Consequentialism is the name of a family of ethical theories that judge the rightness of an action, or a policy, in terms of the value of its consequences. The most familiar form of this approach is utilitarianism according to which an action is right if and only if in a given situation it is the best or equal best among those available, where ‘best’ is defined as ‘that which produces the greatest amount of happiness, or preference satisfaction’ or welfare, for the greatest number of those involved. Any version of utilitarianism is a case of consequentialism not vice versa. The views, for example that the criterion of right action is pleasing God (and of bad action offending Him); or that what is right is whatever protects the planet (and bad, whatever harms it) are both consequentialist, but non-utilitarian theories. The main criticisms of consequentialism are 1) that it takes the end to justify the means and does not allow that some courses of action are right or wrong in and of themselves wholly or partly independent of their consequences, and 2) that is unworkable because we cannot know what all the consequences of an action may be and so cannot calculate its value; and 3) that the favoured standards of good consequences are erroneous, for we can meaningfully ask whether happiness, or preference satisfaction etc is good.