Thought Paper: Extreme Measures – Utilitarian Ethics
Cunanan, Ariane Lynssey M.
“The Measure of Happiness”
Choices, tip the balance of the world. Like coin with flipsides, we are to stick to a face and watch how it affects us, never knowing if we made the right choice. For it is only relevant if it made us happy. If we made more people happy. But how much of a measure is it? How far should we go to satisfy that emotion?
Laetus. The first level of happiness that explains the state of short-lived happiness. Utilitarianism which speaks about making a decision based on outcomes or on actions that produce the greatest good -or happiness, for the greatest number of people. It does not state how happy one should be but how many are those made happy in a certain decision. A flag labeled ‘for the greater good’.
Felix. Ego Gratification. The second level of happiness which is brought about by comparison and oppression of others. Dr. Myrick Wanted to do a good thing but the only problem is he was doing it the wrong way, just as his wife Ruth Myrick has said he had been heading Triphase towards what could then be an effort to solve one of medicine and science’s hard-to-crack cases. He was doing it to help people who feels hopeless about themselves, giving them hope that someday, they’ll be able to walk again, at the expense of the people he thinks would never be missed.
Beatitudo. The third level of happiness which is fulfilled through service and is summed up to be about love. My takeaway from the film is a stronger admiration for those in power, i believe that they might use this type of ethical value more than any one. They are to make decisions based on how much people they can help. And deciding based on this preference is never easy. I, for one, isn’t foreign to the idea. As the eldest child i am expected to make decisions that will not only benefit myself but also my sister or even the whole family. I should always put into consideration what the others must have wanted and by then should I only make a choice.
Sublime Beatitudo. The ultimate level of happiness where one finds his calling and answers to it, fulfilling what is asked to sustain not only the individual but the collective idea of the world. To maintain equilibrium and protect the balance. But the world isn’t black or white. The choices aren’t limited to heads or tails. There are multiple external and even internal factors to consider. I believe heroes aren’t really those who make choices for the sake of the greatest good but those who consider all sides in the equation. Those who navigate through life seeing things as equal and as hopeful as he can. For becoming a hero, just as Dr. Luthan said, is a decision made by the man for himself.
The measure so extreme is placed on every individual in society. We are faced with different conflicts and its time we evaluate our choices. I would like to believe that the essence of utilitarianism above happiness is selflessness. This is one of the ethical systems that is as pure as it can be, if used in the right situation. This could possibly help us towards the happiness everyone deserves to achieve.
The question is, how willing are we to become heroes of the society? How willing are we to share the happiness?