Circumstances and moral values

Another problem is with the hedonic calculus. The hedonic calculus is considered by many as a poor foundation for moral understanding. Firstly the hedonic calculus is too time consuming if needed immediately in an emergency situation. Secondly having to weigh up the situation, is too confusing following this method. People need to be accurate with their predictions of the future; however people are not always accurate with their predictions. Thirdly, there is problems' measuring the pleasure.

The process brought about using the hedonic calculus appears straightforward. It's questionable whether an action is good by an empirical test. We have to consider doing something bad, but not necessarily getting caught doing it. Fourthly, we have profound difficulties concerning justice. Despite the fact that utilitarianism is maximum pleasure result it doesn't consider the actions taken. It gives the maximum pleasure for most people; however it doesn't consider the minorities as they are not the greatest number.

A negative example of utilitarianism is Nazi Germany. It is the good for the greatest number of people, but it doesn't ensure the happiness for minorities such as Jews. Utilitarianism could justify horrendous acts one being racism. Another difficulty is classing what happiness is. It is based on people's common agreement about what is pleasure and what is pain. There are problems concerning what some people would consider pleasurable and what others would consider not pleasurable. Problems arise such as taste in music, hobbies and beliefs.

In conclusion Utilitarianism has its political benefits, but is not clear enough with some aspects. It doesn't show what is unacceptable in utilitarianism. Utilitarianism doesn't have the flexibility of considering individual circumstances and moral values have no consideration in this theory. Utilitarianism is focused on quantity rather than quality. It seems rather a simple theory 'the greatest good, for the greatest number of people', however when you delve into the theory it becomes rather too complicated. For people to live by a theory it needs to be simple and clear.