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Day 16 – Q 2.Explain the concept and applications of consequentialism with the help of suitable examples.

2. Explain the concept and applications of consequentialism with the help of suitable examples. 

उपयुक्त उदाहरणों की सहायता से परिणामवाद की अवधारणा और अनुप्रयोगों की व्याख्या करें।


Consequentialism is the class of normative ethics considering that the consequences of one’s conduct are the ultimate basis for any judgment about the rightness or wrongness of that conduct. It focuses on ends or goals or consequences.


Consequentialism is based on two principles:

  • Whether an act is right or wrong depends only on the results of that act.
  • The better consequences an act produces, the better or more right that act is.

For example- To control the militancy in Kashmir during early 90s many actions were taken by the Army that violated the Human Rights. A senior army officer accepted the fact and said that we are sorry for the actions, but sometimes in order to prevent the larger evil, small evil has to be done. Integrity of the country was more important.

Ethical egoism: Ethical egoism is the consequences for the individual agent are taken to matter more than any other result. Thus, egoism will prescribe actions that may be beneficial, detrimental, or neutral to the welfare of others.

Example- Business man selling his products for above price to benefit his family and their lifestyle.

Ethical altruism: Ethical altruism can be seen as a consequentialist ethic which prescribes that an individual take action that have the best consequences for everyone except for himself.

Example- Helping the homeless can be altruistic as long as it is not done for recognition or to make oneself feel better.

Utilitarianism: Benefits everybody including the individual that is greatest welfare of work for larger number of people.

Example: Fostering scientific temper by the government by allocating more money in the budget in a country can help all sections of the society with a benefit of good will for the government.

Hedonism: Hedonism is a school of thought that argues that pleasure and happiness are the primary or most important intrinsic goods and the proper aim of human life. It is based on two principles pain and pleasure that is feeling pleasure in their own way

Example: A drug addicts would overdose him/ her for pleasure but it might not give him/ her real happiness.

Rule consequentialism: it is a theory that is sometimes seen as an attempt to reconcile deontology and consequentialism—and in some cases, this is stated as a criticism of rule consequentialism.

Example: Killing one person to save life of ten others would be against the ‘moral’ rules here.

Disadvantages of consequentialism:

  • Future consequences are difficult to predict.
  • Measuring and comparing the ‘goodness’ of consequences is very difficult.
  • It is easy to bias in favour of particular groups.
  • It ignores things we regard as ethically relevant.


Though Consequentialism is having many favourable outcomes, inculcating moral rules and ethical behaviour is essential during means of result.

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