History Sample Essay on The principle of Utilitarianism

The principle of Utilitarianism

Let us talk about utilitarianism.  According to the utility’s principle, we should do whatever will yield the utmost amount of contentment and whatever is essential to prevent the utmost amount of contentment.  Utilitarians believe that the right thing to do is what yields the utmost amount of contentment.  Nevertheless, there is a variance by the Libertarians.  They believe that we should never abuse anyone’s rights, even if the action would boost the overall contentment.

Libertarians suggest that the utmost peril to individual rights emanates from the government.  You may be able to drive without wearing your seat-belt if you decide so.  The government does not have any dealing to give you a ticket.  That is a paternalist, which is unacceptable.  If anyone decides to engage in nonstandard sexual practices or use drugs, he/she should feel free as long as he/she does not violate anybody’s right in the process.  The government does not have any dealing with passing the moralistic legislation.  The government is not supposed to tell someone how to live his/her lives.  Most significant, the government should not impose any tax for redistributive intentions.  Redistributive taxation is considered as stealing.  Taking the earnings of someone and giving it to other individuals is same as forcing someone to work for others.  Libertarians claim that, this action is like slavery.  Libertarians make claims that are strong, but they are correct concerning the rights.

Property rights, equality, liberty, and government by approval – each of these thoughts figure significantly in the modern political thought.  Every idea was core to John Locke’s political thought.  Locke concluded that individuals have particular rights which are unalienable and cannot be denied to the individual.  He believed that people were equivalent and liberated by nature, and that property was an expansion of an individual toil and the government should be founded and limited on consent (Sandel, 5).

John thought that citizens are supposed to have the rights to individual possessions, even before the government body.  According to John Locke, anything that is not owned becomes your own property if “you have mixed it with labor.”  Locke as well suggests that a government is justifiable if everybody could concur with it without worsening his own situation.

The utilitarians believe that, the acceptable thing to do is to maximize contentment always.  The Libertarians believe that the acceptable thing to do is always to permit the citizens do what they wish.  The theory of John Locke states that there is an unalienable right given to every individual by the law of nature.  Immanuel Kant, who is a philosopher thought that all these views were misguided.  In opposition to the utilitarians, Kant suggests that freedom and contentment is not the purpose of morality.  In opposition to Libertarians, Kant objected that freedom comprises of doing whatever one feels like and in opposition to Locke, he stated that duty, rights, and morality   have their basis in human reason, not in nature’s law (Sterba, 43).

As suggested by Kant, morality is when one does the right thing because they know and understand that it is the right thing to do. He imagines a salesperson who does not overprice his clients only because he dreads that remark of his dishonesty will spread and he might lose money.  Kant believes there is nothing morally praiseworthy concerning his action.

What is justice?  John Rawls states that principles of justices are any principles that would be approved to behind a “mask of ignorance,” where nobody recognizes his/her race, age, strength, sex, religion, family wealth, social position, or even goals of life.  If we were uninformed of these facts about ourselves, we would not recommend social rules considered to provide ourselves an unjust advantage over other people.  Hence, according to John Rawls, the principles we would concur to behind a mask of ignorance would be just.

If an agreement is made voluntarily, is it essentially fair?  Assume that you have a leaking toilet and the plumber informs you that it will cost three thousand dollars to fix.  You agree to this cost, not knowing the normal cost for the same process is three hundred dollars.  Is the contract voluntary and is it fair?  According to Rawls, the principles of justice are the result of unique theoretical agreement.  These are the principles we would concur to if we were deciding rules for the society behind a “mask of ignorance,” where nobody knows his/her intelligence, age, social position, sex, family wealth or even the goals of life.  Behind this mask of ignorance, it is not possible for anyone to recommend social rules intended to benefit himself or herself than other people.  Consequently, Rawls disputes, the principles we would concur to behind the mask of ignorance would be just and fair.  Rawls believes that two principles may be concurred to behind the mask of ignorance: everyone is supposed to have the same basic liberties, inclusive of the freedom of conscience and speech, the right of, holding office and vote for elected officials, the right of holding personal property and the freedom from random arrest.

According to various contemporary liberals, there were only two categories of moral obligations.  One, there are general responsibilities that are obligated to each person, like the duty to avoid harming other individuals pointlessly.  Second, there are voluntary responsibilities that we obtain by consent, such as when we concur to support someone or guarantee to be faithful to our colleagues and partners.  According to various contemporary liberals, there are no other kinds of moral responsibilities.  There has been a disagreement with the critics of liberalism where they pronounce that there is another category of moral responsibility that is neither universal nor voluntary.  We might be morally compelled to a specific community, even if we have not assumed that obligation willingly.  Membership obligations and loyalty can occur simply because of who we are, since we are someone’s daughter or son, member of a specific community or a resident of a specific nation.

Contemporary liberalism hunts for neutrality.  In debates of public, contemporary liberals usually want to avoid conversing questions that are controversial about the lifestyle’s morality, or the reason of human life, or the Bible’s authority or even the individuality’s value.  These questions and others are deemed controversial.  Rather, we should resolve on what rights the people have and the requirements of justice.

The principle of utility informs us to lessen pain and sorrow by doing whatever is necessary, but pain and sorrow have various sources.  At times, telling the truth to people would make them feel very sad.  Must you tell lies to an individual whenever lying is the sole option, to spare his feelings and prevent sorrow?  The utility’s principle recommends maximizing happiness always.  It does not matter if we are making decisions on our country’s law either as officials or as common citizens, or whether we are making the decisions on what to do in our lives.  In every possible situation, the utility’s principle advises us to choose the course of action, which will yield the utmost amount of happiness.

The Importance of Human-Rights Declaration

This particular declaration of human-rights was made with a general standard goal for all citizens and all nations.  It promises that if any individual or organ of any society keeps this declaration in mind, then he or she shall strive via teaching and via education in a bid to respect these rights and freedoms.  This way, one shall be securing his or her universal rights and freedom.

According to the very first article, all human beings have equal dignity and rights and both have been endowed with conscience and reason to maintain a feeling of brotherhood towards one another (Assembly, 2).  This is a right that has been exhibited since its declaration between people of the same region, country, or tribe, but has not yet been embraced globally since there are still some places where people discriminate based on gender, color, tribe, or religion.

The second article states that every individual is permitted to all freedoms and rights, which have been laid down in this declaration with no distinction of any kind.  To add to that, no form of discrimination will be made in regards to political, worldwide or jurisdictional condition of the nation to which an individual comes from.  This is regardless of whether the state is self-governed, independent or under any other sovereignty.  This right is in some way not respected in some continents that have a tendency of racial discrimination in the current world.

The right to life, protection, and freedom of an individual is the other right well stated by the third article.  This is the most respected right of all and one with the biggest percentage of obedience.  In most states, a right to life and liberty is denied only in very dire circumstances or as a result of curbing crime in any nation.

Nobody should be held in slavery and therefore the trade of slaves is forbidden in any form.  This is the other right declared as stated in article four.  The Slave trade was most prevalent during the colonial times when supreme countries ruled the inferior ones and engaged in the slave trade.  This has now been abolished in the modern society since the declaration of the international human rights.

The fifth article then states that nobody should be subject to torture, cruelty, or dehumanizing forms of treatment or punishment.  In the modern age, those who subject other weak people to torture or degrading forms of punishment are severely punished by the law.  This means that the government is fully focused on protecting its people from torture or any other form of mistreatment hence progress in any state development.

The law identifies each person everywhere, so states the sixth article.  In regard to whether this law is really respected in the modern society, many states have come up with treaties to show that any member citizen from the member state can stand before the law of a member state and be recognized and heard.

The seventh article further explains the sixth article by stating that everyone is equal before the law and is entitled to the protection of the law in equal measure without discrimination.

According to the eighth article, everyone is fully entitled to effective and efficient remedy by the best and most competent tribunals for acts that violate all the rights granted to him by the law.  From the modern point of view, however, not so many people get the justice they should be accorded, especially the weak or the low class people.  This particular right is only accorded to those who are able and have power.  This has led to the suppression of the poor people since they cannot afford to pay the bribes, which they are asked for by the people in power.  At the end of the day, justice remains a dream dreamt by the many poor and weak in society.

The ninth article of the rights declaration states that nobody is supposed to be subject to incarceration, illogical arrest or expulsion.  This is one right that has been highly upheld since the end of colonialism and it must be declared without regrets that most governments have really worked hard to see the end of this.

The tenth article further expounds the right stated in the eighth article since it explains the rights of a person to equality of a fair public hearing by either an impartial or independent tribunal.  This is despite the charges of criminal offense charged against him or her.

Article eleven states that anyone who is charged with a punitive offense has the right to be presumed as innocent until he or she is proven guilty of the offense he is accused of.  This should be done in the form of a public trial where he or she is guaranteed of a fair trial, which is necessary for his defense.  To add to that, nobody should be fined a heavier penalty than the one that is applicable during the time that the punitive offense was committed.

Arbitrary offense to a person’s privacy, home or family, honor or reputation is highly prohibited.  Everybody is mandated to defend the law should such attacks happen to him or her.  However, this right is not so highly upheld in the modern society for those who commit these offenses against others easily slip away from the law as long as they are wealthy and influential

Anyone can reside in any place of choice and is entitled to freedom of movement in any corner of the state.  The current form of government has to be congratulated for the steps they have taken to ease the mobility of people from one state to the other without being arrested for illegal migration.  It has also worked so hard to ensure that people can freely leave a country, including his native state and still return when he so pleases.

Moreover, every individual has a right to a specific nationality and should not be robbed  of it or refused the privilege to change his nationality to that of his choice.  This is a right that has so far improved the international ties between states since it creates a major platform where people can intermingle and develop together regardless of the nationalities.  This has seen to it that there are vast improvements in the international relationship ties for the better.

Every man or woman who is of age has a right to get married with no limitation to race, belief or even ethnic group and are entitled to equal rights during the dissolution of marriage or during the marriage procedure itself.  Some of the rights that have been discussed above have been highly upheld while others have not yet been accorded the respect that they rightfully deserve.


Impacts of Human Rights to the Future Generation Of all the rights declared and discussed from the articles, some will remain to be the most important and most likely to be respected and obeyed even in the future generations.  The first one is about the right to nationality.  Everyone is well entitled to this right meaning that one has a right to choose the nationality to which he so pleases to be identified with.  Better still, nobody should be deprived of his nationality or denied the right the right to choose the nationality which he so pleases.  If this particular right continues to be respected internationally as it has so far been respected, then the future generation stands a better chance of intermingling and relating well internationally.  This promises a bright future and a peaceful globe for everyone to live in.

The other right that can really pave way for a bright future is the right to marriage regardless of religion, race, or nationality.  The provision of equal rights during the marriage procedure or during the dissolution of the same encourages people from all races in any corner of the world to mingle freely and marry whom they wish as long as they are of full age.  This is one good weapon to fight racial discrimination in the remaining conservative communities.  If the future generation carries on this right, then racial discrimination will be wiped out of the universe for good.  The result will be a peaceful and united world hence development.

Better still, if the right to equality during the dissolution of marriage is upheld, then nobody shall be compelled to continue living in a marriage, which he or she is not happy.  Everyone will be free to choose the kind of partner he or she wishes to live with or even dissolve a marriage, which he or she is not happy in.

The rights to own property is another right that will see in the vast and rapid growth of the universe should it continue to be upheld by the future generations.  People will be comfortable to work and secure property, regardless of the quantity or the vastness.  Long ago, the poor could not attain more wealth than their masters could.  However, with the human rights declaration, everyone is guaranteed security and protection of their property by the law.  This means that anyone can work to his or her level best so as to attain the best amount of wealth he or she can attain without fear.

The most important of all rights is the right to freedom, life, and protection of an individual.  If no intentional deaths are caused to people, then the population will be an increase with an increase in the number of years.  This ensures continuity of the generation that is well secured and is liberal.  Now, for this generation to proceed and bear the next generation, the rights have to be respected.  This generation has to be set free off slavery or servitude and this means that the remaining few states which continue to carry out slave trade will have to be eliminated.  This, way, the future generation will be assured a secure life, where their rights are most respected.




Work cited

Assembly, UN General. ‘Universal Declaration Of Human Rights’. Retrieved February 22

(1948): 2010. Print.

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

Sandel, Michael J. Justice. 1st ed. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009. Print.

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

Sterba, James P. Ethics. 1st ed. Chichester, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. Print.