While Mill takes a consequentialist approach, focused on the belief that actions are right if they are for the benefit of a majority, Kant is solely concerned with the nature of duty and obligation, regardless of the outcome. This paper will also reveal that Kantian ethics, in my opinion, is a better moral law to follow compared to the utilitarian position. According to J.S Mill, one should choose an action that maximizes the happiness
Ethics also called moral philosophy, “is the discipline concerned with what is morally good and bad, right and wrong. The term is also applied to any system or theory of moral values or principles”.1 For Socrates “Ethics are the norms by which acceptable and unacceptable behavior are measured”.2 He believed that individuals develop ethics through maturity, wisdom and love. Ethics have developed as people have reflected on the intentions and consequences of their actions. Immanuel Kant however argued that “moral requirements are based on a standard of rationality he called the Categorical Imperative”.3 Kant’s theory can be seen as an example of the deontological moral theory. According to this theory, the rightness or wrongness of actions does
The virtue of good engineer includes creativity, good understanding of culture, morality, and capability of communication. In utilitarian and Kantian view of ethics, such virtuous values are not taken into consideration. This short paper suggests how future engineers should apply the virtues and excellences in their fields and why virtuous engineers are more likely to contribute to society and make it better. In Aristotle’s view, virtue(arête) is defined as an essential factor to achieve happiness of an individual, while happiness(eudaimonia) is defined as an ultimate objective of human-being. Aristotle insisted that the order of priority may decide whether one’s goal should be considered as a means or the goal itself.
Mill and Kant have opposite idea and they support different moral philosophies. Mill exactly suppose the idea of social thinking, namely he claims that everyone attach an importance to other human beings. However, Kant considers that selfishness reflect people’s characteristics, in other words, each person should pay attention to themselves not others, because the most important thing for them is themselves. Kant also highlight that people can only behave in a good manner, if they have good will. In other words, Kant attach an importance to people’s instinct or characteristics, Mill gives weight to promoting happiness and dissolution of the pain.
(Hunter, 2001, p.306) There is no exception for rational individuals in the world to escape from the law of categorical imperative. The presentation of categorical imperative is somehow like a test of morality (Hunter, 2001, p.306), rather than just a moral concept. Moral maxim is of vital necessity in the determination of morality for an action. From Kant’s view, an action can be treated as moral when it is motivated by one’s maxim, while it also suits the universal law. (Hunter, 2001, p.306) Therefore, it can be concluded that moral maxim is the standard of deciding whether an action is moral or not.
Different from consequentialism, people who tend to have the mind set of a deontologist believe that you should do your ethical duty, regardless of the outcome. Immanuel Kant designed ‘The Categorical Imperative’ theory which was associated with the fact that it was commanding us to practice our morals and desires in a specific way which was exercised through two rules. Kamm (2000) claims that these components were to ‘(1) treat persons as ends in themselves and (2) do not treat them as mere means’. Kamm is basically suggesting that we seek happiness of others, as that is morally right, however fulfill capacities of one’s own intellect. From following both of these we arrive at an imperative and it is categorical.
based on this there exist various philosophies related to Utilitarianism, Justice and Rights which explain how individual create ethical standards. The philosophies divides assumptions of ethics into two types- teleological and deontological approaches. This approaches differ in terms of judging ethical behavior. Teleological philosophies deals with moral worth of behavior determined by the consequences of the behavior. Utilitarianism come under teleological philosophy which connects to morality based on consequences and not on motives or intensions.
Therefore, the actions and norms must be judged according to the principle of utility or of maximum happiness. Like other theories it constitutes a teleoenological ethics, because it values the actions as means to reach an end and according to the consequences that are detached from them: an action is good when its consequences are useful (they approach us to the happiness) and it is bad when Its consequences are not (they keep us away from it). According to John Stuart Mill, the main difference between utilitarianism and classical hedonism (epicureism) is that the first transcends the personal sphere: it does not understand by happiness the personal interest or pleasure, but the maximum benefit for the greater number of people. Pleasure is a common good. Mill distinguishes between inferior and superior pleasures: There are more estimable pleasures than others as they promote or not the moral development of the human being
Utilitarianism makes ethical decisions based on the results that the action will cause. However, for the Kantian theory, it is believed that human reason is the only pure good, and they disregard the consequences. Kant discusses that the mentioned human reason should be devoid of the influence of desires or emotions. This opposes the Utilitarian view that ignores motives of an action as not important and approves the consequences. According to Kant, a purely good act is performed due to the person’s obligation to the categorical imperative.
John Stuart Mill’s, essay on utilitarianism was therefore written to provide support for the value of utilitarianism as a moral theory, and to respond to misconceptions about it. Mill defines utilitarianism as a theory based on the principle that "actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness." Mill defines happiness as pleasure and the absence of pain. He argues that pleasure can differ in quality and quantity, and that pleasures that are rooted in one 's higher faculties should be weighted more heavily than baser pleasures. Furthermore, Mill argues that people 's achievement of goals and ends, such as virtuous living, should be counted as part of their happiness.