PHIL 1010 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: John Stuart Mill, Rule Utilitarianism, Political Philosophy

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He was one of the original contributors to utilitarianism, along with his teacher jeremy bentham, and one of the contributors of liberal theory (utilitarianism was originally proposed by david hume) According to bentham, we can judge an action morally based on its overall consequences for everyone concerned. Thus, there is one ultimate moral principle: the principle of utility. John stuart mill defines this principle as the greatest happiness principle, which requires us to minimize the pain and maximize the happiness/pleasure. The utilitarian moral imperative hence would be to act so as to bring about this state of maximum utility. 1) euthanasia: while the church tradition dictates that since life is god"s gift, intentional killing of people is always wrong, and anyone committing murder is guilty. Utilitarianism would ask what course of action would have the best consequences. 2) animal rights: traditionally, the treatment of nonhumans has never posed a serious moral issue.

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