Determine whether a deontologist would be persuaded in favour of Utilitarianism with Rule Utilitarianism as the idea being put forward.

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To determine whether a deontologist would be persuaded in favour of Utilitarianism with Rule Utilitarianism as the idea being put forward, a number of key issues need to be taken into account, namely:

(1) What is deontology?

(2) What is the theory of Utilitarianism, but more specifically what is Rule Utilitarianism?

Lastly in order to ascertain whether Rule Utilitarianism stands up to Act Utilitarianism satisfactorily, an exposition of Act Utilitarianism will be required. Once this foundation has been laid, I can proceed with a breakdown of Rule Utilitarianism as the approach to our decision making process in the moral realm. My arguments will draw on the deontological intuitions of Ross coupled with my own opinions.

As my point of origin, Utilitarianism is a moral theory about action, which is meant as a guide as to the wrongness and rightness of certain acts. The rightness of an action is dependant on its ability to maximise goodness for the majority of people.

Deontology is the approach to moral theory that is duty based. Here, as opposed to the consequentialist view, the right comes before the good.

Such a case would be where a man refuses a job, which may bring about the most utility if he took it, because he feels the undertaking would be contrary to morality.

According to Act Utilitarianism, the rightness or wrongness of an action is governed by its consequences. An act will be morally right if in a given situation its will actually effect the greatest good for the greatest number if performed. This approach is a consequentialist approach to Utilitarianism, whereby the consequences of an action are of paramount significance relative to moral questions. Ross refers to this branch of Utilitarianism as ideal Utilitarianism.
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Rule Utilitarianism, in contrast, uses a different modus operandi. For it, consequences of a specific act are extraneous. We need a set of rules for action. The best rule will be one wherein the best consequences on the whole will be generated. The intention of this view is to nullify deontological problems with consequentialism.

An objection to RU would be that it requires us to contemplate the broad-spectrum applications of a particular rule. For example the overall effect of normally adhering to a rule such as "Always keep your promises" is the most advantageous one. We ...

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