Compare Utilitarianism with the religion that you have studiedUtilitarianism VS Christianity

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Compare Utilitarianism with the religion that you have studied

Utilitarianism VS Christianity


JEREMY BENTHAM – Act Utilitarianism (each action should be judged on

its ability to bring about the greatest happiness for the greatest

number) - Devised principle of utility - Established a hedonic

calculus to measure pleasure/pain brought about by each action.

JOHN STUART MILL – Rule Utilitarianism (rules should be formulated

first, based on utilitarian principles. The individual can then judge

whether specific acts are acceptable) – Worked for Bentham for many

years – Mill distinguished between higher and lower pleasures and

reformulated the utilitarian theory taking this and human nature into

account - Mill recognised value of rules and his revision allows for

the formulation of them based on utilitarian principles.

PETER SINGER – Suggests that pleasure should not be the principal

consideration in a utilitarian ethical decision – He proposes a

utilitarian system with the ‘best interests’ of the individuals

concerned at the heart of ethical decision making – “My interests

cannot, simply because they are my interests, count more than the

interests of anyone else” - His approach weighs up the interests of

all those effected by an individuals ethical decision – Replaces

‘pleasure’ with ‘best interests’ – Argues that utilitarianism stands

as an ethical system unless some non-utilitarian moral rules are

proposed that come with good reasons for rejecting a purely

utilitarian approach.


Although the Bible stresses that personal morality ...

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...eings would have the opportunity to join

him in eternal life (in order to avoid the pain of no human being able

to have eternal life).

- The implications of the belief that Utilitarianism underwrites the

biblical view of God and morality are quite important for any

discussion relating to the divine command theory of ethics. One of the

main concerns about the belief that God alone is the source of

morality is whether we can know that what God commands is good. This

debate was classically expressed in the Euthyphro Dilemma. However, if

what God commands is based on what leads to the greatest happiness for

God, then as we have seen, such happiness is also grounded in making

us happy. In other words, as far as the Bible is concerned, God's

commands are not arbitrary but are intended to bring about a better


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