Moral Issues Question 1 essay



Thefirst form of utilitarianism is “act utilitarianism”. It providesthat people should choose actions that maximize happiness despite thedifficulty of establishing the consequences of their actions. Forexample, telling a lie would help ease a tight moment. However, whenpeople find out that one is a liar, they are bound to lose trust oreven friendship with an individual. The consequences outweigh thebenefits and it is consequently advisable to tell the truth for thesake of maintaining trust and friendship (Shaw &amp Barry, 2013).

Secondis the ‘rule utilitarianism’, which calls for the maximization ofwhat is right according to a society’s optimal moral code. Forexample obeying the traffic laws may not provide individualhappiness, but it indicates compliance with the set rules (Shaw &ampBarry, 2013).


Themarginal utility of money implies that by earning more money, peopleare not any happier relative to the increase in their incomes. Thelack of relative happiness occurs since individuals purchases more ofwhat is not necessary. Consequently, they are not as happy as whenthey earned a little money that was sufficient for their basic needs(Shaw &amp Barry, 2013).


Thefirst principle provides that people have the right to propertyacquired in a just way. By Justice, Robert means acquiring a propertywithout violating the rights of others. The second principle statesthat someone who receives property from an individual, who is thelegal owner of the property, then he – the receiver, has a right tothe property. The third principle provides that there is no other wayto own legally a property other than as stipulated in the first andthe second principles (Shaw &amp Barry, 2013).


Thefirst feature of distributive justice is the availability of equalrights for every individual. However, Rawl refers to traditionaldemocratic rights, which entail the right to freedom, conscience,personal rights, religious worship and political liberty. Such rightsdo not include the rights to the property since it limits theprovision of as much freedom as possible (Shaw &amp Barry, 2013).

Thesecond feature provides that social, economic inequalities should beattached to the honors, roles, rewards, privileges and powers ofholding certain positions in the society. Besides, they should aim tomotivate the poor to work harder and improve their social status(Shaw &amp Barry, 2013).


Themaximum rule of making decisions is used to avoid disastrous results.Individuals evaluate and compare the maximum unacceptable outcomesfrom their set of alternatives with an aim of identifying thealternative with the minimum unacceptable outcome. Consequently,individuals will make decisions that maximize the minimum benefitfrom any given situation (Shaw &amp Barry, 2013).


Therole of the veil of ignorance is to demonstrate how to choose theprinciples of resource distribution. It makes people in an originalposition to make objective decisions for agreement purposes. Itillustrates the necessary conditions for a just distribution system.Under the veil, people are required to ignore their status andsituation and only consider their knowledge of history, psychology,and sociology. The aim is to make people agree on the best principlesof resource distribution by eliminating self-interest of individualgroups (Shaw &amp Barry, 2013).


First,the utilitarian should consider actions that result in greaterhappiness before deciding what sort of economic arrangements wouldbest promote human happiness. In case there is no alternative withgreater happiness, then the utilitarian should choose the action withlower units of unhappiness.

Secondly,utilitarian should consider the fact that different actions havedifferent results of pleasure and grief on various people. The totalhappiness is obtained by adding the pleasures and pains of eachindividual for each action. The utilitarian should, hence, choose theaction with the highest net total pleasure (Shaw &amp Barry, 2013).

Third,the use of consequences to evaluate actions is bound by thedifferences in circumstances that may produce different results. Insuch cases where doing wrong in a given situation provides thegreatest pleasure, it is morally right to choose the wrong action.(Shaw &amp Barry, 2013).

Fourth,it is important to maximize happiness in the short and the long-term.Consequently, utilitarian’s should not ignore the long-termhappiness effect of an action before choosing their course of action.Fifth, since the future consequences of an action are uncertain,utilitarian’s should act in a manner that results in the greatestamount of happiness possible (Shaw &amp Barry, 2013).


The“act utilitarian rule” would view the ban as a positive move toimprove the health of New Yorkers. However, the rule provides that itis important to evaluate the opinion of a majority of affectedindividuals, which in this case, include the consumers, the ministryof health and the beverage companies. The right course of actionemanates from the overall net support and opposition for Bloomberg’sproposal by the affected individuals. In contrast, rule utilitarianwould propose to have the drinks readjusted to the acceptable moralstandards. In this case, the amount of drinks sold to individualswould vary according to age depending on the effect of the drinks inpromoting diabetes (Shaw &amp Barry, 2013).

Accordingto Libertarians, Bloomberg’s proposal is a threat to free marketsince the buyers and sellers of beverages are freely consentingindividuals. First, it is unjust to consumers, who according toproperty rights, are allowed to spend their money as they wish.However, libertarians understand the right to access healthy productsby the consumers. They would demand to understand the relationshipbetween consuming 16 ounces of drinks and diabetes. Besides, theywould seek to understand the particular consumers whose rights tohealth are violated by the sale of beverages in quantities largerthan 16 ounces. The likely policy advice from libertarians is thatthere be different volumes of beverages for various people based onthe extent to which their rights remain free from violation(Libertarianism, 2014).

Accordingto Rawls, people have a right to spend their money as they wishprovided they acquire the money without violating the rights ofothers. Consequently, Rawls would find it unjust for Bloomberg tomake a consumption decision for individuals. He would call for apublic opinion to identify the view of a majority on the need toreduce the beverage cans (Libertarianism, 2014).


Libertarianism,(2014). StanfordEncyclopedia of Philosophy.Web. Retrieved from

Shaw,&nbspW.&nbspH.,&amp Barry,&nbspV.&nbspE. (2013).&nbspMoralissues in business.Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.