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.
The Golden Rule Many philosophers have views on Ethics. The moral approaches of Kant, Mill, Aristotle, and Held are all vastly different. “Kant’s principle of morality is based on his belief that the means justifies the end” (O’Neil, Onora). Mill believes in Utilitarianism, believing that “one should act in a way that produces the greatest good for the greatest number of people” (Mill, John, 118).
In the reading, "Utilitarianism," the author argues that happiness is the main criteria for morality since people base their actions off of the overall happiness it could promote (pp. 195 and 198) and that while actions differ in the quantity and quality of pleasure, pleasurable actions that require intellect are of the higher pleasures (pp. 196-197).
I hope to convince the reader that Kant’s Categorical Imperative is the better way to live a morally conscious life and more practical to follow as well. First I will briefly describe both Kant’s and Mill’s principles. Then I will go on to explain the advantages and disadvantages of both. Finally, I hope to provide a counterargument for some of Kant’s Categorical Imperatives downfalls. Kant states the Categorical Imperative as: "Act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will and general natural law."
Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative and John Stuart Mill’s view of utilitarianism are two very different approaches to ethics and morals. In fact, they are the opposite of one another.
The main principle of utilitarianism is happiness. People who follow this theory strive to fulfill the “ultimate good”. The “ultimate good” is defined as ultimate pleasure with out any pain. It is said that the pleasure can be of any quantity and any quality, but pleasures that are weighted more important are put at a higher level than others that are below it. This ethical theory also states that if society would fully embrace utilitarianism then people would naturally realize their moral standing in the
With a world teeming of vast cultures and beliefs, it is difficult to claim what is moral versus what is simply just law from one person to the next. John Stuart Mill, an English philosopher, tells of a social idea branded by its name ‘utilitarianism,’ which outlines his ideations. He utilizes many different types of syntax to create and defend his points. These types include question and answer, various styles of sentences, and finally through antithesis. With the help of his inciteful writing style, his main points of his philosophy are able to be glorified and preached from one person to the next.
The idea behind Kantian Ethics is that doing the right thing is not about the consequences of our actions but rather the principle motivating the action. Actions must be performed out of duty, that is, it is done solely because we have an obligation to perform such action out of respect for the moral law. As explained by Immanuel Kant, “the moral worth of an action done out of duty has its moral worth” (105). Kant argues that to act morally, then, is to “act only on the maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law” (108).
Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill are two of the most notable philosophers in normative ethics. This branch of ethics is based on moral standards that determine what is considered morally right and wrong. This paper will focus on Immanuel Kant’s theory of deontology and J.S. Mill’s theory of utilitarianism. 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.
John Stuart Mill, at the very beginning of chapter 2 entitled “what is utilitarianism”. starts off by explaining to the readers what utility is, Utility is defined as pleasure itself, and the absence of pain. This leads us to another name for utility which is the greatest happiness principle. Mill claims that “actions are right in proportions as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.” “By Happiness is intended pleasure and the absence of pain, by happiness, pain and the privation of pleasure”. (Mill, utilitarianism, p.697)
Kant believes it is everyone’s duty to do good in life, meaning one should do the right thing(8b). “I will connect Kant’s definition of duty to the guiding question “How do we form conclusions about what is right and wrong, good and
When studying philosophy, a student becomes very aware of the contradiction and different opinions of highly remarked philosophers. Many students become frustrated with the opposition and question the importance of the study all together. Others choose to indulge in these differences to further their understanding beyond what he/she thought capable of beforehand. The obvious contradictions between Kant’s deontology, and Bentham’s and Mill’s utilitarianism is a perfect example of such occasion in philosophy. However, even though these are two opposing philosophies, with very different ideas governing their conclusions, we should look to learn from both and apply the knowledge we identify with, thus creating our own philosophies. In this essay I wish to do exactly that; to compare and contrast these two ideologies in order to better understand them and help others do the same.
Kant’s moral philosophy stands on the notion of good will, an intrinsic good which is perceived to be so without qualification, independent of any external factors. Thus, he dismisses other values that could be taken as good in themselves, such as happiness, honesty, courage, trust etc. as they have worth only under specific conditions, whereas in others they could be transposed into bad acts. For example, trust is necessary for one to be able to manipulate others, one must have courage to be able to