Rule utilitarianism

Rule Utilitarianism

Rule utilitarianism

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Rule utilitarianism is a form of utilitarianism that says actions are moral when they conform to the rules that lead to the greatest good, or that "the rightness or wrongness of a particular action is a function of the correctness of the rule of which it is an instance." For rule utilitarians, the correctness of a rule is determined by the amount of good it brings about when followed. In contrast, act utilitarians judge actions in terms of the goodness of their consequences without reference to rules of action. Another variation of rule utilitarianism stresses the greater utility of following a given rule in general, arguing that the practice of following some rule in all instances (always stopping at red lights, for example) will have better consequences overall than allowing exceptions to be made in individual instances, even if better consequences can be demonstrated in those instances. Rule utilitarianism can also be seen as practice rule, which states that—even though in some or most cases the rule wouldn't cause the greatest good—never following it would not cause the greatest good for the greatest number of people. For example the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution states, "No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself." Even though that rule protects many criminals from conviction, in its absence people could be tortured...
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