Sunday, December 13, 2015

Ethical and Human Development through Utilitarianism-Ensuring Integrity

Utilitariaism argues that ethics is based upon its utility to maximum good. Discussed in by John Stuart Mill in significant detail he explains that most human beings are focused on relatively simple animalistic type beliefs and therefore have little value in their hedonistic behaviors. As people develop they are capable of engaging in more complex morality and fostering greater good.

It isn't necessarily a bad thing to gain short-term pleasures from life. This is a little bit of a spice. Yet the utility of such actions should not necessarily do any harm to others. Simple gain doesn't mean it should take from someone else. Enjoying a sweet piece of pumpkin pie should not come from theft of that pie that takes from someone else.

Some people think beyond their biological urges and more into the greater good of society. We find examples of heroes and martyrs in history that help us redefine ethical and moral behavior. They have developed to a point where they take action and sacrifice for a greater cause to ensure that the maximum amount of people benefit.

That requires a level of human development beyond rudimentary understandings focused on self-gratification. It requires thinking beyond our own needs and this is based in more abstract knowledge and reflective thought processes. This is something that is closely associated with developmental capacity, environment, and intelligence.

Sometimes our developmental level and our responsibilities are on two different levels. Let us assume you are an authority figure like a police officer, judge, or public official and have a larger responsibility to society. Yet your decisions are based in hedonistic pleasures related to arrests levels, feelings of power that groom self-perceptions or making outlandish statements to gain re-election.

One would have to question the potential damage such individuals cause if their development isn't at a level that ensures they can truly fulfill the needs of their position with integrity. If their activities are more focused on their own pleasures and advantages than the needs of the people they have authority over then, such individuals should be stripped of their power.

The best in society are the ones who can think about their own needs but put them in relation to the benefits to society. Good police officers, judges and politicians are capable of thinking about the long-term transactional trust that society is based on and ensure their authority is used appropriately to raise that trust to maintain good order in society.

All systems should encourage good behavior by review and remove mechanisms that help support positive pro-social behaviors that encourage development. Those who act in self-serving or anti-social behaviors must have some mechanisms that will help expose and remove such violators or risk the integrity of the system.

All positions are capable of being compromised by the individuals who reside in them. It doesn't matter what type of positions were are talking about because human beings are inherently flawed. Religious, government, social, business, and any other system is based upon the beliefs of the people who engage in them. When people stop believing the system, it begins to dissipate and break down.

Promotion and advancement of individuals in society to higher level of responsibility should have at least some ethical aspect to ensure maximum benefits to others. Because human beings are sometimes promoted based upon other factor not associated with their capacity to handle responsibility there must always be working cross mechanisms to maintain the integrity of the position.

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