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Advantages and disadvantages of utilitarianism
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What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Utilitarianism?
"Goodness means the greatest happiness of the greatest number"
This claim is the single most important teaching of utilitarianism, as the principle of utility. Utilitarianism is a nineteenth century ethical theory most often attributed to Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. They adopted the principle that goodness is identified by actions, which produce the greatest total pleasure for everyone involved or affected by the consequences. Wrong actions are those, which do not produce the greatest total pleasure for everyone involved. However, it was at this point that Mill made an important change to this 'pleasure principle'. He replaced 'pleasure' with 'happiness' and it is his definition, which has become the commonly adopted principle of Utilitarianism.
The principle is a consequentiality theory, which holds that actions are made right or wrong by what happens after the action occurs- the consequences. The principle claims that we should choose the action most likely to bring about the greatest happiness of the greatest number. For example in one set of circumstances action A may be the most appropriate, while under other circumstances action B might bring more happiness to more people.
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