Honderich’s Principle of Humanity

  1. The Principle of Humanity is doing the right thing, as distinct from others that are wrong, to our fellow humans.
  2. Doing what, according to the best judgement and information, is effective and not self-defeating—in short, rational—in getting and keeping people out of bad lives. It is the rational action, practice, institution, government, society, world that saves people from bad lives.
  3. Bad lives are lives deprived or frustrated in six great human “goods”—what is good and so desired by all of us:

    1. a decent length of life
    2. a decent quality of life
    3. freedom and power to exercise it
    4. respect and self respect
    5. “goods” of relationship
    6. “goods” of culture