preview

John Stuart Mill's Response To Utilitarianism

Good Essays
Utilitarianism is an ethical theory summed up by the phrase, the right action is one which creates the sum total amount of happiness for the greatest number. Therefore, utilitarians believe that morality’s purpose is to maximise the number of good things, such as happiness, and decrease the number of bad things, such as unhappiness, in the world. Critics of utilitarianism believe that this theory cannot accommodate moral rights since we go against our intuitions in moral dilemmas. However, utiltarians have a response to these criticisms which shows that utilitarianism is defensible. Utilitarianism was developed into an ethical theory by two philosophers named Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. Bentham defined the principle of utility as…show more content…
It can clash with the idea that persons have rights which limit what may be done to them, even in the pursuit of good consequences.” It is for this reason why the critics to utilitarianism believe that the theory cannot accommodate moral rights. So, what response do utilitarians offer in defend the theory? Bentham considered natural, hence moral, rights to be “nonsense on stilts”. However, Mill did attempt to reconcile rights to utilitarianism. He believed that rights are a type of utility, for example, the right to security was thought to be the first fundamental source of…show more content…
In the thought experiment, above if we follow indirect utilitarianism we can save our spouse as this we create the greatest sum total of happiness for those whom we know. I also should bring up again, Hare’s argument that we should not allow our intuitions play a role in these thought experiments, as these are extreme cases which many of us may never
Get Access