Act and Rule Utilitarianism

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  • 1. Examines cons of action to decide if right/wrong
    • E.g. lying to axe murderer looking for someone = R bc lying to protect them.
      • Lying = best thing bc produces gr8 happiness for gr8 number.
    • E.g. Telling the truth to friend's parents when she is in danger = R
      • Better not to lie to save her life.
    • Act Utilitarianism
      • 3. Action judged on whether produces gr8 happiness for gr8 no.
        • Action that produces gr8 happiness for gr8 number = R action.
          • E.g. Story of Overcrowded Lifeboat - 'throw people overboard'
      • 2. Calculate gr8 happiness for gr8 no. using Hedonic Calculus
        • E.g. Pay it Forward: Trevor starts a school project to pay forward acts of kindness.
          • But happiness = not certain bc relying on faith they will do 3 good acts.
          • Happiness will be repeated bc person does 3 more good acts.
  • 3. Action judged on whether produces gr8 happiness for gr8 no.
    • Action that produces gr8 happiness for gr8 number = R action.
      • E.g. Story of Overcrowded Lifeboat - 'throw people overboard'
  • Utilitarianism

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