Utilitarianism

Name(s): 
Instrumentalism
Nature

In ethical philosophy, utilitarianism is a family of normative ethical theories that prescribe actions that maximize happiness and well-being for the affected individuals. In other words, utilitarian ideas encourage actions that ensure the greatest good for the greatest number. Although different varieties of utilitarianism admit different characterizations, the basic idea behind all of them is, in some sense, to maximize utility, which is often defined in terms of well-being or related concepts. For instance, Jeremy Bentham, the founder of utilitarianism, described utility thus:

That property in any object, whereby it tends to produce benefit, advantage, pleasure, good, or happiness ... [or] to prevent the happening of mischief, pain, evil, or unhappiness to the party whose interest is considered.

Utilitarianism is a version of consequentialism, which states that the consequences of any action are the only standard of right and wrong. Unlike other forms of consequentialism, such as egoism and altruism, utilitarianism considers either the interests of all humanity and/or all sentient beings equally. Proponents of utilitarianism have disagreed on a number of issues, such as whether actions should be chosen based on their likely results (act utilitarianism), or whether agents should conform to rules that maximize utility (rule utilitarianism). There is also disagreement as to whether total utility (total utilitarianism) or average utility (average utilitarianism) should be maximized.

The seeds of the theory can be found in the hedonists Aristippus and Epicurus who viewed happiness as the only good, the consequentialism of the ancient Chinese philosopher Mozi who developed a theory to maximize benefit and minimize harm, and in the work of the medieval Indian philosopher Śāntideva. The tradition of modern utilitarianism began with Jeremy Bentham, and continued with such philosophers as John Stuart Mill, Henry Sidgwick, R. M. Hare, and Peter Singer. The concept has been applied towards social welfare economics, questions of justice, the crisis of global poverty, the ethics of raising animals for food, and the importance of avoiding existential risks to humanity.

Source: Wikipedia

Claim 
Utilitarianism is a civilization of production and of use, a civilization of things and not of persons, a civilization in which persons are used in the same way as things are used...To be convinced that this is the case, one need only to look at certain sexual education programmes introduced into the schools, often notwithstanding the disagreement and even the protests of many parents. (Pontifical Council for the Family: The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, 1995).
Aggravated by 
Type 
(F) Fuzzy exceptional problems