The most positive outcome for the largest number of people.
That’s the standing ‘Golden Rule’ on ethics. This is a challenging measure for a number of reasons.
Positive outcomes occur on a spectrum. This creates spaces for abuse. Some outcomes in the sample size will be ‘extremely positive’ while others will be ‘slightly positive’. Those controlling the narrative would certainly like to ensure they fall closer to the ‘extremely positive’ side of the spectrum.
The largest number of people automatically means some people are likely excluded. Who do we exclude? Certainly not people similar to those responsible for making the decision. Certainly not those making the most ruckus or causing the most frustration. Who’s left?
Inherently we want the greater good to be fair.
Unfortunately, fairness is a subjective measure.