Marx and Mills Essay

1203 WordsOct 19, 19995 Pages
John Stuart Mill suggests that a person's ethical decision-making process should be based solely upon the amount of happiness that the person can receive. Although Mill fully justifies himself, his approach lacks certain criteria for which happiness can be considered. Happiness should be judged, not only by pleasure, but by pain as well. This paper will examine Mill's position on happiness, and the reasoning behind it. Showing where there are agreements and where there are disagreements will critique the theory of Utilitarianism. By showing the problems that the theory have will reveal what should make up ethical decision-making. John Stuart Mill supports and explains his reasoning in his book, Utilitarianism. Mill illustrates the…show more content…
Although there are many issues that can be agreeable with Mill, there are problems that exist with his theory of utilitarianism. First, Mill says that all ethical decisions should be based on pleasure. This statement becomes questionable when Mill states that pleasure is the sole requirement for happiness. Pain indirectly effects happiness. Pain is an indirect factor because is not the object of one's happiness, but is an obstacle which one must overcome to gain it. If one is to avoid all pain in his or her life, then how will that person truly know what true pleasure feels like? True pleasure comes only after experiencing pain. If a person always wins a race, does he or she feel true pleasure each time they win or does it turn into a feeling that they come to expect? If there is a person who loses races constantly, will his happiness be greater when he finally wins? The rewards and pleasures of the second person would greatly outweigh the feelings of happiness the first had because he or she knows how it feels to be defeated. The second person knows the pain that is received because of failure so when he when he will recognize the joy and pleasure that comes with winning. Using this same setting, would it be better for the second person to run in races filled with people who are not matched in skill just so he may always win or should he or she race individuals who are equally matched? Although the first would produce pleasure, the second
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