Act and Rule Utilitarianism
Utilitarianism is the theory that says say we must cause the greatest good for the greatest number it helps. This theory is split up into three different forms; these forms are Act Utilitarianism, Rule Utilitarianism and Preference Utilitarianism. In this essay I am going to write about the following two forms; Act Utilitarianism and Rule Utilitarianism.
Act Utilitarianism is the belief that the principle of utility must be directly applied for each individual situation. Also when you are faced with a moral, you must choose the action you believe will create the greatest good for the greatest number, for example if you was driving you saw five children crossing the road and your breaks won’t work, would you swerve and hit one child on the pavement or continue forward and hit the five children, the act utilitarian would tell you to swerve because less people are dying, so there are less people hurt and the greatest good has been achieved. Act Utilitarianism has the benefit of being able to take into account any individual situation at any given moment, even thought the actions that it justifies can change. This form of Utilitarianism was greatly associated with Jeremy Bentham.
However Act Utilitarianism has a few criticisms, which are that the potential to justify any act if the result generates the most happiness, for example eating humans may bring about the most happiness, but it, is not morally right. Secondly it is impractical to suggest that we should measure each and every moral choice every time, especially as we may not have all the information required by the Hedonic Calculus. Lastly Act Utilitarianism can have some extreme results, for example An Act Utilitarian goes out to see a film. She sees someone collecting money for charity. She gives her money to the collector instead of buying the ticket and then goes home. The following week she does the exact same thing. In each case, giving up her money to help the greatest...