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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.

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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...

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