Ethics has increasingly becoming an imperative concern to societal relations hypothesis construction from the onset of the normative proposition that public relations function ought to inform both organizational and societal conscience. It is relatable to none, nonetheless, that ethics is exceptionally philosophical as well as culturally complex. This ensues from the fact that ethics is founded on the choices between alternatives made by individuals as well as groups at any given time. Subsequently, gender equality presents a pertinent ethical issue. The principal stimulus for gender equality is fundamentally to ensure that no individual is subjected to uninhibited reckoning of utility, and thus the minority or any gender group is therefore cushioned from the prejudices of the collective in society. However, gender equality issues are particularly susceptible to the challenges of utilitarianism as well as cultural relativism (Punabantu, 2012). This essay endeavours to assess the ethical issues as well as challenges emanating from utilitarian ethical theory as regards to gender equality.
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The Utilitarian Ethical Theory
An Elucidation to the Utilitarian Ethical Theory
Principally established by English philosophers and social reformers, utilitarianism is a major ethical theory in the Western civilization. The preliminary intention of this development was to formulate a scientific theory as well as seek to enhance human happiness and pleasure. Utilitarianism is considered as a consequentialist ethical theory in which an individual determines morality through the evaluation of consequences of an action, in which case the form of the action is immaterial. It follows therefore that in utilitarianism, an action is considered moral if it produces more good than bad consequences, and similarly, an action is considered immoral if it produces more bad than good consequences (Darwish, 2009).
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Conversely, as opposed to the other consequentialist ethical theory, ethical egoism, utilitarianism demands that one ought to consider the consequence of the action not just on oneself but also on other individuals and groups that are directly or indirectly affected by the action. Subsequently, the ethical theory explicitly and specifically states that the society as a whole must be assessed in determining good or bad consequences of an action (Tilley, 2010). It follows therefore that utilitarianism is a very egalitarian ethical theory following the fact that the pleasures and pain of everyone gets registered and accounted for in this empirical effort in determining morality.
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Application of the Utilitarian Ethical Theory in Gender Equality
Utilitarianism postulates that human rights, and particularly gender equality, are claims that seek to safeguard individuals from being subjected to calculations of pure utility. In advocating for gender equality, the promotion of the greatest happiness for one gender cannot justify some violations of the welfare of the other gender provided that group has a right to the benefit in question (Punabantu, 2012). The primary utilitarian critique of the gender equality follows from the assertion that resources are scarce in any society which inevitably promotes utilitarian calculations in allocating the resources in a manner that maximizes the greatest good of both genders and all individuals (Tilley, 2010).
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