Cite a contemporary moral issue in our society. Apply one ethical theory learned in class to judge this moral issue. Use the theory’s claims in each paragraph to back up and support your arguments. You must have a minimum of five paragraphs.


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Limitation of Utilitarianism: The Case of World Hunger.

Utilitarianism advocates for increasing the common good for the majority. Regardless, the majority of the world’s population grapples with socio-economic challenges – for instance, world hunger. The existence of world hunger conflicts with the notion of happiness as promoted by the ethical theory of utilitarianism.

Global poverty is among the most pressing matters in society. A larger population experiences extreme poverty but just a smaller portion holds the world’s wealth. It is noteworthy that the resources on the planet are sufficient to comfortably feed all the human population. Also, the industrial productivity of the developed world is sufficient to provide the world’s necessities.  Therefore, world hunger remains a consequent of the inequitable distribution of wealth between the minority elite and the majority poor.

Such coexistence of extreme poverty and the extreme wealth stands in sharp contrast with the provisions utilitarianisms. The fact that utilitarianism advocates for the happiness for the majority population points to the need for equitable distribution of wealth. Taking this into account, individuals in the first world should embrace moral behaviours that balance the differences in wealth distribution.

Regardless, there lies a dilemma in applying utilitarianism. The smaller populations who possess the riches have made specific economic choices and sacrifices to get whatever they own. However, in order to realize the maximum good in the whole world, it becomes compulsory for these people to donate their resources to the rest of the world. A question that hangs over this line of reason is whether people should forcibly give up their hard-earned wealth to promote the happiness of the rest of society. To this end, it appears that the applicability of utilitarianism to most of the current social issues is limited.

In sum, the concept of utilitarianism focuses on impartial benevolence by promoting the balance of good over suffering. The utilitarian approach to the prejudices inherent in the contemporary world is fundamentally limited. The evidence of this limitation is seen in the inadequacy of applying utilitarianism to solve the dilemma of world hunger.


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