Ethics in Finance is Good!
Episode 5: Utilitarianism
Episode 5: Utilitarianism, the fifth part of Seven Pillars Institute’s financial ethics video training series, “Ethics in Finance is Good!” is an easy to understand explainer on Utilitarianism. The word looks scarier than it is, really. The video uses the everyday example of growing tomatoes and use of pesticides to illustrate basic principles of Utilitarianism, which is one of the major ethical theories in use today.
On Utilitarianism by its founder:
“Sum up all the values of all the pleasures on the one side, and those of all the pains on the other…Take the balance; which if on the side of pleasure, will give the general good tendency of the act, with respect to the total number of community of individuals concerned; if on the side of pain, the general evil tendency with respect to the same community.”
Jeremy Bentham (1748 – 1832)
The Principles of Morals and Legislation
On Utilitarianism by the disciple:
“No reason can be given why the general happiness is desirable, except that each person, so far as he believes it to be attainable, desires his own happiness. This, however, being a fact, we have not only all the proof which the case admits of, but all which is possible to require, that happiness is a good, that each person’s happiness is a good to that person, and the general happiness, therefore, a good to the aggregate of persons.”
John Stuart Mill (1806 – 1873)
On Utilitarianism by a modern proponent:
“I am a utilitarian. I am also a vegetarian. I am a vegetarian because I am a utilitarian.”