MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

247 views

What is Utilitarianism?

Utilitarianism is a system for making ethical decisions - ones that involve a question of whether something is right or wrong. Utilitarianism argues that we should make these decisions based on how useful they are (their utility, hense Utilitarianism).  Utilitarianism suggests that the use of something is based on how much happiness it brings about. 

There are three subsections of Utilitarianism, each associated with a key figure: Bentham's Act Utilitarianism, Mill's Rule Utilitarianism and Singer's Preference Utilitarianism. 

Bentham's Act Utilitarianism can be seen as a basis for Mill and Singer's work. Bentham argues that the right thing to do is that which causes the greatest good - pleasure - for the greatest number of people. There is a system for evaluating the amount of pleasure an act will cause called the Hedonic Calculus. 

Mill's Rule Utilitarianism is different from Bentham's Act Utilitarianism because while Bentham assesses the utility of each act individually, Mill uses the principle of Utility to set up several rules for a society as a whole to live by. These rules are still utilitarian because they are based on what creates the greatest pleasure for the greatest number of people. 

Singer's Preference Utilitarianism is similar to Bentham and Mill's theories in that it is concerned with pleasing the most people. However, it moves away from a strict concern for the amount of pleasure an action, or rule, provides. Instead, Singer is concerned with fulfilling the interests of the people involved in the ethical decision - the right thing to do is that which fulfills the preference of most people, which may not always be what bring them pleasure and reduces pain. Can you think of an example in which you would prefer to do something that causes you more pain that it does pleasure? 

Evie H. GCSE English Literature tutor, GCSE Geography tutor, A Level ...

6 months ago

Answered by Evie, an A Level Religious Studies tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

15 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£20 /hr

Caitlin C.

Degree: History and Politics (Bachelors) - Lancaster University

Subjects offered:Religious Studies, Philosophy and Ethics+ 4 more

Religious Studies
Philosophy and Ethics
History
English Literature
-Personal Statements-

“Passionate about the humanities, motivated learner, excited to help, and previous successful tutoring experience!”

MyTutor guarantee

£20 /hr

Jack K.

Degree: Religious Studies PGCE (Other) - Kings, London University

Subjects offered:Religious Studies, Philosophy

Religious Studies
Philosophy

“Religious Education PGSE Student-Religious Education and Philosophy GCSE/A-Level Tutor”

£24 /hr

Adrienne J.

Degree: BA (Hons) Religion, Philosophy & Ethics (Bachelors) - Kings, London University

Subjects offered:Religious Studies, Spanish+ 3 more

Religious Studies
Spanish
Philosophy and Ethics
French

“I am a Theology & Philosophy student at King's College London (University of London). As an aspiring ph.D student, I have taught students from GCSE to A Level in Religious Studies, Philosophy & Ethics, and French (AQA, Edexcel, and OC...”

About the author

£24 /hr

Evie H.

Degree: Theology (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered:Religious Studies, Geography

Religious Studies
Geography

“About Me:  I am at Durham University, studying Theology and Religion. I study ethics, philosophy of religion, biblical studies, Christian theology and South Asian studies, so I am ready and waiting to help withall things religion-rela...”

You may also like...

Posts by Evie

What are the different ideas about freewill and determinism?

What is Utilitarianism?

Why do some people say that Sport is like a Religion?

Other A Level Religious Studies questions

How might some Christian philosophers of religion overcome the Euthyphro Dilemma?

'A good God would not allow the existence of evil in the world' Discuss.

“One person’s experience cannot prove God’s existence” Discuss.

What are the examiners looking for? What is "good" essay technique?

View A Level Religious Studies tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok