The war in Syria has been raging on since 2011, with casualties in the country rising each day. Russia has thrown its lot in with the sitting president and in doing so has helped his cause by running bombing campaigns in Syria. The problem with these bombing campaigns is there indiscriminate targeting, leading to huge civilian casualties. Bashar Al-Assad had been losing ground in the war until the intervention of Russian forces and these new strikes have greatly increased his power. The latest airstrike in northern Syria left 21 people civilians dead, including many innocent children.
When Mills came up with the concept of utilitarianism, he was trying to find a moral system that could be applied to any situation. War is the state of humanity that utilitarianism aligns most with, as at times it can seem that war is just a series of fat men being pushed on to train tracks so to speak. In this situation, where the deaths of so many civilians comes from a military operation against an universally recognized evil, is it morally good? I think not. The cost of those 21 civilians is much higher than the gains of any of the terrorists that might have been killed. Utilitarianism does not consider the intentions of an act, but only the outcome. It does not matter that airstrikes were not meant for the civilians, but what matters is the killed 21 civilians who were not intended targets and had done nothing to deserve such a fate.