- Utilitarians actually care about others and thus avoid the problems of ethical egoism.
- Utilitarians try to be fair to everyone by counting everyone’s good and bad equally: everyone’s units of pleasure and pain count for the same.
- If we try to go by lists of rights or rules instead of utilitarianism, we may run into problems coming up with such a list, or especially problems when rules conflict or we need exceptions to rules, such as whether to lie to a Nazi knocking at the door looking for Jews when one is hiding a Jew in one’s attic. Utilitarianism enables us to justify overriding the rule against lying because it might save someone’s life, and thus provides better guidance than rules.
- Flexible and sensitive to different situations or contexts.
- Gives one a plausible reason for acting: promoting what is best.
- Not afraid of “getting one’s hands dirty” in doing what needs to be done.
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