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Lecture 7

PHIL 320A Lecture 7: PHIL-320A,University of Arizona,TextbookReadings(p7)

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- these evils are results of gross imprudence, ill-regulated desires, or imperfect social
institutions but they are are conquerable by human effort
- anyone can best serve the happiness of others by sacrificing their own as long as the world is
in an imperfect state all men can do it, but not all men should do it
- doing without happiness is the best way to realize happiness is attainable
- utilitarians refuses to admit sacrificing oneself for the happiness of others is a good because a
sacrifice that does not increase the total amount of happiness is a waste of an action, the only
thing utilitarians applaud is devotion to happiness either of mankind collectively or of
individuals within the limits imposed by the collective interests of mankind
- what is right in conduct is doing the act that would not increase the agent’s happiness, but of
all that concerned in an action
- Utilitarians requires the agent to be strictly impartial as a disinterest benevolent spectator
- do unto others as you would do to yourself is the ideal perfection of utilitarian morality
- in order to closely approach this ideal
- 1. laws must make the happiness of the individual as close in line with the happiness of the
whole as possible
- 2. education and opinion should use their power to establish in the mind of every individual
their tie to the whole so that a direct impulse to promote the general good may be in every
individual as a habitual action
- objection this standard is too high for humanity, it is too much to ask people to always act
from the inducement of promoting the general interests of society
- response: this mistakes the very meaning of the standard of morals, ethics tells us what our
duties are, to speak only of actions done from the motive of duty is a misapprehension of the
utilitarian mode of thought
- the multiplication of happiness the object of virtue: to be a public benefactor for the
interest/happiness of a few persons is all he has to attend to
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