A Writ : Moral Philosophy Essay

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Philosophy 0500 WRIT: Moral Philosophy
Fall, 2016
Paper 2, Option A
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Justifying the Single Rule
Every person is seeking happiness, whether she knows this or not. Mill’s Utilitarianism outlines the facets of the philosophy of utility and arrives at the conclusion that happiness is the ultimate end which propels humanity. All our decisions, consciously or unconsciously, generate more happiness and minimize pain. Mill’s assertion is a bold one, as it serves as a universal thesis for all of the humanity 's behavior. The claim seems to boil down every person’s desires to one general idea: that we are all seeking happiness in some form or another. The justifications he uses include: explaining why every person desires happiness, how happiness has different components that people desire, and what constitutes desiring.
Utilitarianism defines morality by using a single rule: the moral decision is the one that maximizes pleasure and minimizes pain. Asserting that actions should only be judged by their consequences, it concludes that neither means nor motives dictate the degree of morality. Each person’s happiness is valued equally and one should strive to create happiness and prevent misery.
By the time Mill reaches Chapter 4, he has been arguing for utilitarianism assuming that the doctrine of happiness being the only desirable end as already true (he then justifies it in Chapter 4). By this point, he has already discussed what constitutes pleasure, and
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