The Theory Of Utilitarianism And Rule Utilitarianism

952 WordsSep 29, 20144 Pages
Have you eaten breakfast this morning? Put on clean clothes? Did you have a bed to sleep in at the end of your day? For millions of less fortunate around the world, the answer to those questions is no. Knowing this is true, can you continue to go about your day and claim to be a moral and ethical person? In order to obtain the greatest pleasure for the greatest number of people, it is clear that you in order to uphold your moral duty; you must contribute to those experiencing poverty. When applying this concept to the consequentialist theory of utilitarianism, it is important to first examine the difference between act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. As Mosser explains, act utilitarianism tells us that we must question what single act would generate the greatest good. Whereas, rule utilitarianism evaluates the actions themselves and determines what would produce an outcome that institutes the greatest good. (2013 sec. 6.1) From an act utilitarian standpoint, say you had a hundred dollars to spend lavishly. If you purchased the designer shirt you have been looking at for weeks, you would definitely be happy, you would make the person selling the shirt happy, and you would make the company making the shirt happy. Yet, if you were to give the same hundred dollars to charity and it fed a family for a week, gave them new clothing, the medicine they needed, and better shelter this action would outweigh your pleasure from the shirt you purchased. Not only from
Open Document