Social Sciences Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

What is the goal of utilitarianism?

The goal of utilitarianism is to secure the greatest happiness of the greatest number. To that end, utilitarians believe in increasing the amount of good things in society, such as pleasure, while decreasing the amount of bad things, such as pain.

Expert Answers info

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write11,200 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Utilitarianism is what’s called a consequentialist moral theory, in that it emphasizes the effects of moral actions rather than any intrinsic value they may have. A utilitarian would look closely at the consequences of a specific moral action to see whether or not it could be justified. If it adds to the general stock of happiness in a given society, then it is morally acceptable. If it does not, say if...

(The entire section contains 218 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial