Intro to Utilitarianism - Mr. Cook's Page

Intro to Utilitarianism - Mr. Cook's Page

Intro to Utilitarianism So what is it? Ever heard: The end justifies the means ? So what is it?

Ever heard: The end justifies the means ? The greatest good for the greatest number? So what is it? Utilitarianism Ethical theory evaluating human actions or institutions according to their

usefulness in increasing overall human happiness. (greatest good for the greatest number) In other words the definition of morally right is if the action brings about human happiness (benefit, advantage, pleasure, good) it is moral. If the action brings about negative happiness (sorrow, pain), then

it is bad (wrong or immoral). Utilitarianism is A form of consequentialism. Consequentialism refers to those moral theories which hold that the consequences of a particular action form the basis for any valid

moral judgment about that action WWII Was firebombing Tokyo morally acceptable? Was dropping the Atomic bomb acceptable? Utilitarianism is

A form of consequentialism. Consequentialism refers to those moral theories which hold that the consequences of a particular action form the basis for any valid moral judgment about that action The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments? What is the real purpose of the Ten Commandments, or Decalogue? Make up a religion for

the good of all. Ten Commandments Number 1: Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Beside Me Your favorite color will be Blue

Ten Commandments Number 1: Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Beside Me Your favorite color will be Blue Number 2: Thou Shalt Not Worship Any Graven Images You will not look at any other colors

adoringly Ten Commandments Number 1: Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Beside Me Your favorite color will be Blue Number 2: Thou Shalt Not Worship Any Graven

Images You will not look at any other colors adoringly Number 3: Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of the Lord Thy God in Vain You will not be angry when you say "Blue" Ten Commandments

Number 1: Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Beside Me Your favorite color will be Blue Number 2: Thou Shalt Not Worship Any Graven Images You will not look at any other colors adoringly Number 3: Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of the Lord Thy God in Vain You will not be angry when you say "Blue"

Number 4: Remember the Sabbath Day to Rest and Keep it Holy Take one day a week to meditate on Blueness and how wonderful life would be if more things were blue. Ten Commandments Number 5: Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother

It increases happiness if there is respect and harmony within families. Number 6: Thou Shalt Not Kill Murder does not bring happiness Number 7: Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery Being secure in personal relationships brings happiness Number 8: Thou Shalt Not Steal Being secure in property rights brings happiness

Number 9: Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness Being secure in personal relationships brings happiness Number 10: Thou Shalt Not Covet Anything That is Thy Neighbor's Being secure, at peace, and satisfied with what you have brings happiness. Jesus commands????

The Second Half of the Ten Commandments Jesus summed up.???? The Second Half of the Ten Commandments

Jesus summed up. love thy neighbor as thyself. The Second Half of the Ten Commandments Jesus summed up. love thy neighbor as thyself.

"Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12 The Second Half of the Ten Commandments Jesus summed up. love thy neighbor as

thyself. "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12 This is useful and common among all religions

Judaism "but you shall love your neighbor as yourself." -YHWH, Leviticus 19:18 Bah "Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before

himself. " -Bahullh, Tablets of Bahullh, 71 Confucianism "Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you." -Analects 15:23

Buddhism "Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful." -Udana-Varga, 5:18 Hinduism

"This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you." -Mahabharata 5:1517 Islam "No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for

himself." -Sunnab Jainism "In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self." -Lord Mahavir 24th Tirthankara

Zoroastrianism "That nature only is good when it shall not do unto another whatever is not good for its own self." -Dadistan-i-Dinik, 94:5 Other Quotes We should behave to friends as we would

wish friends to behave to us. - Aristotle Other Quotes We should behave to friends as we would wish friends to behave to us. - Aristotle Do not do to others what would anger you if done to you by others. - Socrates

Other Quotes We should behave to friends as we would wish friends to behave to us. - Aristotle Do not do to others what would anger you if done to you by others. - Socrates Every man takes care that his neighbor does not

cheat him. But the day comes when he begins to care that he does not cheat his neighbor. Then all goes well." Ralph Waldo Emerson Morality boils down to treating everyone as you want to be treated. What does this mean exactly?

Back to discussion on war Basic idea: war is morally acceptable when fought for the general good. Do you disagree? Question

Is Lying Wrong? Question Is Lying Wrong? What about Question

Is Lying Wrong? What about Surprise birthday parties? Question Is Lying Wrong? What about

Surprise birthday parties? Undercover cops? Question Is Lying Wrong? What about Surprise birthday parties?

Undercover cops? Lying to enemy in war? Question Is Lying Wrong? What about

Surprise birthday parties? Undercover cops? Lying to enemy in war?

Bluffing in poker? Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) Founder of Utilitarianism English philosopher and social reformer

Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789) So inasmuch as an action or law or institution has utility, it is morally right, and inasmuch as it is antithetical to utility it is morally wrong. Jeremy Bentham

At University College London Jeremy Bentham At University College London For college 100 & 150

anniversary, wheeled into the college council listed as present, but not voting. Notes Utility

Notes Utility "that property in any object/action, whereby it tends to produce benefit, advantage, pleasure, good, or happiness...or...to prevent the happening of mischief, pain, evil, or

unhappiness." How to measure happiness How does one measure benefit, advantage, pleasure, good, or happiness? How to measure happiness

Felicific calculus How to measure happiness Intensity: How strong is the pleasure? How to measure happiness Intensity: How strong is the pleasure?

Duration: How long will the pleasure last? How to measure happiness Intensity: How strong is the pleasure? Duration: How long will the pleasure last? Certainty or uncertainty: How likely or unlikely is it that the pleasure will occur?

How to measure happiness Intensity: How strong is the pleasure? Duration: How long will the pleasure last? Certainty or uncertainty: How likely or unlikely is it that the pleasure will occur? Propinquity or remoteness: How soon will the

pleasure occur? How to measure happiness Intensity: How strong is the pleasure? Duration: How long will the pleasure last? Certainty or uncertainty: How likely or unlikely is it that the pleasure will occur?

Propinquity or remoteness: How soon will the pleasure occur? Fecundity: The probability that the action will be followed by sensations of the same kind. How to measure happiness Intensity: How strong is the pleasure?

Duration: How long will the pleasure last? Certainty or uncertainty: How likely or unlikely is it that the pleasure will occur? Propinquity or remoteness: How soon will the pleasure occur? Fecundity: The probability that the action will be followed by sensations of the same kind.

Purity: The probability that it will not be followed by sensations of the opposite kind. How to measure happiness Intensity: How strong is the pleasure? Duration: How long will the pleasure last? Certainty or uncertainty: How likely or unlikely is it that the

pleasure will occur? Propinquity or remoteness: How soon will the pleasure occur? Fecundity: The probability that the action will be followed by sensations of the same kind. Purity: The probability that it will not be followed by sensations of the opposite kind. Extent: How many people will be affected?

"Act utilitarianism" each act should be evaluated for its estimated/probable utility and decisions made accordingly. Introduction to the Principles of Morals and

Legislation "[n]ature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are

fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think: every effort we can make to throw off our subjection, will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it." John Stuart Mill Mill added two

distinctions to his flavor of utilitarianism. The first of which is: Quality Smart Essay

Summary An idiot may be content, even happy, because he has few or simple desires. Summary An idiot may be content, even happy, because he has few or simple desires.

A philosopher may experience pleasure as he discovers universal truths, but he may also be quite discontented because of his many unmet desires. Summary An idiot may be content, even happy, because he

has few or simple desires. A philosopher may experience pleasure as he discovers universal truths, but he may also be quite discontented because of his many unmet desires. So which is better? Is happiness then not simply quantitative, but also qualitative? Specifically Mill said that a dissatisfied Socrates is better and

happier than a satisfied fool. Discussion Questions Questions: Do you believe there is something inherently better about the higher pursuits, or is pleasure all the same? Why or why not?

Discussion Questions Questions: Do you believe there is something inherently better about the higher pursuits, or is pleasure all the same? How close is video game playing to the electrode lever pusher??

John Stuart Mill Mill added two distinctions to his flavor of utilitarianism. The first of which is: Quality

The second: Rule Utilitarianism Problems with Act Utilitarianism Act Utilitarianism Perform that act which will produce the most good

Problems Act Utilitarianism Perform that act which will produce the most good Criticism: No action is generally right or wrong; an action is simply right or wrong in specific instances.

Problems Act Utilitarianism Perform that act which will produce the most good Criticism: No action is generally right or wrong; an action is simply right or wrong in specific instances. Lying isn't wrongits only wrong in certain situations.

Problems Act Utilitarianism Perform that act which will produce the most good Criticism: No action is generally right or wrong; an action is simply right or wrong in specific instances. Lying isn't wrongits only wrong in certain situations.

Much of the time, the consequences are too unknowable to be able to make reasonable moral decisions. Solutions! Act Utilitarianism Perform that act which

will produce the most good Rule Utilitarianism Act according to the rule whose adoption will produce the most good Solutions! Rule Utilitarianism Act according to the rule whose adoption will produce

the most good there are certain rules in life that we should follow because they are good for us. Lying Taxes paying them Killing Keeping promises

traffic lights obeying them The thinking that goes along with Rule Utilitarianism is that it is unrealistic to be able to figure out all future effects. Instead we will rely on rules that we know from past history work out the best for everyone. According to a Utilitarian, for an ethical

system to be valid, it must be able to be universally applied. That is that if everyone felt free to make "exceptions" to the rules, happiness definitely would be decreased therefore it is utilitarian to say that it is right for everyone to follow certain rules.

When you modify a rule, you must be able to universalize it to all who are in the same circumstances. Don't lie When you modify a rule, you must be able to universalize it to all who are in the same

circumstances. Don't lie (Lies told to save lives are OK) When you modify a rule, you must be able to universalize it to all who are in the same circumstances. Don't lie (Lies told to save lives are OK)

Don't kill When you modify a rule, you must be able to universalize it to all who are in the same circumstances. Don't lie (Lies told to save lives are OK) Don't kill (Killing in war is OK)

When you modify a rule, you must be able to universalize it to all who are in the same circumstances. Don't lie (Lies told to save lives are OK) Don't kill (Killing in war is OK) Dont break promises

When you modify a rule, you must be able to universalize it to all who are in the same circumstances. Don't lie (Lies told to save lives are OK) Don't kill (Killing in war is OK) Dont break promises (unless under extreme

duress to promote some very greater good). Question Is there any difference between Rule Utilitarianism and true Christian ethics? "the ends justify the means"

"the ends justify the means" What are ends and what are means? The end is the goal that you are trying to accomplish "ENDS = GOALS"

The means are the methods or actions you are taking to accomplish the goal "MEANS = METHODS/ACTIONS" What are the "ends" of the ethical system?

In Relativism? What are the "ends" of the ethical system? In Relativism it is fitting in with your culture What are the "ends" of the ethical system?

In Relativism it is fitting in with your culture In Egoism? What are the "ends" of the ethical system? In Relativism it is fitting in with your culture

In Egoism it is self interest What are the "ends" of the ethical system? In Relativism it is fitting in with your culture In Egoism it is self interest In Utilitarianism?

What are the "ends" of the ethical system? In Relativism it is fitting in with your culture In Egoism it is self interest In Utilitarianism it is happiness (utility)

For relativism, murder or other "immoral" acts are allowed if preventing them requires us to be intolerant of other cultures. For relativism, murder or other "immoral" acts are allowed if preventing them requires us to be intolerant of other cultures.

In Egoism, lying and cheating (means) are allowed if they are in your self interest(end). For relativism, murder or other "immoral" acts are allowed if preventing them requires us to be intolerant of other cultures. In Egoism, lying and cheating (means) are allowed if

they are in your self interest(end). In Utilitarianism, killing someone (perhaps to stop an attack, or in war) (means) is allowed if the principle of greater happiness (end) is served. Bible Smuggling Is it right to lie to a border agent to smuggle

Bibles into countries where Bibles are not allowed? What is your end in this case? Write on separate piece of paper for a grade. Christian Utilitarianism? What about Bible Smuggling? Christians who

take the utilitarianism view of ethics say that lying (to border agents) is OK if you are doing it to provide Bibles to believers in another country. What is the end in this case? Write for a grade

Thinking of PEST? What are your moral ends? Are all means allowed to meet your ends? If not you have not completely stated your ends.

If you have more than one end, what happens if they conflict? Williams Critique of Utilitarianism Vocabulary consequentialism = utilitarianism

projects = plans, ideas, beliefs Williams Critique of Utilitarianism Does Jims refusal to shoot one Indian MAKE Pedro kill twenty? Those who say, you leave me with no alternative are lying! They are responsible

moral agents. No country for old men https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=qz_J4IaQMc8 2:32-end

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiQldPiH64 Williams Critique of Utilitarianism Can happiness be pursued directly? Williams Critique of Utilitarianism Can happiness be pursued directly?

What brings happiness? Williams Critique of Utilitarianism Can happiness be pursued directly? What brings happiness? Commitment to something!

Williams Critique of Utilitarianism What happens when commitments come into conflict with other peoples projects? Should we abandon them? Do our commitments give our lives meaning and define us?

Williams Critique of Utilitarianism What happens when commitments come into conflict with other peoples projects? Should we abandon them? Do our commitments give our lives meaning and define us? YES!

*Williams Critique of Utilitarianism Williams Critique of Utilitarianism Happiness comes from COMMITMENT, not utility. (integrity is staying committed)

Williams Critique of Utilitarianism Happiness comes from COMMITMENT, not utility. (integrity is staying committed) If a man is to have anything called integrity, he must stand for something other than pursuing

happiness calculus. Williams Critique of Utilitarianism Happiness comes from COMMITMENT, not utility. (integrity is staying committed) If a man is to have anything called integrity, he

must stand for something other than pursuing happiness calculus. Happiness comes from integrity, but utilitarianism does completely away with integrity Williams Critique of Utilitarianism Happiness comes from COMMITMENT, not utility.

(integrity is staying committed) If a man is to have anything called integrity, he must stand for something other than pursuing happiness calculus. Happiness comes from integrity, but utilitarianism does completely away with integrity Therefore, being utilitarian ends up undoing that which it

is seeking to do (doing away with happiness)! Examples include the Hebrew midwives who lied to save Israelite babies, and were specifically blessed by God for doing so (Ex 1:15-21); Rahab helping the spies in order to save her family (Jos 2, esp. v 12-13, 6:22-23); Ehuds assassination of

Eglon in the Book of Judges (Jdg 3:12-23); David and his companions eating the consecrated showbread (1 Sm 21:1-6); and Jesus healing the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath (Mk 3:1-6). Peter Singer

Arguments for legality of abortion? Arguments against legality of abortion? Peter Singer & Abortion Argument Against Abortion: It is wrong to kill an innocent human being.

A human fetus is an innocent human being. Therefore it is wrong to kill a human fetus. Peter Singer & Abortion Argument Against Abortion: It is wrong to kill an innocent human being. A human fetus is an innocent human being.

Therefore it is wrong to kill a human fetus. Defenders of abortion attack the second premise, suggesting that the fetus becomes a "human" or "alive" at some point after conception. Singer disagrees Peter Singer & Abortion

Argument Against Abortion: It is wrong to kill an innocent human being. A human fetus is an innocent human being. Therefore it is wrong to kill a human fetus. On The argument that a fetus is not alive: Instead of accepting such fictions, we should recognize that the fact that a being that is human, and alive, does not in

itself tell us whether it is wrong to take that being's life. Peter Singer & Abortion Argument Against Abortion: It is wrong to kill an innocent human being. A human fetus is an innocent human being. Therefore it is wrong to kill a human fetus.

On The argument that a fetus is not alive: Instead of accepting such fictions, we should recognize that the fact that a being is human, and alive, does not in itself tell us whether it is wrong to take that being's life. Arguments for or against abortion should be based on utilitarian calculation which compares the preferences of a woman against the preferences of the fetus.

Peter Singer & Abortion Argument Against Abortion: It is wrong to kill an innocent human being. A human fetus is an innocent human being. Therefore it is wrong to kill a human fetus. On The argument that a fetus is not alive:

Instead of accepting such fictions, we should recognize that the fact that a being is human, and alive, does not in itself tell us whether it is wrong to take that being's life. Arguments for or against abortion should be based on utilitarian calculation which compares the preferences of a woman against the preferences of the fetus.

Peter Singer & Abortion Arguments for or against abortion should be based on utilitarian calculation which compares the preferences of a woman against the preferences of the fetus. Newborns lack the essential characteristics of personhood"rationality, autonomy, and selfconsciousness therefore "killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing

a person, that is, a being who wants to go on living." Peter Singer & Abortion Argument Against Abortion: It is wrong to kill an innocent human being. A human fetus is an innocent human being. Therefore it is wrong to kill a human fetus.

Alzheimer patients? https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOpf6KcWYyw How to measure happiness 1. Intensity, - grieving a death vs stubbing a

toe How to measure happiness 1. Intensity, - grieving a death vs stubbing a toe 2. Duration, - giving a person a meal vs a job

How to measure happiness 1. Intensity, - grieving a death vs stubbing a toe 2. Duration, - giving a person a meal vs a job 3. Certainty, - giving me an original FDR for President poster vs a pair of socks

How to measure happiness 1. Intensity, - grieving a death vs stubbing a toe 2. Duration, - giving a person a meal vs a job 3. Certainty, - giving me an original FDR for President poster vs a pair of socks 4. Propinquity, (nearness in time and space) go on a diet or liposuction

How to measure happiness 1. Intensity, - grieving a death vs stubbing a toe 2. Duration, - giving a person a meal vs a job 3. Certainty, - giving me an original FDR for President poster vs a pair of socks 4. Propinquity, (nearness in time and space) go on a diet or

liposuction 5. Fecundity (the chance that a pleasure is followed by other ones, a pain by further pains) writing poetry vs video game playing How to measure happiness 1. Intensity, - grieving a death vs stubbing a toe 2. Duration, - giving a person a meal vs a job

3. Certainty, - giving me an original FDR for President poster vs a pair of socks 4. Propinquity, (nearness in time and space) go on a diet or liposuction 5. Fecundity (the chance that a pleasure is followed by other ones, a pain by further pains) writing poetry vs video game playing 6. Purity (the chance that pleasure is not followed by pains and vice versa) Going for a stroll vs getting drunk

How to measure happiness 1. Intensity, - grieving a death vs stubbing a toe 2. Duration, - giving a person a meal vs a job 3. Certainty, - giving me an original FDR for President poster vs a pair of socks 4. Propinquity, (nearness in time and space) go on a diet or liposuction 5. Fecundity (the chance that a pleasure is followed by other ones, a pain by further pains) writing poetry vs video game playing

6. Purity (the chance that pleasure is not followed by pains and vice versa) Going for a stroll vs getting drunk 7. Extent (the number of persons affected). Taking some aspirin vs finding the cure for cancer

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