Source of knowledge

Consequentialism is an ethical theory that judges whether or not something is right by what its consequences are. For instance, most people would agree that lying is wrong. But if telling a lie would help save a person’s life, consequentialism says it’s the right thing to do.

Forms of Consequentialism:

Drawbacks / Shortcomings

It can be difficult to know the result of an action ahead of time. Also, in certain situations, consequentialism can lead to decisions that are objectionable, even though the consequences are arguably good.


For example, let’s suppose economists could prove that the world economy would be stronger, and that most people would be happier, healthier, and wealthier, if we just enslaved 2% of the population. Although the majority of people would benefit from this idea, most would never agree to it. However, when judging the idea solely on its results, as classic consequentialism does, then “the end justifies the means.”