Let us analyze the ethical aspects of human genetic engineering from a utilitarian view point. The practical implications of utilitarianism can best be conveyed in the context of recent advances in biotechnology. Now that the human genome has been decoded, the ramifications of a utilitarian ethic go far beyond socioeconomic and legislative reform. In a period of post-genomic medical progress, they extend to the influence of the pleasure-pain axis itself. By unscrambling the molecular substrates of emotion, biotechnology allied to nano-medicine permits the magnitude, value, duration and allocation of happiness and misery in the world to be controlled eventually at will. More controversially, the dilemmas of traditional casuistry will lose their relevance (Utilitarian Bioethics). This is because our imminent mastery of the reward centers ensures that everyone can be heritably better specimens – a utopian-sounding prediction that currently still strikes most of us as comically . . . Read More
The concept behind simple utilitarian thinking is that the good society is one that promotes human well-being and happiness and that right actions are those that maximize that total happiness of all persons affected by the action. This is the “principle of utility.” It means that in any situation one should identify all of the consequences of that action for human happiness, weigh the total impact of each option on happiness, and select the option that best satisfies the principle of utility. What one expects to find in a principle is something that points out some external consideration as a means of warranting and guiding the internal sentiments of approbation and disapprobation; this expectation is fulfilled by a proposition which hold up each of those sentiments as a ground and standard itself (Clark and Elliott 273). So the concept of utilitarianism is a suitable tool for making moral decisions.
Furthermore, the utilitarian view can be applied either to all . . . Read More