Utilitariansm (Bentham and Mill+Sidgwick update.pptx - Do...

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Do Consequences Make an Action Right? Consequentialist theory measures the morality of an action by how good or bad its conceqences are. More specifically, consequentialists consider the amount of non-moral good and th amount of non-moral bad that an action produces. MOTIVE ACT CONSEQUENCES
Defining Consequentialism Consequentialism defines the morality of an action by its good or bad consequences. Consequentialists weigh the amount of non-moral good and the amount of non- moral bad that an action produces. The morally right action is the one that produces more good (or less bad) non- moral consequences compared to any other action that could be performed in its place.
Two Kinds of Goods According to consequentialists, the rightness or wrongness of our actions depend on how much intrinsic good they produce and how much intrinsic evil they diminish. An intrinsic good is good in itself. An instrumental good is good for something else. Consequentialists offer competing accounts about which goods are intrinsically good. They also disagree about whether the goods to be considered are personal or social in nature.
Hedonism/Epicureanism Hedonists like Epicurus claim that the intrinsically good consequences are those that produce pleasure, whereas bad consequences are those that produce pain. Epicurus enjoined us to focus on those pleasures that are pure, and don’t produce pain. He claimed that a life of sensory moderation, with many friends was best suited to produce pleasure. Often consequentialists disagree with Epicurus, holding that intrinsic goods include not just pleasure but also knowledge, power, beauty, or love. (See the quote two slides further)
Epicurus, “Letter to Menoeceus,” in The Philosophy of Epicurus, ed. Georg Strodach (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1963), 175. The purpose of all our actions is to be free from pain and fear, and, when we have attained this, the tempest of the soul will be laid to rest, since a living creature does not need to search for something that is lacking, nor to look for anything else by which the good of the soul and of the body will be fulfilled. . . . We speak of pleasure as the starting point and the goal of a happy life because it is our primary kindred good and because every act of choice and aversion originates with it, and because we come back to it when we judge every good by using the feeling of pleasure as our criterion. . . . And since pleasure is our first and kindred good, we should not choose every pleasure whatsoever, but pass over pleasures when they will later produce greater pains. And we should consider a pain superior to other pleasures when submission to the pain brings us as a consequence a greater pleasure. Although all pleasure is good because it is a kindred good, not all pleasure should be chosen, just as all pain is evil and yet not all pain is to be shunned. It is by measuring one against another, and by looking at their conveniences and

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