act of compassion can alleviate their suffering and lead to a greater overall happiness for the patients and their loved ones.

Furthermore, legalizing euthanasia would allow individuals to have control over their own lives and deaths. It respects their autonomy and personal choices, which is an essential aspect of human dignity. In cases where patients have a terminal illness and are in unbearable pain, denying them the option of euthanasia could be seen as prolonging their suffering and infringing upon their basic right to self-determination. By legalizing euthanasia, we are acknowledging the importance of individual autonomy and granting individuals the right to die with dignity.

To evaluate the moral worth of legalizing euthanasia using the Felicific Calculus, we must consider various factors that contribute to overall happiness. Bentham’s Felicific Calculus consists of seven dimensions: intensity, duration, certainty, propinquity, fecundity, purity, and extent. Each dimension helps us determine the magnitude of pleasure and pain that an action may produce.

Firstly, intensity refers to the strength of the pleasure or pain experienced. In the context of euthanasia, the intensity of pain experienced by terminally ill patients can be excruciating. By legalizing euthanasia, we provide these individuals with an opportunity to end their suffering and experience a momentary relief from intense pain.

Secondly, duration considers the length of time that pleasure or pain is experienced. Terminal illnesses often result in prolonged suffering, both physically and emotionally. By legalizing euthanasia, we offer an option for individuals to end their lives when they feel that the pain and suffering are unbearable, thus reducing the duration of their agony.

Certainty refers to the likelihood of pleasure or pain occurring. In the case of euthanasia, the certainty of pain is exceptionally high for terminally ill patients. By legalizing euthanasia, we provide them with a certain way to end their suffering, without having to resort to potentially dangerous and less reliable methods.

Propinquity refers to the nearness or remoteness of pleasure or pain. For patients in unbearable pain, the option of euthanasia provides immediate relief and prevents them from enduring a prolonged period of suffering. This nearness of relief can contribute significantly to their overall happiness.

Fecundity refers to the likelihood that an action will lead to further pleasures or pains in the future. While the decision to legalize euthanasia may not directly lead to future pleasures, it does create a more compassionate and understanding society. By acknowledging individuals’ right to die with dignity, we create a more empathetic environment where the suffering of others is taken seriously.

Purity refers to the absence of pain within an action. When individuals choose euthanasia to end their suffering, it is an act of compassion and mercy. The purity of their intentions is evident in their desire to alleviate their own pain and not cause harm to others.

Finally, extent refers to the number of individuals affected by an action. Legalizing euthanasia would have a significant impact on terminally ill patients, their families, and the medical community. By allowing individuals the choice to end their lives, we are providing relief and comfort to a significant number of people who are otherwise trapped in a cycle of suffering.

In conclusion, the ethical principle of Utilitarianism, when applied to the contemporary moral issue of legalizing euthanasia, supports the argument in favor of granting terminally ill patients the choice to end their lives. By considering the dimensions of Bentham’s Felicific Calculus, we can see that legalizing euthanasia has the potential to maximize overall happiness by reducing intensity and duration of pain, respecting individual autonomy, and creating a compassionate society. While the topic of euthanasia may still be controversial, the Utilitarian perspective provides a compelling ethical framework for assessing its moral worth.