Utilitarianism as a whole is considered to be any moral theory corresponding to which an action is right if and only if it conforms to the principle of utility, or productiveness. Utilitarianism represents an extension into moral theory of an experimental, scientific mode of reasoning because it involves the calculation of causal consequences. According to Bentham, an action conforms to the principle of utility if and only if its performance will be more productive of pleasure or happiness, or more preventive of pain or unhappiness, than any alternative. The well being of individuals is the standard of determining what's right and wrong and the consequences of an action. There are different forms of Utilitarianism, two of which are act-utilitarianism and rule-utilitarianism.
Act-utilitarianism is the value of consequences of the particular act when determining if the act is right or that the principle of utility should be applied to the evaluation of each individual act. The alternative to act-utilitarianism, rule-utilitarianism, determines the rightness of an act by a different method, instead of looking at the consequences of a particular act and states that the principle should be applied only to moral rules or general categories of actions. The method begins by finding the best rule of conduct by looking at the value of the consequences of following a particular rule. The rule with the better overall end results is the best rule. With these two definitions in mind, we look at the questions: "How does rule-utilitarianism attempt to solve the apparent problems of act-utilitarianism? Is it successful in solving those problems?" In this paper, I will attempt to answer this question with the best of my knowledge.
First, I want to discuss some objections that have been noted on both of these forms of utilitarianism. The main objection to act-utilitarianism is that it's quite liberal and lax, making the theory able to justify any crime, and even making it ethically incumbent, if only the value of the particular consequences of the particular act is great enough.