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What's The Difference Between Act (Au) And Rule Utilitarianism (Ru)? What Are The Strengths And Weaknesses Of Each?

554 words - 3 pages

What's the difference between act (AU) and ruleutilitarianism (RU)? What are the strengths andweaknesses of each?In the past Utilitarianism was judged on each individual action, after many years pastedthen Utilitarianism was judge on the consequences of the truth and a lie. Yourconsequences are judged on thoughts such as a promise you made or the truth you wastold. "The new version of the theory Rule Utilitarianism, which is distinguishing it fromthe original theory, now commonly called Act-Utilitarianism." Sothis means that Act Utilitarianism shows the happiness of a person that is helping withanother person needs. Bottom line is that Act ...view middle of the document...

Ru is a way of using rules agreed upon by a group of people within asociety. In order to thrive in that society, certain rules apply to a person'sactions. What rules would make the people happy is the rule to best followaccording to RU.AU is the conventional form of Utilitarianism which states that moral actions should beguided by what would derive the most happiness. The benefits of this theory is that isprovides a systematic system to determine moral actions. When presented with a moraldilemna, one must only determine the moral action that will provide the greatest amountof happiness. The weakness of this theory is that some of the actions it supports wouldbe incompatible with common sense morals. RU suggest that we look to generalizedUtilitarian rules for guidance instead of the amount of happiness provided in an individualsituation. These generalized Utilitarian rules are the rules that benefit society in themajority of cases. The benefit of this theory is that it solves the problems of AU in that itis more aligned with common sense morality. It is not acceptable to lie, even if in onesituation lying would provide happiness to one person without causing detriment to theother. This is because generally lying produces a negatives effects the majority of thetime. The weakness of this theory is that it subjects moral actions to apredetermined "ideal social code". RU may defeat the ability of the Utilitariantheory to promote societal happiness by subjecting inflexible rules to moral situations.

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