In contemporary discussion it has been divorced from adventitious involvements with the analysis of ethical language and with the psychological theory with which it was presented by Bentham. Another problem with utilitarianism is that it requires an impartial decision maker.
In economic policy, the early Utilitarians had tended to oppose governmental interference in trade and industry on the assumption that the economy would regulate itself for the greatest welfare if left alone; later Utilitarians, however, lost confidence in the social efficiency of private enterprise and were willing to see governmental power and administration used to correct its abuses.
Problems with consequentialism Despite its ease of universal application, applying consequentialist theory to a decision can be quite time-consuming and complicated in practice.
If seven like chocolate and three like vanilla and if all of them get the same amount of pleasure from the flavor they like, then you should choose chocolate. Critics object to utilitarianism by claiming that the theory justifies treating people unjustly, violating their rights, etc.
The contrast between act and rule utilitarianism, though previously noted by some philosophers, was not sharply drawn until the late s when Richard Brandt introduced this terminology. We can apply consequentialism to a decision by using its two forms: act consequentialism or rule consequentialism.
First, who are the primary stakeholders affected? Second, since pretty much everyone is strongly motivated to act on behalf of themselves and people they care about, a morality that forbids this and requires equal consideration of strangers is much too demanding.
For this reason, they claim that the person who rescued Hitler did the right thing, even though the actual consequences were unfortunate.