John Stuart Mill : The Theory Of Morals, Utility, And The Greatest Happiness Principle

1439 Words Sep 28th, 2015 6 Pages
The utility test stems from the Utilitarian Principle where the consequences of one’s actions determine right or wrong; the ends justify the means. Utilitarian ideas primarily came to fruition in the eighteenth century as three of the most prominent utilitarian philosophers released their works within the same timeframe, all principally speaking to the greatest happiness principle. John Stuart Mill, a distinguished British philosopher of utilitarianism, once stated, “The creed which accepts as the foundations of morals, Utility, or the Greatest Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.” Specifically meaning that the only relevant actions are those producing consequences that can be derived as either good or bad (West, 2010). The purpose of one’s actions is to create a better life through the influx of happiness with the decrease of unhappiness in their surrounding environment; the best course of action to pursue is the path that manufactures the best/greatest possible outcomes.
Although utilitarianism appears to be a simplistic theory, it in actuality is one of a more complex nature. There are many variables to consider when evaluating a utilitarian path of ethics. For example, whose happiness is more important and should be maximized? When organizations decide which is the better path to take for the group, they put into consideration only their own…
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