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Examine the Differences Between Act and Rule Utilitarianism' (21 Marks)

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By farihaz16
Words 1106
Pages 5
Utilitarianism is a theory that some people adhere to the belief that the moral significance of an action is determined by its outcome. They believe that the greatest pleasure of the greatest number of people should be the result of the action that you make which will render it morally right. Jeremy Bentham was an ionic philosopher who believed 'an act is right or good if it produces pleasure and evil if it leads to pain'. Principle of utility is the measure of the usefulness of the purpose, that any action may have. If we believe that the best or the most moral action we can perform is one that will cause consequences X or Y to come about, then utilizing the principle of utility we must assess how likely action A or B will be participating to the consequence. Prima facie obligations are conditional more duties and a persons obligations to fulfil that moral duty depending on the situation at hand, e.g. if a fathers daughter was in a life threatening situation alongside another man who has the cure to cancer, he can only save one person, the moral decision the father would take is save his daughter, however that would be wrong because the other guy has the potential to save more people. 'Greatest good for the greatest number' is a quote Bentham followed. This quote implies an action should be done if it causes happiness for the majority, for example lying is moral if it leads to future happiness. Hedonic Calculus is a theory created by Bentham which was created to make the basing of deciding whether an action should be considered right or wrong. For example, if a captain was killing a group of Indians on an island and Jim accidentally ended up there, the captain said he will let him off from also getting shot if he shoots one of the Indians. According to the theory Jim should shoot one of them because it reduces the amount of pain…...

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