Utilitarian ethical theory defines morality as the maximization of expectable utility for parties likely to be affected by an action or a decision. Furthermore, various aspects of utilitarianism have historically been under development and debate, this modern theory, however, is most attributed to John Stuart. He developed this theory from a Hedonistic version that had been prevailed upon by his mentor Jeremy Bentham. Its basic principle is that actions are good to the extent that they promote the greatest good for majority of the population. It matters not whether at a reasonable man’s point of view, the actions appear otherwise. In my thesis study of the impacts of anti-abortion laws in Wisconsin, utilitarian theory of ethics applies in cases like those that led to the introduction of the bill in the Senate. They were of the view that, the move to implement the rule would be of great benefit to the people.
The utilitarian ethical theory facilitates accurate analyses of the impacts and respective solutions to the impacts that the laws brought in Wisconsin. It was for the general benefits of the people of Wisconsin that the laws were passed. It was good for the inhabitants of the State. In this regard, it was in the view of the legislators and the general public that the law would have resulted in happiness of the citizens as opposed to pain that was to be encountered either on a direct or indirect instance. The theory is in a systematic way in terms of its concepts; it places my thesis on a good position of effectively succeeding in all my endeavors that partake the process.
Even though moral issues that represent a Hedonistic version arise, in the discourse of the enactment of the laws, it is plausible that the overriding aspect in this case was of a utilitarian category. The forms of utilitarianism that take center-stage in my thesis include, act and rule utilitarianism, two level utilitarianism, preference utilitarianism and motive utilitarianism. In the analyses of the Act and rule utilitarianism, it follows that this theoretical basis falls relevant to the thesis problem in identifying the likely outcomes. Effects such as an increase in population, diversification in the modes of parental responsibilities and improvements on the rights of children relies on the propositions in the laws that were passed, in the lawmakers target, the sanctions impose thereof, were to act and rule for the benefits of the society.
In the two-level utilitarianism, a decision made depends on the scale of balancing two sides which appear useful to the majority of individuals. The more value a side assumes, the better the ability to determine the direction of a decision made and adopted. In the case of my thesis problem, in assessing the impacts of the anti-abortion laws, two-level utilitarianism model applies in that it shows whether people receive greater or lesser effects upon the implementation of the law or otherwise. Two-level utilitarianism further dictates that, it matters not that a decision has been made in the interests of the general feeling over the subject matter. It is equally important to educate the public on the relevance of the decision. They should be given guidelines that will facilitate the real realization of the issues at disposition. In the same effect, impacts of laws to the society in this context will rely on the resistance or the acceptability generalization that people place upon its induction. In the case of educated people, on the merits of the act, they will certainly signal a welcome to the new laws as opposed to the dissenting group on the issue. The dissenting group is likely not to have been informed on the further emblements of the law.
People will always have a motive on whichever thing they prefer. Motive and preference aspects of the utilitarian theory further subject us to the extensive impact of the theory on my study. In making the act of abortion illegal if it is done after 20 weeks and outside a legalized hospital facility, the majority of the legislators targeted getting revenue for the state. The target for taxes can be concluded to be a motive by the legislators to effect sanctions on people who would definitely be found violating laws that guide abortion practices. Motive is a key major factor that facilitates the acceleration of the impacts of anti-abortion rights in Wisconsin.
Strengths of utilitarian theory on the study of impacts of anti-abortion laws in Wisconsin
In my thesis question on looking into possible effects of the laws, this theory links issues of abortion to the intrinsic society under study, Wisconsin State. The theory therefore enables us to find the definitions and answers to key question that determine the outcomes of the research upon its due conduction and the implementation of my thesis. Utilitarian theory enables us to answer questions such as, how did the law come to pass, what factors actuated to its avocations, how did the people under its effect adapt to its stature and what is the likely trend that the society took upon its incorporation into law.
Utilitarian theory places the interests of the people as a priority. It is from the interests that morality and its related fields come to light. It is applies to my topic under study in the essence that, it highlights morality as a dependent factor. Morality, therefore, can be taken as an expected impact after the implementation of the law on abortion.
Weaknesses of the Utilitarian theory on the study of the impacts of ant-abortion law
Utilitarian principles do not stand for morality as a player of a significant role on societal decisions and actions; it fails to acknowledge that legislators were driven by societal outcries in their quest for an abortion law. It is likely that the legislators represented the interests of the people, in light of the utilitarian theory; morality becomes a major frontier in this discourse. It is common knowledge and appreciation that any society must exist upon certain moral grounds. The assumption effect of the theory in ignoring the moral conditions of the community as critical parts of the society that form a major backing of anti-abortion law impacts, places the theory on a rather inconclusive standard hence its insufficiency in adequately defining my thesis problem to completion.
My thesis dwells upon studying the impacts of anti-abortion laws in Wisconsin State. The utilitarian theory has appreciated in account for much of what the thesis problem targets to find a solution. Various sub-theories that underlie the utilitarian theory of ethics form the foundation of its relevance to my study. However, the position of the utilitarian theory lacks a full legal and social effect in determining the findings of my thesis when extrapolated and represented in the form of a dissertation on deeper analysis. Weaknesses of the theory do not mean that the theory lacks a strong backing and relevance in my study that seeks to find impacts of the anti-abortion law that was passed in Wisconsin, a state in the USA. Similarly, the utilitarian theory can be used to focus on the possible solutions to any arising matters as a result of the impact of the laws in Wisconsin.
Francom, Collin. Abortion in the USA and the UK. New York: Ashgate, 2010.
Graham, Gordon. A Utilitarian General Theory of Value. New York: Psychology Press, 2010.
Mc bride, Dorothy E. Abortion in the United States: A Reference Handbook. New York: ABC-CLIO, 2009.