utilitarianism assignment help

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The primary goal of utilitarianism is to generate the greatest good, while at the same time minimize suffering. These two ideas are inconsistent with each other by nature. Naturally you can’t please everyone. Everyone has had to use that saying at one point or another in their life. When it comes to making decisions who’s right is it to decide who suffers and who is “pleased” when it comes to large scale decisions. “Dating as far back as Plato, political philosophers have often cited the tyranny of the majority, which is when the interests of the majority are placed above the interests of the minority, and to their detriment” (Mosser, K., 2013).

An example of this taking place is the current battle over the Dakota access pipeline. This is a pipeline that has been developed to decrease the cost of transporting crude oil from North Dakota. This pipeline will run just north of Cannon Ball, Sioux County, home of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and a reservation of 8,000 people. There are two main issues that the Native Ame3rican tribe have with the pipeline. First the pipeline will run through recently discovered sacred sites that can be destroyed from the construction. More importantly the pipe will run under Missouri River at Lake Oahe, which is the reservation’s main source of drinking water. If the pipeline were to leak under the river it would obviously have disastrous effects to the tribe. The pipe was initially supposed to be further north but out of the same fear for the states capital it was decided to move the pipe. In this case it was decided that the happiness of the capital city was more important than the happiness than the Native American tribe.

Minority groups are often left out in the decision making process and therefore not fairly considered. Making large scale decisions is for many reasons very difficult. In my opinion I feel that minimizing suffering in many cases is more important than creating the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. I feel there are ways to minimize suffering while still appealing to a greater amount of people. In this case the “greatest good” is being done for those that are able to provide more revenue for the state and country as opposed to a group of people that rely heavily on a resource that may be potentially ruined by the pipeline.

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