Philosophy: A Study of Alcohol and Utilitarianism

The interest in the study of moral philosophy has grown among alcoholics. Alcoholism as a health condition has been used by alcoholics to justify their harsh actions and behaviors (Tännsjö, 2001). The actions of an alcoholic and his/her behavior have prompted researchers and philosophers to investigate the relationship between alcoholism and utilitarianism. Alcoholism is the excessive use of alcoholic products, while utilitarianism is a philosophical model that attaches either favorable or an adverse outcome of an individuals’ choice of action. The question of how utilitarianism may help in evaluating the behavioral consequences of the actions of alcoholics still remains a problem. A study of ethical behavior of a serial alcohol drinker may help unravel explanation based on utilitarianism and moral actions.

The study of ethical behavior of alcoholics provides information that may help in restoring a normal behavior of an individual addicted to alcohol. Unitarianism may raise the value of the alcoholic (Tännsjö, 2001). Being addicted to alcohol without causing problems and harm to others is justified. The above-mentioned school of thought asserts that people put a burden on others as a way of pushing for change in their behavioral actions. Attaching fault to one’s behavior would only receive justification if the behavior is changed. Positive behavioral changes of an individual may be reinforced thrugh praise.

Independent investigations have shown that alcohol addicts have the ability to develop utilitarian ethical decisions compared to non-alcoholic addicts (Tännsjö, 2001). The results of the research show a slow response on hostile events among the addicts as compared to non-addicts. The finding on the study is a replica of other studies that have been conducted on the same subject. The results of the study have shown contradictory results with the figures acquired from earlier experiments (Veatch, 2000). The earlier studies showed similarities between the moral actions of alcoholics and non-addicts.

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There were some weaknesses in the study that was conducted. It was restricted to a small number of individuals. The interpretation of the analyzed figures should be taken into consideration. The study failed to put into account the long-term effects of the excessive use of alcohol, which causes a permanent damage on emotions and brain.

A married male alcoholic who gains courage of talking to ladies only when he is drunk will create a habit of drinking every time he feels that he needs to talk to a lady. Alcohol raises his courage in this case. Thus, the man engages in extramarital affairs whenever he is drunk. Two possibilities may arise. One option for him is to refrain from engaging in extramarital affairs and stop drinking. The second one is resorting to excessive driinking as a way of forgetting the unpleasant events of his personal life. The man may have the better part of his life affected by alcohol.

The people addicted to alcohol have always been alienated from the rest of the society. The actions of serial drinkers are based on wrong moral values. To return to the society, alcoholics are required to change their drinking behaviors (Veatch, 2000). Most people have developed a view that alcoholics are slaves of the alcohol. To be accepted and absorbed by the society, an alcoholic has to go through a period of behavioral change. The change should culminate into a fully reformed person. As much as the society has been skeptical about the plight of the alcohol addicts, it has been forced to contend with the state and the consequences of alcoholism.

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As much as the society has been forced to face the actions of alcoholics, it has maintained that people should be responsible for the consequences of their deeds. Some people in a drunken state may still differentiate between right and wrong. People should not find excuses for the consequences of their actions in alcoholism. The society believes that appropriate behavior is possible with alcoholism. Alcoholism affects all the institutions and people in the society. Each institution should get involved in problems related to alcoholism. The alcoholics should accept the status of their plight before changing their moral conduct.

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