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Free «Ethics» Essay Sample

All human beings are rational animals which mean that they are able to determine what is right and what is wrong. Whether purposed or otherwise, the decisions one makes regarding his or her relation with other people and also regarding to him can assessed to be either moral or immoral using nonstandard determinants called principles. One's principles determine how he or she responds to the different issues that occur throughout a person's life. This ability to determine what is right and acting in accordance with the rightful judgment is what morality is. Therefore morality is basically the choices made by one guided by some principles so that one can determine if what he is doing is rightful whether to him or even to the rest of human race. The major challenge here is because there are no specific standards used to measure morality and to determine what is morally right and what is not. There have been various theories developed to determine moral and what is not. One of the most elaborate theories is the theory of utilitarianism.


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The theory of utilitarianism was developed by a philosopher known as John Stuart Mill who is one of the greatest philosophers known in history. The theory explains that the moral rightfulness of any action can only be determined when it is related to the level of utility of that action. Utility is the satisfaction which one gets when undertakes a certain action (West 2005, 10). The utilitarian theory goes ahead and explains that utilitarianism is not just concerned about the individual gain but the action should also consider the effect it has on other people. Even if an action is very beneficial to one person but the weight of the negative effects to other people is more, then the action is not morally good.

The application for utilitarianism towards some controversial actions taken by human beings may not be unquestionably efficient but it can be significantly important in evaluation of some actions determining whether they can be taken or not. Ones such controversial action that has been subject to debate is the adoption of children. This is a situation whereby an independent person takes the parenting of a child who they did not give birth to. They take the full responsibility over the child just like a real parent would have been required to. This has taken varying variations throughout the history of mankind. There are laws guiding adoption in the different parts of the world but there are loopholes in the laws which make adoption a very risky affair (West 2005, 38).

Adoption with no hidden agenda is a noble action which can be arguably the best thing that happens in the life of the adopted child. Most of the adopted children could expect to lead a better life than they could if they were left in the situation they were in. There are legal requirements as well as social requirements that the adopters go through before they are allowed to take the child and considering that this is a noble idea to rescue a life in danger, it is usually seen as morally right to allow for adoption of children. Most of the adopted children face a threat of death or living poorly before adoption and so when the adopters take them in good heart, they benefit as they get emotional as well as material support which they would otherwise lack if they were left alone. From the utilitarian theory, there is a high utility which is immaterial in undertaking such a noble course; to save a life and make it more meaningful for the adopted child and also to the society (West 2005, 43).

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However, there is negative trend which has developed cocooned in this moral activity. Some individuals and in other cases organizations are picking the children but for all the wrong reasons. They take the children and then later on in life they transform them to slaves. This has been a major reason that is lowering the utility of the noble action of adoption. Therefore child adoption, in as much as it was intended to be good, it has lost its moral value in some places (West 2005, 54)


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