Explain the difference between act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism.

What is Bentham’s “hedonistic calculus”? Give an example of how to use the calculus.
2. Explain the paradox of hedonism.
3. Why does Bentham refuse to distinguish between choices, between going to the opera and drinking gin? What would John Stuart Mill make of this example?
4. According to Mill, how can we make a decision without knowing the consequences? Explain and discuss.
5. What is the harm principle? Explain with an example.
6. Explain the difference between act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism.
7. What constitutes (and what does not constitute) “harm” for Mill? How might this relate to the debate about freedom of speech?
8. How would a utilitarian respond to the suggestion that alien beings would be allowed to abduct involuntary human subjects for lethal medical experiments provided that they give humanity a cure for all viral diseases, including AIDS? Evaluate the answer from the standpoint of an act utilitarian and a rule utilitarian.
9. Discuss the utilitarian approach to the question about the permissibility of torture. Do you agree? Why or why not?
10. Do you think that people who lie more often see themselves as lying for selfish reasons or utilitarian reasons? Can a person’s reasons for lying be both selfish and utilitarian at the same time?

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