Henry Sidgwick worked out a sophisticated analysis of utilitarian ethics, which he called “universalistic hedonism,” in which the greatest good was the greatest happiness for the greatest number, and the individual would be expected to sacrifice some of his own personal happiness for the happiness of society. However, Sidgwick himself concluded that no individual would choose to sacrifice his own happiness for the sake of others unless he was motivated by religious beliefs or high ideals that promised some type of long-term reward.
Both Christianity and Unificationism would say that the motivation to sacrifice one’s personal happiness for others is love, such as the love that parents feel for their children, which is a reflection of the love of God. The experience of God’s love is in itself the greatest happiness.
Sidgwick believed that moral freedom was the freedom to choose whether to do right or wrong, while Immanuel Kant
’s “categorical imperative
” implied that moral freedom could only choose to do right. Unificationism also does not consider a person who chooses to do wrong “free,” since the original human nature endowed by God seeks to do God’s will; action against the will of God is painful
, and the desire to do evil came about as a result of the fall of man.