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Utilitarianism And Egalitarianism

Utilitarianism is the idea of determining moral worthiness on actions through overall utility. It is a form of consequentialism in that, moral worthiness of an action is determined by the results; result justifies the meaning. On other hand, egalitarianism is a political principle that embraces that all people should be equal and have same political, social, economic and civic rights. This concept implies that people should be held equal under the society and law. Utilitarianism has established itself as being one of live alternatives which must be considered in normative ethics.

In contemporary world egalitarianism is a position that favors a wide range of reasons and a greater degree of equality in income and wealth across all people (Moulin, 1991, p. 11). Utilitarianism originated from the notion that an action is right if it results in promoting happiness and it is wrong if leads to reverse of happiness. Not only happiness of the performer but also for all who are affected by it. This concept is an opposition of egoism which views a person as somebody who should pursue his or her self-interest even at the expense of others.

Egalitarianism is a principle that considers equality of condition, reward, outcome and privilege of desirable objective of social organization. The origin is based on secular and religious beliefs. This concept is associated with others like socialism and communism. Egalitarianism is a changeable principle with various types of equality in which people might be treated and this is thought to be desirable (Moulin, 1991, p. 13). Utilitarianism is similar to egalitarianism in that, it has the claim that nothing except well-being is intrinsic value that differentiates it from other consequentialism which involves people’s equality.

Utilitarianism emphasizes on intrinsic value other than which makes one population with equal amount of well-being pace of egalitarianism. Rightness of equality can be shown through utilitarianism under egalitarianism which is simply assumed. Utilitarianism is the only source of well-being; it maintains that all other things are equal with those with least well-being having priority. Utilitarianism is compatible with egalitarianism in the aspect of equality. Egalitarian believes that well-being and equality has intrinsic value but utilitarianism does not.

Utilitarianism is egalitarianism in that; it treats everyone equally irrespective of economic, social and political class (Moulin, 1991, p. 17) Utilitarianism doesn’t favor individuals only because they are rich or famous but on other grounds. This is not the case with egalitarianism which favors people according to their status. In utilitarianism people are not intrinsically valuable with happiness and people are valuable only insofar as they are vessels of happiness. Egalitarianism argues that some people need to be treated better than others but Utilitarianism argues that people should be treated equally to bring happiness.

Utilitarianism is dedicated to strong position of one side whereas egalitarianism must be objection not only in claim but not obviously true but on closer examination that is intuitively false (Moulin, 1991, p. 21). Utilitarianism and egalitarianism are concepts that apply to human life situations. Media practitioners find themselves in situations necessitated by egalitarianism and utilitarianism. They apply utilitarianism to make people happy with what they do and at the same time give credit to all people since people are all equal.

In some situations like in clashes media practitioners have to apply the principle of egalitarianism by finding the real cause of the problem and give assistance in solving the problem. In some situations media practitioners are bias. They don’t apply the principle of egalitarianism of people being equal. They value people according to their economic and political classes. They mostly concentrate on people of high economic and political class. They don’t apply justice in their situations. This is not in accordance to utilitarianism since it causes hatred instead of happiness (Moulin, 1991, p.

28). In conclusion, egalitarianism is somehow similar to utilitarianism in that rightness of equality can be demonstrated through utilitarianism. These two concepts are applicable in our daily lives whereby equality should prevail for people to be happy in accordance to egalitarianism and utilitarianism. Utilitarianism emphasizes on people’s happiness and egalitarianism on equality which are both valuable in people’s life.

List of References

Moulin, H. (1991), Axioms of cooperative decision making, Cambridge University, ISBN: 0521424585

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