Sometimes defined as the greatest good for the greatest number where everyone is to count as one and no one as more than one. The purpose here is to maximize average utility or good outcomes. An ethical theory that argues that what is morally good is related to the consequences of following actions or rules whose purpose is to minimize harm while maximizing good outcomes to persons or other sentient beings. Good is variously defined as pleasure while harm is defined as pain. This definition was the initial definition by Bentham. Mill later articulated various higher and lower (by quality and quantity) types of good or types of happiness.
Utilitarianism is one of the strongest and most popular ethical theories in contemporary moral thought (the other main contenders being Deontology and Virtue Ethics). Utilitarianism is most closely identified with Jeremy Bentham and John Stewart Mill,...