Describe to me like I'm five...


Editorial Team
Nov 21, 2005
United Kingdom
It is all fairly straightforward and

utilitarianism in general = though most philosophies and religions will consider others (it tending to boil down to "be excellent to one another") utilitarianism would have this be the central focus of the concept, though possibly as more of an abstract, if potentially quantifiable, concept.

act = Was anybody hurt by your actions? No? Sweet. There may be acceptable levels of harm as well, see also "greater good" and possibly even "net positive".
rule = in most cases was the preconsidered set of notions, or rules if you prefer, likely to have ended in harm? No? Sucks that it went wrong if it did then. You may need to consider a revised set of rules or a more complex set though.

Both would seem to have considerable potential failings. act's main failing being post action justification can rationalise an awful lot of things, rule would be that the universe is a complex place and to consider things at a high enough level, especially in the heat of the moment, is very hard and also invites the "but I was only following orders" issue.

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