Utilitarianism and Equality

One of the key topics in moral philosophy is utilitarian ethics–the notion that some principle or concept, usually happiness or pleasure or some variant, should be maximised across society. Famously created by Jeremy Bentham, the system of ethics has attracted many famous supporters over the years, most notably John Stuart Mill. However, many writers and theorists critical of utilitarian ethics, including John Rawls, have claimed that utilitarianism attempts to justify high inequality, forcing some to toil in misery for the gain of others. Today I’d like to explore this criticism of utilitarianism to see if it holds water.

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