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Act utilitarianism vs Rule utilitarianism
The first 200 words of this essay...
Although Utilitarianism as a whole is a complicated and flawed ideology, Rule Utilitarianism (the more sympathetic concept of the two) tends to be more plausible than Act Utilitarianism. However Rule Utilitarianism is not without its own flaws that critics of JS Mill indicate.
Critics of JS Mill say that Act Utilitarianism is more plausible because with Rule Utilitarianism, moral laws conflict, for example, the right to be free from hunger and want seems logical but destroying the rainforests to provide food goes against other Utilitarianism principles, whereas in Act Utilitarianism, according to Sidgwick, it is possible that an act may be moral and immoral at the same time.
For Sidgwick, when making a moral decision you must respond to the immediate consequences of your actions but not the long term effect, as it isn't possible to be certain about the long term effects.
Critics of Bentham and Sidgwick however would say that Rule Utilitarianism is more plausible because Rule Utilitarians believe that it is the quality of an act that is more important and not the 'greatest good for the greatest number' as suggested by Bentham. Mill also believed that without individual liberty, society's happiness is not
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