According to the lecture, the term “utilitarian” was first coined by English philosopher, Jeremy Bentham. John Stuart Mill further developed Bentham’s theory and became the most important English philosopher in the nineteenth century. Mill was known to advocate for individual liberty and women’s rights. At the heart of Mill’s utilitarianism theory is the concept of greatest happiness. This greatest happiness concept asserts that one must always act in a way that generates the greatest amount of net happiness. As stated in the lecture, under the utilitarianism theory, “an action is right if, and only if, it brings about at least as much net happiness as any other action the agent could have performed; otherwise the action is wrong.” This simply means the happiness the outcome produces has to be higher than any unhappiness from the action. For example, since I like high-end purses, the enjoyment I get from purchasing them is taken into account, under the utilitarian theory. However, since I am a college student and do not have the funds to pay for both tuition and a high-end purse, I decided that the best solution for me is to rob the bank. This action is considered immoral under the utilitarian theory because the unhappiness by those who are affected by the robbery outweighs the happiness I may feel in attaining the purse.
Utilitarianism is also concerned with the... [continues]
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