UTILITARIANISM term papers and essays

Utilitarianism is a theory in ethics that was coined by John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham, which states that an action is right only if it conforms to the principle of utility. Utilitarianism ethics provides an answer to the question: What should a man do? The response is: To act so as to produce the best consequences possible under the circumstances. There are generally two types of utilitarianism - act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism - each with their own followers and critics. Rule utilitarianism is considered stricter and less flexible than act utilitarianism, although the objective of the theory remains the same - to act in a specific way that will "achieve the greater good for the greater number of people." Utilitarianism examples include the debate triggered by the Three Mile Island incident, where it was questioned whether the event was a good or a bad one from a utilitarianism point of view. While the negative consequences were obvious, the fact that it affected long term nuclear policies may have been for the greater good of a larger number of people.

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