Ideas from 'Outline of a System of Utilitarianism' by J.J.C. Smart [1973], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Utilitarianism For and Against' by Smart,J./Williams,B. [CUP 1978,0-521-09822-x]].

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23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 1. Utilitarianism
Negative utilitarianism implies that the world should be destroyed, to avoid future misery
                        Full Idea: The doctrine of negative utilitarianism (that we should concern ourselves with the minimisation of suffering, rather than the maximisation of happiness) ...means we should support a tyrant who explodes the world, to prevent infinite future misery.
                        From: J.J.C. Smart (Outline of a System of Utilitarianism [1973], 5)
                        A reaction: That only seems to imply that the negative utilitarian rule needs supplementary rules. We are too fond of looking for one single moral rule that guides everything.
23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 3. Motivation for Altruism
Any group interested in ethics must surely have a sentiment of generalised benevolence
                        Full Idea: A utilitarian can appeal to the sentiment of generalised benevolence, which is surely present in any group with whom it is profitable to discuss ethical questions.
                        From: J.J.C. Smart (Outline of a System of Utilitarianism [1973], I)
                        A reaction: But ethics is not intended only for those who are interested in ethics. If this is the basics of ethics, then we must leave the mafia to pursue its sordid activities without criticism. Their lack of sympathy seems to be their good fortune.