Defining Rule utilitarianism

Social science
Pages 2 (502 words)
Download 0
Rule utilitarianism is a kind of utilitarianism which defines if an action should be considered to be ethical or not based on the idea of rule that the majority of the people has been following (Smart, 1973, 9). Hospers presents three examples of ethical dilemma. The first of…


Finally, Hospers brings up the last example when people vote. Thus, on an election day people may or may not be willing to go and vote. The first example might be considered to be an objection to act utilitarianism since according to it killing the fat man would be quite useful for the group of people, but the majority of people would agree on the fact that killing is wrong. The second example also shows that act utilitarianism might be regarded as a false approach: it is true that sometimes for a particular individual lying might bring considerable more benefits that tell the truth; however, the society condemns lying. Finally, the third example may also be regarded as a valid claim that rebuts act utilitarianism. According to the latter, it would be more ethical not to vote for a person, but it is quite obvious that such approach would ruin the legal system.
Rule utilitarianism would provide a different solution for this problem. In case of the fat man, it would encourage people to let that man live. The reason for this is quite simple: it is generally accepted that killing other people is not an ethical action. That is why killing the person in question will violate the general rule which contributed to the security in the society. In the second example about lying, rule utilitarianism would urge a person to tell a truth even though it might be some problems. The logic behind it is rather simple: the social life is being productive and stable because people generally do not lie to each other. That is why if people chose to make an exception from that rule, they might undermine the very foundation of the society. Finally, in the example of voting, rule utilitarianism would encourage people to go and vote in spite of the fact that they may not be willing as if all the other people chose not to vote this is likely to break the democratic system and result in the collapse of the government.
In my opinion rule ...
Download paper
Not exactly what you need?

Related papers

Nozick is right and Rawls is wrong
The main agenda of the justice principle is to enhance fairness to society associated by conducts of injustices. The theory of economic injustice explains about the need to mitigate scarcity and altruistic desires affecting communities instead referring to fair choices that repel about societal ignorance by enhancing communal corporation and sorting to alternatives that can easily liberate from…
7 pages (1757 words)
Utilitarianism view on a dilemma
If we have chosen the option A and it has a great number of happy consequences as compare to option B, then the decision will be perfect. That all depends upon the great number of goodness.…
4 pages (1004 words)
Using the UTILITARIANISM STRATEGY! Briefly explain the strategy in your own words and describe how the strategy would be used to determine the right action if you found a wallet containing $300.
Mill argues that people should act the way it brings them as much happiness as possible, and the only way they should sacrifice their own interests if their decision will bring more valuable common good than the personal one (Brink 2008).…
1 pages (251 words)
Explain what Utilitarianism theory would say is our moral obligation to help end world hunger. Is distance a morally relevant criterion according to Utilitarianism? Why or why not?
According to Mill, ethical judgments should be based on the criterion of the usefulness of the human acts. A person can determine whether his/her action is good or evil based on its usefulness. However, the utility is seen not primarily as an individual utility, but as a public utility.…
1 pages (251 words)
How should one decide what is wrong and what is right? Compare and contrast the views of either Plato or Aristotle with either Kant or the utilitarians. Which view do you prefer? Why?
The moral sense pertains individual particular emotional act. An act is right if the agent during the moment of action feels emotional approval towards an action. From this sense, one tends to perform an act that he or she approves. One abstains from an action that the person disapproves. Some emotions are called approval and others disapproval. In most instances, there must be some level of truth…
4 pages (1004 words)
Are all pressure ulcers avoidable
At all times, nurses should observe the law and ethics related to informed consent (Selinger, 2009). Assuming that the patient has severe dementia or some kind of severe mental illnesses, it would be difficult for the nurse to seek permission from the patient prior to the delivery of care. Therefore, the nurses should at all times make sure that their decision-making gives justice and will not…
5 pages (1255 words)