Utilitarianism

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  • Utilitarianism
    • Act (agent - centred) Utilitarianism (Bentham) (teleological, secular casuistry theory) - HEDONIC CALCULUS
      • Uses Principle of Utility (how useful action is) & Hedonic - find most pleasurable & most pleasurable outcome action. Uses Hedonic Calculus applied to specific sit. to find greatest good for most people - ( link - sit. ethics) (eg. steal food bc hungry leads to yes / no depending on greatness of need & impact on others - store vendor etc.) -
      • Impractical 2) takes too long
      • Centred on individual 2) quantitive 3) doesn't involve God - more universal 4) clear system to follow (calculus)
      • 'greatest good for greatest no.' - weigh options against 7 principles - (PRRICED) PREDICT right outcome 1) Purity 2) remoteness 3) richness 4) INTENSITY 5) certainty 6) EXTENT (added by Mill) 7) DURATION
        • Bentham (punishment = 'in itself an evil') = political radical who influenced change - prison system POST-ENLIGHTENMENT - similar time to Kant - 18th cent. = revolutions, rejection of 'blind authority' - TRUSTED MAN'S JUDGMENT
    • Rule Utilitarianism (Mill)
      • Think of general rule then apply - ind. case (eg. decide - always allow a fair trial must for all
      • quicker than act, fairer and more objective - based on general rule - less chance of manipulating system for self / feelings obstructing justice (no preferential treatment)
      • 1)sacrifices personal pleasure? - not as subjective (catered to the ind.) 2) who sets out rules?
      • Strong Rule Util. (general rules not broken)
      • Weak Rule Util. (general rules can be broken)
      • Mill - Higher & lower pleasures - CATEGORISATION OF PLEASURES (mind = higher, more useful therefore + right : lower = body)
    • - NO GOD INVOLVED qualitative (based on quality, right = highest QUALITY of pleasure) QUANTITATIVE - right = highest no. of people pleasure - ETHICAL HEDONISM - maximising good & minimising pain
    • could justify satanic cults? 2) Hume 'pleasure isn't quantifiable' 3) sit. could be too complex - calculus 4) can't always predict outcome - hypothetical 5)** pleasure is subjective & not always good
    • applied - punishment = PARSIOMONY view - reduce crime = minimum hardship - perpetrator
    • Animal Testing
      • religious = animals no soul
      • Mill = no access - higher pleasures (can't use logos) - HARM PRINCIPLE - 'power can only be exercised over freedom'
      • 1) consider - animal itself, pain, consciousness - Birke..
        • 2) Potential benefit - society / other animals - does this work if not consensual? - animal doesn't choose to sacrifice self - all hypothetical - might not work.. (94% passes animal fails human WASTE)
          • 3) VS. suffering / future suffering of animal during / after testing (only 1) - TRANSGENIC - could get to main gene pool - cause more probs : good - all hypothetical...
            • 4) Process - scientific process, * impact on scientist - current laws (all testing licensed by Home Office (UK) - writer of journal - not specific enough // too graphic
              • not dissimilar to medical testing of Nazis - said nec. clearly wasn't - didn't help - are we torturing animals to make most of our superiority to something?
              • 5) likelihood of testing happening elsewhere w. less laws to protect eg. China/ 3rd world
      • 1) only 13% experiments were actually required - clearly law not working (BIASED - CRUELTY FREE INT.) - hard to find true stats 2) 94% passes animal testing fails human 3) 95% animals not protected by law
      • 1) less than 10% biomedical research uses animals (The Independent) 2) all testing licenced by Home Office 3) (NA Press) animals tested on each yr = less than 1% of animals killed - food each yr
    • Nuclear Weapons as Deterrence

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