Utilitarianism John Stuart Mill Analysis

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General Remarks In the first chapter of the essay utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill begins by observing something of a crisis in moral thinking: essentially, people have been unable to come to any agreement on what philosophies the notions of "right" and "wrong" are based on. Having portrayed this problem, Mill introduces utilitarianism as a prospective solution. He argues that it is already indirectly used as a standard, and that it achieves the requirements of being a first principle. It is imperative to note that Mill explains morality 's purpose as bringing about a specific state of the world. Mill defines this context through which to understand morality as the essential one. It is essential to consider whether this consequences-based understanding of morality is substantial. For example, consider lying as an immoral act, then consider a situation whereby telling a lie could prevent five other people from telling lies. Is the first lie morally…show more content…
There are a few significant aspects of this definition. First, it shows utility, or the presence of pleasure and the absence of pain, as both the basis of everything that people desire, and as the foundation of morality. However, utilitarianism does not say that it is right for individuals to simply pursue what makes them personally happy. Rather, morality is dictated by the greatest happiness principle, that is, moral action is that which increases the total amount of utility in the world. Pursuing one 's own happiness at the expense of social happiness would not be moral under this framework. One of Mill 's replies to oppositions about utilitarianism is that the given analysis is not distinctive to utilitarianism, that any ethical theory would have such limitations. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this tactic? Does it really satisfy Mill 's stated objective, to dispel misconceptions about his theory? Might such a reply undermine all ethical
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