John Stuart Mill´s The Greatest Happiness Principle Essay

Good Essays

I will be explaining John Stuart Mill’s view on ethics. This includes explaining the “Greatest Happiness Principle”, happiness, unhappiness, quality of pleasure, lying, and the relevance of time with his view. I will then explain how I agree with the principle of Rule Utilitarianism. I will also consider the objection of conflicting rules in Rule Utilitarianism as well as that of negative responsibility, giving my response to each. Mill claims that morals find their root in Utility, otherwise called the Greatest Happiness Principle.(513) The essence of this is that actions are right in proportion to how much happiness results from them and wrong in proportion to how much they cause the reverse of it.(513) In defending this, he claims that …show more content…

First, he states that it is okay to lie so you can save yourself from embarrassment.(516) Secondly he claims that consistently telling the truth has it’s advantage in trust.(516) To this he says there are exceptions to this rule. Namely that if withholding information from someone results in saving them from evil occurring to them.(516) Even with these exceptions, he says that we have to recognize that the lie may be breaking down trust so we can truly weight the cost and the benefit of both.(516) One objection that Mill replied to was that there isn’t enough time to really weigh the options before needing to act. His response is that we effectively have the result of prior human knowledge from those lived before we did.(517) He’s clear in stating that this doesn’t make that true, but because it is the result of human reasoning and thought it can be improved upon.(517) I agree with the main components of Rule Utilitarianism. I find it natural for it to be plausible, and it is well designed to that very fact. I also find favor with the element of fairness, that a decision is for the benefit of a group rather than partial to only the individual himself. The system of itself is very clear, you greatest quality of happiness, or pleasure. It also isn’t as arbitrary as Act Utilitarianism, but still allows for modifications and adaptations.
Someone opposing this view may object on the grounds of what to do when two

Get Access