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Utilitarianism

The Greatest Happiness Principle

The greatest happiness for the greatest number

The Greatest Happiness Principle, stated above, is at the heart of a number of ethical theories that
fall under the umbrella of `Utilitarianism'. Utilitarianism is an incredibly useful, and increasingly
popular, ethical position. Its many benefits are matched…

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John Stuart Mill

Mill believed that quality was more important than quantity when it came to pleasure. For example,
the pleasures of the mind are far superior to the gratification of the body's desires. This deals with
the problem of sadistic torturers, as their pleasure is of a significantly lower…

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"...to save a life, it may not only be allowable, but a duty, to steal, or take by force, the necessary
food or medicine, or to kidnap, and compel to officiate, the only qualified medical practitioner."

Does this make him an Act Utilitarian? Peter Vardy says this is how most…

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measurable outcomes at all. It is unclear what counts as pleasure or how to equate pleasure and pain. There
are three key points here:

1. Unpredictable You can't know the future, and things rarely turn out as we think they will. It cannot be
right to judge an action right…

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Improvements ­ The theory has been adapted and Unpredictable ­ You can't actually know what is going
improved over time. Modern Utilitarian's have a much to happen in the future, so it is wrong to base our ethica
better theory than Bentham's. choices on what may or may not come…

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another person's preference to ban hijabs in public
places.


Universal ­ Every culture has its own rules, which shows Naturalistic Fallacy ­ Just because people desire
that deontological theories are wrong about universal pleasure, this doesn't make pleasure desirable. Put
rules. However, the principle of utility, reducing harming another way,…

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It is uncertain what pleasures
The freedom from the pain of an
Certainty continuing with the pregnancy might
unwanted child is certain
bring

Having the baby will affect a vast
The mother and her immediate number of people, but many cancel
Extent
family are most directly affected each other out…

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