Utilitarianism
“The greatest happiness for the greatest number”
Basic statements
• Happiness is the only thing that is good in itself
• It is moral to sacrifice one’s desires to help the...
Quantitative Utilitarianism
• Jeremy Bentham
• Hedonic calculus
• Its intensity
• Its duration
• Its certainty or uncertai...
Qualitative Utilitarianism
• John Stuart Mill 1806 – 1873
• Mill rejected Bentham’s use of the
Hedonic Calculus. In his vi...
Situation Ethics
“All you need is love”
Basic Statements
• It is moral to set aside a rule if we have a good reason for
doing so.
• Ethical decisions should follo...
A christian approach
• Joseph Fletcher (1905-1991)
• Moral judgments are decisions, not conclusions
• Only one thing is in...
Essay
• Is it OK to approve same-sex marriage and stem cell studies?
• According to your answer, do you consider yourself ...
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Utilitarianism

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Utilitarianism

  1. 1. Utilitarianism “The greatest happiness for the greatest number”
  2. 2. Basic statements • Happiness is the only thing that is good in itself • It is moral to sacrifice one’s desires to help the “greatest number” happiness. • Democracy?
  3. 3. Quantitative Utilitarianism • Jeremy Bentham • Hedonic calculus • Its intensity • Its duration • Its certainty or uncertainty • Its nearness or remoteness how wide ranging is it? • Its ability to continue. How continuous is the pleasure? • Its purity – the chance it has of not producing the opposite . • Who is affected by it?
  4. 4. Qualitative Utilitarianism • John Stuart Mill 1806 – 1873 • Mill rejected Bentham’s use of the Hedonic Calculus. In his view some pleasures are of a higher quality than others. • higher pleasures – intellectual But pleasures of the body are lower pleasures – appetite.
  5. 5. Situation Ethics “All you need is love”
  6. 6. Basic Statements • It is moral to set aside a rule if we have a good reason for doing so. • Ethical decisions should follow flexible guidelines rather than absolute rules, and be taken on a case by case basis. • Only one thing is intrinsically good: love. • Doing good is a matter of acting in love. All we need is love.
  7. 7. A christian approach • Joseph Fletcher (1905-1991) • Moral judgments are decisions, not conclusions • Only one thing is intrinsically good, namely, love: nothing else • Love "wills the neighbour's good" [desires the best for our neighbour] whether we like them or not • Love and justice are the same, for justice is love distributed • The rightness depends on many factors • Love as “agape” • Rules are not to guide but to illuminate.
  8. 8. Essay • Is it OK to approve same-sex marriage and stem cell studies? • According to your answer, do you consider yourself a utilitarian/situational ethicists?

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