Ethics: Utilitarian


The Utilitarian Ethic

Ethic 1, An act is good if it benefits more people than it harms.   The “Utilitarian Ethic” is ostensibly the basis of all modern regimes.  It is fundamental to both democracy and communism.  It justifies majority rule by implying that an act is good if it benefits 51 people and only harms 49.  It permits harm to be done to some people if the intention is to benefit a greater number.

There are at least three ways to prove that Ethic 1 is not valid.[3]

1. The Historical Proof is simply the observation that even though society has largely chosen to adopt Ethic 1, we still have war, genocide, race-hatred, terrorism, crimes of violence, drug addiction, and myriad atrocities like those described in the pages preceding.  The ethic produces its opposite and vastly more people are harmed than benefited by its adoption.  So it is clearly invalid.

2. The Golden Rule Proof states that the application of Ethic 1 violates the Golden Rule, because those being harmed under Ethic 1 are not being treated in accordance with the Golden Rule.  Again, this proves the ethic is invalid.

3. The Logical Proof shows that an act permitted under Ethic 1, must also violate Ethic 1.  This is true because an act which benefits some people while harming others is the logical equivalent of two acts; one that only benefits (some) people and another that only harms (some other) people.  Thus, Ethic 1 contains its own contradiction, and is therefore invalid.

The Titanian Ethic, or Ethic 2, on the other hand, does not suffer from these three criticisms.  Let’s look at it more closely.

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