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Philosophical Multicore

Why should one adopt utilitarianism rather than some other moral philosophy? This essay explains four simple principles from which the utilitarian position follows.

First, the purpose of morality is to do what is good and prevent what is bad. I hope no one disagrees with this.

Second, I define good in relation to myself by my interests or preferences. The things that I value for myself—physical health, intellectual engagement, human connection—I consider to be good for me. The things I want to avoid, I consider bad.

Third, all beings who hold interests deserve moral consideration. While I cannot experience anything beyond my own consciousness, I still must recognize the existence of consciousness outside of myself. Even though I cannot directly experience the good that others feel, I must acknowledge that good exists for others just as much as it does for myself. I hold certain interests and other sentient beings…

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