CJJ group looks at Consequentialist and Non-Consequentialist ethical theories

Consequentialists believe that outcomes are the deciding factors or whether an action or a decision is good or right, while Non-Consequentialists argue that outcomes do not matter; what is important is that a person or group follows a set of rules. (Obedience trumps outcome)

Consequentialism: Ethical Egoism

Ethical Egoism is not the same as Psychological Egoism. Briefly, Psychological Egoism says humans are hardwired to look after their own interests and that no matter what action a person takes, even if seemingly altruistic, people are motivated to do those things because in someway, they benefit from their actions. This is not an ethical theory, however, it is more of a scientific, descriptive statement. Ethical theories are prescriptive, that is to say, they attempt to describe how people should act, not how they actually do act.

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Keep in mind Ethical Egoism does not (necessarily) equal Selfishness

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Consequentialism: Utililiartian Views of Morality


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Acts, Rules and Criticisms

Xtranormal youtube vid of Jeremy Bentham



Additional Readings:

Rand, A., & Branden, N. (1964). The virtue of selfishness: A new concept of egoism. New York: New American Library. Available at

Hampicke, U. (2011). Climate change economics and discounted utilitarianism. Ecological Economics, 7245-52. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.08.028

Sachs, B. (2010). Consequentialism's Double-Edged Sword. Utilitas, 22(3), 258-271. doi:10.1017/S095382081000018X

Tanner, C. (2009). To Act or Not to Act: Nonconsequentialism in Environmental Decision-Making. Ethics & Behavior, 19(6), 479-495. doi:10.1080/10508420903275192