The problem of abortion is very common nowadays, although if dig deeper, the acuteness in discussing abortion problems persists for many centuries. The problem of abortion is very multifaceted. It covers many aspects of our life, including a very important ethical aspect. According to the World Health Organization, abortion is a serious medical problem affecting not only the individual, but also the family interests of women, and also affects the demographic processes and their relationship with other social and medical factors.
But an understanding of the problem of abortion is also very different. For some, abortion is an individual, an intimate situation that touches just woman herself and her doctor. If in short express this point of view, it comes down to that fact, that abortion is just an operation”. The next position suggests that abortion is a big moral, ethical problem. Because the woman needs to solve difficult moral problem of life and death. But also in this problem involved a doctor who becomes an accomplice, in the opinion of this group, of a crime, which further complicates the problem.
The issue of abortion is so deeply rooted in history that the most ancient philosopher Aristotle and Hippocrates expressed themselves on this topic. Aristotle believed that if children are born in marriage, contrary to expectation, the fetus can be driven out before it begins to feel and live. And another ancient philosopher Hippocrates had a different opinion and was negative about abortions and considered fruitfulness an immoral act.
But where is the truth? We want to find the answer on the question of the issue of abortion through the prism of the utilitarian theory and through the utilitarian principle of greatest happiness.
Classic utilitarian theory is traditionally understood as an ethical doctrine, which considers the greatest happiness as its main value, and the achievement of “the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people” as the main goal of the action. According to representatives of classical utilitarian theory, such as John Stuart Mill people’s desire for the greatest happiness lies at the heart of all human actions. ”
In his work, John Stuart Mill writes that within the limits of rationality, a person must always act in such a way as to bring as much greatest happiness as possible to as many people as possible. The utilitarians suggest you consider the word “happiness” as pleasure and the absence of pain; under the word, “pain” utilitarians suggests to understand suffering and deprivation of pleasure.
Utilitarians argued that intellectual and moral pleasures are above physical forms of joy. According to John Stuart Mill, the principle of happiness is more valuable than satisfaction. Confirming the difference between greatest happiness and lowest, he calls the fact that people who have experienced both of these forms tend to prefer one form to another.
Applying utilitarian theory, we will try to analyze the problem of abortion in accordance with different points of view regarding abortion.
There is a large percentage of people who oppose abortion in any case. Their main argument is that the fetus is a human being. And since the rights to life are the inalienable rights of every human being, the fetus also has those rights. According to scientists, human embryo already at nine weeks old has a face, fingers, heart and other organs. According to the utilitarian theory and the principle of the greatest happiness, the issue of abortion can bring different feelings, but the mother’s opinion and pleasure are the most important and significant. Therefore, utilitarians suggest taking into account only depending on what the woman will experience, can we say whether the decision is correct or not.
According to another theory, abortion is such thing that cannot be morally justified, except for the situation when a woman is diagnosed with a disease incompatible with life. Utilitarian has a different position. Utilitarian consider such a point of view morally unacceptable because the principle of greatest happiness suggests that in most of these cases, abortion creates pain and makes people unhappy.
The third theory also speaks out against abortion, except in situations where it comes to conceiving as a result of rape. The issue of abortion in this theory is based on the fact that for “practical reasons” pregnancy can be avoided as a result of only rape. The utilitarians take a similar position and consider it as possible since initially the mother’s body was invaded without her consent and without her desire, which a priori cannot bring the greatest happiness and avoid pain.
As a rule, supporters of the prohibition of abortion against supporters of their permission, prohibit the initiative, they prohibit them from disposing of their body and their health and for some reason forget that everyone has the rights to do so. And the opposite position of abortion is that “if you don’t want to do it, don’t do it,” because this question is very personal and priority should be given to the individual choice of the woman. If we inflate this theory through the prism of the principle of the greatest happiness, then the followers of the utilitarian theory would agree with the adherents of permissive theory. Utilitarians believe that since each person has the right to receive pleasure, greatest happiness, and in general, dispose of his or her body as he or she wants. A person must solve the problem of abortion or any other difficult life situation problem only on the basis of their own interests and views on life.
John Stuart Mill spoke out against various self-restraints, against restrictions on human freedom on the part of society, and against restrictions on the freedom of people and society on the part of the state. The utilitarian theory of the great philosopher of the XIX century is very popular today, because it defends individual rights, protects it from unnecessary pain and leads to such a necessary principle of greatest happiness.