3.1 Utilitarianism: Improve the world

Utilitarianism expands the moral circle to include people outside the group--even strangers--and, indeed all sentient beings, even animals. For utilitarians, the good is, variously, pleasure, the satisfaction of all individuals' interests, or happiness. Utilitarianism holds that a person ought to do what will maximize the overall best consequences for everyone. It requires that one consider equally the like interests of all individuals affected by one's actions and act not to maximize the happiness of the group but rather the happiness of all. Its practical advice is this: Always give equal weight to the like interests of all individuals affected by our actions, acting to maximize the balance of good consequences over bad.

Author: Gary Comstock
Maintained By: Gary Comstock
Last Updated: 2007-08-22