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.
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)
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).
In Defense of Utilitarianism, J.S. Mill In the excerpt from John Stuart Mill’s book, Utilitarianism, Mill defends the utilitarian theory against three different objections. The first, and strongest opposition to utilitarianism was the accusation that the emphasis on the pursuit of pleasure makes utilitarianism “a doctrine worthy of swine.” This was my favorite argument because Mill defended it so well stating that there are varying degrees of pleasure. He refers to them as “high” and “low” pleasures, which I do agree with.
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).
Mills explains Utilitarianism as achieving life’s goals, it is what everyone wants or seek for. He further explains that utilitarianism promotes the quality of life. Furthermore, utilitarianism is connected to happiness, because we all seek to achieve different goals in life, and those goals are what makes up happy. We all want certain things in life, or want to achieve certain things. Utilitarianism promotes happiness, happiness exclude pain, suffering, struggles, stress, and anything that makes one ‘unhappy’ or ‘sad’.
A man by the name of John Stuart Mill seems to be able to give us some answers to these questions. Mill starts our inquiring journey with defining what utilitarianism stands for. In short he states that it is the construction of utility, which claims that the actions that stimulate happiness in is morally fit and vice versa to be unfit. Happiness is something that we want for
Rule utilitarianism is a belief in which, an action is morally right, as long as it justified in accordance to a particular law. Utilitarianism is less complicated to understand (compared to other moral theories) because it consists of “doing whatever produces the best consequences” (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Virtue Ethics). Mill viewed the greatest happiness principle as the cornerstone of morals, he
Utilitarianism focuses on maximizing overall happiness. As a result, utilitarians may use people as mere means in order to achieve maximum overall happiness. This could also be interpreted as if the sacrifice of a few leads to the happiness of many, then it shall be done. Onora O’Neill strongly disagrees with this line of thinking. O’Neill is a Kantian and she believes that people should not be treated as mere means. Rather these people should be treated as ends in themselves, and helped to reach a level of autonomous action.
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 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
What Mill means by utilitarianism is giving the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people. According to Sandel's lecture Mill's utilitarianism uses consequentialist reasoning. Categorical means absolute for example, if someone asks you if you are hungry a you say,"no",
Utilitarianism focuses on that the end goal of human action is to be happy which is called the greatest happiness principle which is when an action is considered right if it promotes the most happiness and the least pain. According to John Stuart Mill, “By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure”(96). It’s the view that happiness is in pleasures. Humans contain higher pleasures which are feelings, intellect, and success but also contains lower pleasures like eating, sex, etc. “The higher pleasures are superior to the lower ones.
Being Free 1st draft Freedom is word used in a lot of contexts, but the official meaning of the word is “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants” (Freedom). Meaning that you have the right to do something, with the focus being on you as an individual. This means no one can tell you what to do, like for example a state. This is an important aspect and part of political theory. Liberty is also used and viewed as the same category of theory, and has the definition “The state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s behavior or political views” (Liberty).
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.