Assessing Utilitarianism

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  • Created by: Charlotte
  • Created on: 11-04-13 16:46


1) The principle of hedonism is more important than ever 

  • Bentham & Mill arugue the only intrinsic good is happiness & plesure. Reflected in current educational climate - 'happiness' taught subject in schools.
  • Western culture - materialistic but people are not happy. More important to find out what makes us truely happy
  • Bentham focuses on quantity of happiness but balances pleasure with pain so discourages selfish actions and promotes selfless actions. 
  • Mill pays special attention quality of happiness. Encourages us to strive for higher pleasures that helps to maximise our unique human abilities. Education system encourages students to take up hobbies, values have a place in modern society
  • All emphasis nowadays is what can be established through science and evidence. What brings humans happiness must still be decided by looking at consequences of our actions. Pursuit of happiness keeps humans in touch with the day to day matters that science does not cater for. 
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2) Operates without God

  • 21st century can be regarded as a secular era. Principle of utility is useful for those who who reject the Bible's authority/religious teachings. 
  • Self-contained - if you follow the step by step process of the 7 criteria of Bentham's hedonic calculus, or stick to Mill's rule utilitarianism, arrive at conclusions of how you should act
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3) The principle of hedonism is timeless 

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