Iam a proponent of the utilitarian approach I base my ethical andmoral standing on the utilitarian approach. The theory holds that thebest moral action that can be performed is the one that achievesmaximum utility. While utility can be relative dependent on thesubject, it can be overly defined as the wellness or the happiness ofthe concerned parties. The theory was propelled by Jeremy Bentham whoproposes that a right moral action should be judged by the aggregatepleasure it brings and the amount of suffering it reduces. As seen inits founding principles, utilitarian approach is a form ofconsequentialism. The theory focuses on the consequences of theaction been taken and not necessarily the action itself. Utilitariansalso hold it that an action is good if it brings maximum happiness tothe most people involved and reduces the level of unhappiness.Therefore, in this approach, the consequence of an action defines itsrightness or wrongness and not necessarily the action itself.
Mobjustice is an ethical issue that has gained widespread debate acrossthe globe. Mob justice in lay man`s language is the act of peoplebattering a thief when they are caught stealing. In legal terms, itcan be referred as the act of the public taking the law into theirhands instead of reporting to the necessary authorities. Others gothe extent of burning the thieves alive in a bid to stop the vice.There are various views on the act of mob justice dependent on thevarious observers.  According to Rubin, Shakib & Sukhanyar(2015), mob justice is viewed as the best way to face out the act ofstealing. It does not only stop the thief from committing theatrocity in future but also serves as a warning to others in thesociety who might be thieves or thinking of getting involved in theact. Contrary wise, other observers view the act of mob justice as asin and immoral. Tuan & Shaw (2016) assert that to correct thevice the thieves should be taken to the right correctionalauthorities. They should be given a chance to live even if they wererobbing at gun point. They also advocate for such people being givena chance to change their ways and maybe become better people in thesociety. Owing to the assertion that human life is very sacred andthat since no one can give life then there should be no one allowedto take it away.
Ethically,subscribers of virtue ethics would evaluate the act first beforetaking a step. They would consider the act of mob justice as an actof taking life. Since taking life is wrong morally for the proponentsof the virtue ethics approach then they would vehemently oppose Mobjustice. Close to the ethical view is the deontological approach thatholds it that an action is morally right when the characteristics ofthe action being taken are right. The product of the action is notconsidered in this approach. One the disadvantages of virtue ethicsare that it lacks the power to deal with as such a situation. Virtueethics may be very lenient to the treatment of such who only go tojail for a few days then they are out on the streets after a shortperiod of time. The deontological approach further explains thatethics hold it that some acts may be right regardless of theconsequence for human well-being, therefore, it people who followthis theory would only consider the act of killing and notnecessarily the good  or bad that act brings to the society. Oneof the advantages of this approach is that it saves the life of thecriminal. That is because maybe they may opt to take the criminal toa police station or a correctional facility. A life will besaved. In the case, the thief changes their ways they may also helpin transforming other thieves in the society. This approach alsooffers the criminal a second chance to live. Whether they embrace ornot in this approach they could change and start leaving a normallife. Some of the demerits of this approach are that the thief mightrun away with the crime because they may not necessary have seen apoint of changing knowing that they cannot be lynched. Taking thethief to a police station does also not guarantee that the thiefwill reform to a normal person. That is because change if notintrinsic, then one should get it from their peers. Therefore, if thepeers cannot offer a sense of direction then they might not changetheir ways until maybe something happens to someone else and theyrealize that whether they are doing would end their lives(Arntzenius, 2014).
Inmy view, the utilitarian approach is the best in providing a solutionor in understanding mob justice issue. The utilitarian’s proposethat an action is considered, morally right if it reduces painand increases happiness in the concerned society. Thereforeconsidering what a thief does and especially when they rob peoplewith weapons then mob justice is justified. That is because when anarmed robber is lynched then it brings more comfort to the societywhere he lived. Again given that the thieves also kill people who dono corporate with them during a robbery then I see no problem insacrificing that one life that makes the life of others unbearable.When the thief is beaten to death then the society around would behappy that they can walk at night without fear. Basing theargument on the utilitarian approach when a thief steals from aperson, they cause them pain and suffering. When a thiefgoes to steal somewhere and they are armed what they do is they mighteven worse because they may even kill the person they are targetingto steal from. That by all means is inflicting pain on the people.Therefore, when the criminals and the armed robbers are done awaywith, then it brings happiness to the people in the affected region.That, therefore, implores that mob justice as long as the personbeing lynched is s a thief then mob justice is justified. Some of theadvantages of this approach to mob justice are one securing thesociety. The thief is lynched and life goes on. It also helpsother thieves to change their ways due that the fear of also gettinglynched (Williams, 2012). Secondly this approach unlike deontologicaland virtue ethics approach, the utilitarian approach solves the issueonce and for all. In the deontological approach, the thieves orcriminals may find their way out of the prisons due to therising corruption levels in many of the first world countries. Theywould soon buy their freedom. The disadvantage of using my approachis the fear of back lash from the community for killing but inessence, this is killing in a bid to secure the society.
Arntzenius,F. (2014). utilitarianism, decision theory and eternity.PhilosophicalPerspectives,28(1),31-58. doi:10.1111/phpe.12036
Rubin,A. J., Shakib, A., & Sukhanyar, J. (2015, December 27). A MobKilling and Flawed Justice. (cover story). NewYork Times.p. 1.
Tuan,N., & Shaw, C. (2016) Consideration of Ethics in SystemicThinking SystemicPractice & Action Research,29(1),51-60. doi:10.1007/s11213-015-9352-5
Williams,K. E. (2012). The Roots of Rough Justice: Origins of AmericanLynching/Lynching: American Mob Murder in Global Perspective. JournalOf Southern History,78(4),1011-1013.