Utilitarianism Vs. Mill Utilitarianism

1004 WordsOct 15, 20155 Pages
anism: Bentham VS. Mill Utilitarianism is a normative ethical theory that holds the morally right course of action in any given situation is the course of which yields the greatest balance of benefits over harms. More specifically, utilitarianism’s core idea is that the effects of an action determine whether actions are morally right or wrong. Created with the philosophies of Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) and John Stuart Mill (1806–1873), Utilitarianism began in England in the 19th Century. Bentham and Mill built their system of Utilitarianism on ancient hedonism (pursuing physical pleasure and avoiding physical pain). Although both of these philosophers agreed on the basic principals of Utilitarianism they disagreed on what exactly hedonism is. Jeremy Bentham was one of the first philosophers to present a fully developed system of utilitarianism. He thought that we, as humans, should evaluate the consequences of our actions, determine whether each action is morally right or wrong, and tally the pleasure and pain that comes as a result of our actions. Is it right for me to donate to charity? Is it right for me to cheat on my government test? These questions we ask ourselves fall under Bentham’s theory known as act-utilitarianism because it focuses on the consequences of every action we perform. Bentham argues that the “greatest happiness of the greatest number of people” (Bentham) is how we should determine right from wrong. He also believed “mankind is under the
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