Unethical Rights

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By ashlove2dance
Words 1338
Pages 6
Assuming that fishing in the Grand Banks is not illegal, does a fisherman who continues to fish the Grand Banks even after learning that the cod stocks have become dangerously depleted act unethically? The fisherman’s occupation and livelihood depends on his ability to fish in the Grand Banks, but if the cod stocks have become seriously low, continuing to fish in the Grand Banks could lead to the debate on whether his actions are ethical. According to act utilitarianism, it would be unethical, as more disutility would arise from the fisherman fishing in the Grand Banks than utility. This essay will prove why this action is unethical from an act utilitarian’s perspective, and will argue this by looking at how the consequences of the fisherman’s actions will affect everyone involved. The fish, ecosystem, fisherman, and townspeople will all be effected negatively in the long run and suffer the consequences that would arise if the fisherman were to continue to fish in the Grand Banks.
Act utilitarianism distinguishes actions as right or wrong by the amount of good or bad consequences that develop after the action is performed. The theory bases the good and bad consequences “in terms of its ‘utility’ and disutility’,”(19). The utility can be described as something that has intrinsic value, highlighting what the utilitarian finds valuable, whereas disutility is considered to be whatever the utilitarian finds lacks intrinsic worth. Act utilitarianism can be described as, “an act [that] is right and only right if there is no other action I could have done instead which either (a) would have produced a greater balance of utility over disulity; or (b) would have produced a smaller balance of disutility over utility” (19). This definition provides information that supports the idea that an act utilitarian is in favour of doing the action that provides the most utility as…...

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