(Answered) ETHC445N Week 4 Discussion: Utilitarianism

Initial Post Instructions
For the initial post of this week’s discussion respond to one of the following options, and label the beginning of your post indicating either Option 1, Option 2, or Option 3:

Option 1: You are a nurse on a floor with only elderly patients. Every day, each patient tells you about how much pain they are in and asks you to help them. They want you to inject them with something to end their lives. If the patients die, the beds on that floor would be freed up for other patients. The hospital is at 100 percent capacity. There is no other hospital for 30 miles. Other patients may be not receiving care due to a lack of free beds. What is the moral thing to do here? Why is that the moral thing to do? What would an utilitarian say is the moral thing to do? Why would they say that? Compare and contrast the utilitarian approach with that of an ethical egoist or social contact theorist

Option 2: A new social media app is offering itself to you for free. If you upload a picture to it, the app will show how you will look at 10 years. John Doe, a friend of yours, says not to use the app as it will then possess your biometric facial data. Jane Doe, another friend of yours, says that she heard the app shares the facial data with a security firm that helps the government detect terrorists at airports. Should you use this app? Why or why not? If John Doe is right, would an utilitarian say it is right to use the app? Why or why not?  If Jane Doe is right, would a social contract theorists say it is right to use the app? Consider the role the Fourth Amendment at play here.

Option 3: You are a nursing student at the XYZ College. It has a 50 percent acceptance rate (half the applicants do not get in). XYZ is a public college. XYZ has decided to implement an affirmative action policy. The college has few students over the age of 50. To encourage more students of that age, every student 50 or older will receive a bonus point. A student’s admission is dependent on having 11 points. One earns points for a GPA above a certain score, ACT/SAT score above a certain number, having a letter of recommendation, etc. XYZ also lacks LGBT students, Muslim, and African-American students and is considering offering a bonus point for any student fitting those categories. What is the key moral conflict for XYZ? What social values should XYZ promote here? What diverse populations are involved here, and what are their interests? Do you think XYZ’s social action is the correct solution to lack of diversity? Why or why not? Factor the ethics of egoism and utilitarianism into your answer.

Follow-Up Post Instructions
Respond to at least two peers OR one peer and the instructor. If possible, respond to one peer who chose an option different than the one you chose. Further the dialogue by providing more information and clarification. Make sure that you add additional information and not repeat the same information already posted on the discussion board as you further the dialogue.


Jeremy Bentham believed that “the greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation”(Rachels, 2018). The utilitarian theory shares a similar approach to morality. As a consequentialist theory, it stipulates that actions that result in the most significant benefit or happiness for the highest number of people are the right thing(Mandal et al., 2016). It gauges the morality of an action based on the effect. When using this theory, we seek to understand which of the available courses of action provides the “greatest balance of happiness over unhappiness” (Rachels, 2018). Click link below to purchase full tutorial at $5