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Hi there.

I'm Mrs. Cooper.

Today, we're going to be looking at the theory of utilitarianism.

It's a consequentialist theory, which means actions are decided whether they are right or wrong, based on the consequences.

In order to do this, we're going to identify the key words, used in utilitarianism.

We're going to explain, the history of utilitarianism.

We're going to apply some utilitarianism, to some thought experiments, which if you've looked at my previous video, then you'll know what they are, but we'll very briefly go over them again.

And we're going to evaluate utilitarianism, as a theory.

There's a small disclaimer today, that there will be some sensitive content in today's lesson.

We will be discussing some life and death decisions.

Please do ask a trusted adult, if you need, to join in with you.

For today's lesson, you will need, two different coloured pens or pencils and some paper.

Try to make sure that your mobile phone, is turned off.

You find yourself a nice, quiet, comfortable place to work, and that you have two different coloured pens.

One to do your writing with and another one to make amendments.

First question I've got for you today, is think about the amount of times you've gone shopping with your parents and you have got the trolley.

And I'm sure your parents will usually ask you to take the trolley back to the trolley park.

Now, I have a question for you.

If you weren't with your parents, would you take it back to the trolley park, or would you leave it just by the car? Let's say for argument's sake, that is not in the way of any other cars, it's just over the side part, okay? Where cars can't go.

Would you, take it back, or would you leave it? Explain, what you would do and why, and we'll going to come back to this question, later on in the lesson.

So, first thing we're going to do then, is try and understand the key words.

We have got consequentialist, relativist and ethics.

The definitions next to them, however, and not right.

So what I'd like you to do, is write out your definition for them, so you can use the ones there and try and match up the correct ones.

But as a suggestion, I would write, the definitions in a pencil, so that when we go through the answers, you can either, write over them, or, you can rub them out and write in the correct answer.

Now here you go.

Here are the correct definitions.

So, consequentialists, are something that is deemed as moral, or not based on the outcome and I talked about that briefly, in the introduction.

A relativist is something that is deemed as moral, or not, based on the situation, which is quite similar to consequentialist, isn't it.

And ethics, is a type of moral philosophy, that investigates what is right or wrong.

And true or false, thumbs up, or thumbs down.

Consequentialism is morality, based on the outcome.

That is true.

True or false? Relativist ethics are based on strict rules.

That is false.

Relativist ethics is based on the situation.

True or false? Ethics, is the study of people called, Ethel.

If you watched my previous video, I used this true or false statement then, and you would definitely know by this time, that it is false.

Ethics is the study of moral philosophy.

Now, I'm going to talk to you, a little bit about the history of utilitarianism.

What I'd like you to do, is write down five points, that I mentioned.

You are more than welcome, to pause, when I've written them and then rewind the video, to write down more points.

Jeremy Bentham, is the man that you can see, on the side of me.

He was the founder of utilitarianism.

He was known as a social and political reformer, in the 1700's.

If you remember one of my previous lessons on atheism, we talked about something called the enlightenment.

Bentham was definitely influenced by the enlightenment period.

He was a person that believed, that we had to, have proof, about everything that we follow.

So, here's another person, that began to reject religion, as our moral code and started to think of his own.

So, he introduced, something called utilitarianism.

He had a lot of very radical views, for the time, including, he believed that all women should have equality, which was incredibly radical, for the 1700's.

He also believed that homosexuals should have, the same rights as everybody else.

Now bearing in mind, at that time, homosexuality, was not at all accepted within society, or the law.

And if somebody had been seen to be homosexual, they would have been put into prison.

So, this was incredibly radical for the time.

Now, one interesting fact about him, is that he, that the picture that you see of him, well, it should be a model of it, it should be his actual body, but there's a bit of a story that goes with this.

When Bentham died, he asked for his body to be preserved and used as his memorial.

So, rather than it being a statue in stone, or something like that, which may have not completely shown what he looked like, he wanted his actual body to be put on display.

So, to be, preserved.

Now, what happened was, he was dissected, when he died and they made a cast of his body and they did actually put his head, on top of the body and it was there, in that very case that you see now, in University College, London and people would go and visit it, from all around.

The problem was, over time, some of the naughty students at University College London, have taken to stealing it.

And there is a famous story, that his head was used as a football at one point, which is incredibly disrespectful.

So, a cast, a wax model was made and put on top of there.

So, actually what often you're told, that this is Bentham's actual head, for a long time, it was, for a good few hundred years, it was, but the head is now, kept safe somewhere else, in the grounds of the University College, London.

He was a very interesting character.

And one of the final things I'll tell you and his ideas for reform, while he was incredibly forward thinking, he also believed, that beggars, should either be on the streets, or in the workhouse.

He didn't believe, in helping people who had found themselves destitute.

So, hopefully you finished writing down some information about Jeremy Bentham.

The next thing we're going to do, is look at some information on his principle of utility, or utilitarianism.

So, very quickly, here are my five points.

So, have a read of my five points.

If you've got them down, fantastic.

If not, use a different coloured pen, to make corrections on your work.

So, what is utilitarianism? Utilitarianism, follows the policy, of the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.

As I mentioned at the beginning, it is a consequentialist theory.

Utilitarians, follow something called, the principle of utility, which means your usefulness.

So essentially, it is about being, the most useful for the most number of people.

If we apply that to the trolley dilemma, that we talked about at the beginning, a utilitarian may leave the trolley, arguing, that it maximises the happiness of the person that doesn't have to bother taking their trolley back and potentially the next person to pull up and take that trolley, with them straight into the shop, rather than having to go to the trolley park, to pick it up.

Unfortunately, it makes more work, for the people that work, at the shop, but Bentham would argue more people would gain happiness, from not bothering, to put their trolleys back in the trolley park.

So, we're now going to go through some quick, true or false questions.

When the slides come up, please write down the statements and write next to them whether you think they are true, or are they are false.

Remember to pause the video, to write down, whether you think this is true or false.

When you're ready, resume.

So, utility means usefulness.

That is true.

Jeremy Bentham was a social reformer, in the 1900's.

That is in fact, false.

He was a social reformer in the 1700's.

So, how did you do? Utilitarianism, is a relativist theory, which bases the morality of an action.

So, how did you do? I've broken up my answer, onto the next couple of slides.

Spend some time, pausing the video and going through your answers.

Remember to use a different coloured pen, to make any alterations.

Now we understand a little bit more about utilitarianism.

It's time to apply utilitarian principles and theories into some practise.

Now I'm going to talk you through, a little scenario, that's well known in moral philosophy.

And this is about Jim and the Indians.

Jim is walking through a forest and he finds some soldiers, surrounding, a group of Indians.

They looked like, they're about to kill them.

Jim, asks them to stop.

One of the soldiers tells him, that if he's willing to shoot one of the Indians, anyone, then the rest of them can go free.

Now, what I'd like you to do please, is pause the video and write down what you think, a utilitarian would do and why.

Pause the video to complete your task.

Copy, and complete the table, here.

So, first thing I want you to do is copy the table.

You can complete the first ones, you can write a summary of Jim and the Indians, we're then going to go through together, what Bentham would do, and you need to complete what you would do.

I am then going to talk you through, the other two experiments.

So to go through, the thought experiment of Jim and the Indians, Bentham, would shoot the one person, to save the others, because he would argue, that the consequence would be, that you'd save, more, than would die.

I'd like to think that I would save the majority by killing the one.

But in reality, I don't think that I could kill another human being.

A train driver, is on a journey, between London and Pickering.

As she goes along her journey, she meets a fork in the tracks.

She's supposed to be following this fork, but she suddenly notices, that four people have been strapped, to the train track.

Who knows why they're there? Down the other fork, one person has been strapped to the train track.

What is she to do? She could, pull a lever, which means she will not go the direction she's supposed to be going and she will kill one person, but she will save the lives of the four others.

What would you do in that situation? And what do you think a utilitarian would do in that situation? Remember to write a brief summary, of the scenario, in that box.

And finally, the Nazi at the door.

Imagine, you are living in 1930's, Germany.

Someone from the Gestapo, has just knocked on your door.

If you don't know much about your history yet, the Gestapo are like the secret police in Nazi Germany and they try, to listen to the secrets and whispers from people to catch people out.

So, this member of the Gestapo, knocks on the door and asks you, if you are hiding any Jews.

You in fact have a whole family, that used to be your next door neighbours, hiding up in the attic.

What do you do? What would you do in that situation? What do you think a utilitarian, would do in that situation? Don't forget to write your answers in the boxes, including a slight summary, of this scenario.

So for the train dilemma, what would Bentham do? Bentham would point the train in the direction of the one person, because it would be better to save the many and sacrifice the one.

Remember to write down what you would do in this situation.

The Nazi at the door, a utilitarian would lie in this instance, to save the Jewish man's life, because it would maximise happiness, for the greatest number of people.

Now pause your video to complete your task.

And so, the strengths of utilitarianism are that it's quite practical.

It makes sense, in a lot of situations, to consider the consequences of your action before you do something.

It's easy to follow.

As there is a clear rule.

Act in the way, that's going to create the greatest happiness, for the greatest number of people.

And it is designed to make people happy.

How could it be anything but a good argument? Well, let's consider the weaknesses.

It can encourage people, to make 'bad' decisions.

Happiness is relative and it isn't always clear how a person is supposed to act.

Because you may have more, strengths and weaknesses or utilitarianism.

How did you do? Have a look at my model answer and using a different coloured pen, make any alterations.

Remember there is no right or wrong, to this.

However, you must make sure that you're explaining your answers thoroughly.

I hope you've enjoyed today's lesson on utilitarianism.

Sometimes moral philosophy, is quite hard to get your head around, but I still believe it's very enjoyable and it certainly helps you challenge some preconceived ideas and perceptions that you have.

If you've enjoyed this lesson, please look at some of my other lessons on ethics.

Next lesson, we're looking at Kant's ethics, and it's so different to what we've learned today.

You might find you prefer it, or you might find you prefer utilitarianism.

All that's left to say, is don't forget to complete the quiz and have a lovely day.