About Utilitarianism

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Utilitarianism and the Judges' Decision

Utilitarianism is a normative philosophical position that holds that the right ethical decisions lead to optimal contentment or a happy society (West, 2013). When the judges decided to go on with this verdict, they prioritized their own concerns for the broader implications of their decision. If the judges were analogous to ice cream, so from a utilitarian standpoint, they would have reached a decision that would be more valuable in terms of ensuring stability or even interests (Ten, 2008). In short, the judges opted for this ruling because of the pleasure it promised over the displeasure that comes with the contrary. From the utilitarian way of thinking, the Appeal’s Court decision was about safeguarding the public interest, because of accessibility to the jury. Based on the appeals court, the jury’s verdict would undermine public trust in terms of openness and transparency. Moreover, the reasoning was informed by the fact that keeping the identities of the bench under lock and key would compromise the impartiality and honesty of the legal system. In short, such a ruling would work for the interest of the jury and not the common public.

Opposing Utilitarianism View

On the other hand, the judges’ original ruling was informed by the notion that even though keeping jurors away from the eyes of the public would come with negative outcomes such as compromising the transparency, objectivity, and credibility of the legal structure, it is not obvious that upholding this ruling would not have good outcomes, that would be embraced by utilitarianism. I am, however, opposed to utilitarianism view because it revolves around the happiness of whoever makes certain choices at the expense of others. Moreover, from a utilitarianism position, the jury can sentence an innocent person for the sake of halting criminality for the good to the broader society (Ulrich, 2009). This is unethical at best.


Ten, C. L. (2008). Mill's On Liberty: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press.

West, H. R. (2013). Utilitarianism. The international encyclopedia of ethics.

Ulrich, W. (2009). Reflections on reflective practice (5/7): Practical reason and rational ethics: Kant. Ulrich's Bimonthly, (March-April, 2009), 1-39.

November 03, 2022

Philosophy Sociology

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Utilitarianism Moral Society

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