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Chapter 7

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PHIL 1050
Mark Mc Cullagh

Chapter # 7: The Utilitarian Approach 7.1The Revolution in Ethics th th - late 18 and 19 centuries = French revolution, American Civil War, industrial revolution. - times changing, new ideas about liberty, equality, fraternity. - new ideas about ethics emerging as well. - The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation. – Jeremy Bentham (Collected Works, 1843). - Revolutionary idea - Principle of Utility = requires us to produce the most happiness we can. - Utilitarian Approach radical: no references to God, moral rules, faithfulness, divinity. - Jeremy Bentham and John 7.2 First Example: Euthanasia - Sigmund Freud suffering from cancer, inoperable, no more good days. - asks friend and physician to end his life and suffering, friend does. - friend loved him and trying to end suffering, also obeying Freud’s wishes. - Christianity says: Life = gift from God, only God chooses when to end it. - church allows capital punishment and killing in war as exceptions. - “Intention
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