rule utilitarianism

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  • Rule Utilitarianism - John Stuart Mill
    • allow people to do what they want even if they are not in the right mind
    • liberal, agrees that happiness is the aim of life (like Bentham) but believes it is necessary to distinguish between the higher and lower pleasures
    • higher pleasure
      • long term, deeper, of the mind and spirit
      • eg: giving to charity, reading literature, theatre, dance, religion
    • lower pleasure
      • short term, of the body
      • eg: junk food, alcohol, smoking, drugs, meals, sex
    • "the smallest amount of higher pleasure is better than a huge amount of lower pleasure." _ JSM
    • "it is better to be a human being dissatisfied, than a pig  satisfied."
    • mill argues you cannot always look at the consequences and bring about the greatest happiness with every decision
    • weak rule theory
      • rules that have been established for the greater good, should never be broken
      • Untitled
      • more strict
    • strong rule theory
      • rules should be respected up to a point, but that other considerations could lead in some circumstances to the rule being broken
      • more flexible
    • mill says governments should not rule over people, they should make their own decision to choose the higher pleasure


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