Define utilitarian: Utilitarianism is a family of consequentialist ethical theories that promotes actions that maximize happiness and well-being for the majority of a population. (Wikipedia)

Is killing considered "moral" in terms of utilitarianism? Suppose earth has all the needs for humans; humans no longer are concerned with survival except for death. Now there are only two people left in the world, and one has been infected with a deadly disease; he has one of two choices:

  1. Die with the disease;

  2. Pass it to the other person, thus "killing" him.

If the other dies, you would end long term suffering. Thus you would be "happy" for an amount of time.

Also, if you own the ring of gyges (make u invisible) and kill your neighbour"s husband while invisible, and put a note on the table, "Honey,I am going on a trip to find the Golden Fleece.", thus making her proud for her husband. Then marrying her after that without her being in pain. Is this also a utilitarianly moral?

  • I like the question. I suspect it has been addressed at length in literature; this may be why you are accumulating downvotes. I hope to see a good answer regardless.
    – Grault
    Aug 8 '19 at 20:42

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