Consequentialists accept a simple theory of the right. There is one and only one factor that has any intrinsic moral significance in determining the status of an act: the goodness of that act's consequences (as compared to the consequences of the alternative acts available to the agent). Of course, as we have also seen (in 2.6), consequentiallsts can find a place for the more familiar rules of commonsense morality as well -- a requirement to keep one's promises, a prohibition against lying, and so on. These secondary rules pick out types of acts that generally have good or bad consequences, and so provide helpful guidance in normal deliberation. But whatever the usefulness of these more familiar rules, the fact remains that from the consequentialist point of view they have no intrinsic moral significance. The various factors identified by these rules (promise keeping, truth telling, and so on) may be instrumentally valuable in discovering which act has the best results; but in and of themselves they play no role in making it be the case that a given act has the moral status that it does. Ultimately, an act is right if and only if it will have the best results; morally speaking, nothing else matters.
So say the consequentialists. But many people find this a difficult position to accept. Intuitively, at least, it seems that many normative factors have a moral significance that is not exhausted by the good or bad results that they normally involve. Intuitively, that is, most of us believe that there are other factors that have intrinsic moral significance beyond that of goodness of outcomes. Of course, as I have repeatedly emphasized, virtually no one denies that goodness of outcomes is one of the intrinsically relevant factors; but the point to remember now is that one can accept this modest claim while still rejecting the consequentialist's considerably bolder claim that this is the only factor with intrinsic significance.