Throughout Philosophy, morality is a central theme. Although each scholar views the definition of morality differently, the goal of people to be better and think for themselves is the main focus. Many philosophers have defined and categorized utilitarianism in different ways. In normative ethics, Jeremy Bentham believes an action is right if it promotes happiness and wrong if it produces the reverse of happiness but not just the happiness of a person who performed the action but also everyone that was affected by it (Duignan). Utilitarianism is the view that the morally right action is the action that has the most good (Driver). The foundation of morality in utilitarianism comes from utility or intrinsic value (Skorupski 256). In utilitarianism actions are evaluated by their utility instead of intrinsic properties of the actions (Skorupski 256). Utilitarianism says certain acts are right or wrong in themselves making us perform them or do not do them at all. On the contrary, concepts of the good go hand and hand with that of rights and obligation causing obligation to be determined by intrinsic value (Skorupski 256). John Stuart Mill theory of utilitarianism reveals what is utilitarianism, the morality, proof of validity, and the connection between justice and utility in the study of thinking.
The pursuit of pleasure has also been condemned by critics as being little more than the promotion of one’s own interests, with no regard to the happiness of others. Mill disputes this as being narrow-minded, clarifying that the pleasure principle which forms the foundation for utilitarianism, “what is right in conduct, is not the agent's own happiness, but that of all concerned” (Mill 16). With this acknowledgment, however, comes the criticism that people cannot possibly be motivated by something as satisfying the collective good of society. Mill countered this by pointing out, “The utilitarian morality does recognize in human beings the power of sacrificing their own greatest good for the good of others” (Mill 16). To the objection that pleasure is an acceptable end is contrary to Christian principles because it is “godless,” Mill states, “If it be a true belief that God desires, above all things, the happiness of his creatures, and that this was his purpose in their creation, utility is not only not a godless doctrine, but more profoundly religious than any other” (Mill 21).
In this paper, I will explain John Stuart Mill’s moral theory of Utilitarianism, what I think it means, and how it works. I will also explain the Dax Cowart case, and determine if Dax’s choice to die was morally right or wrong. In order to fully understand the implications of Dax’s decision, and to accurately determine its affect on those his decision involves, I will break down and analyze the affect of Dax’s decision for Dax, his mother, Ada, and the Doctor. Lastly, I will gather prior evidence and form a valid conclusion of whether Dax’s choice was morally right or wrong.
Hook. Both John Stuart Mill and Peter Singer approach moral philosophy from a utilitarian perspective. In this paper, I will argue that Singer’s and Mill’s utilitarian philosophies share numerous similarities but also differ. Singer and Mill agree on the importance of selflessness, the idea that we can end human suffering, and the significance of consequences. However, their views conflict concerning the relevance of motivation. I contend that Singer improves upon Mill’s utilitarianism since Singer accurately recognizes the discrepancy between a life of absolute affluence and absolute poverty and also wrestles with the intricate concept of motive.
Utilitarianism defined, is the contention that a man should judge everything based on the ability to promote the greatest individual happiness. In other words Utilitarianism states that good is what brings the most happiness to the most people. John Stuart Mill based his utilitarian principle on the decisions that we make. He says the decisions should always benefit the most people as much as possible no matter what the consequences might be. Mill says that we should weigh the outcomes and make our decisions based on the outcome that benefits the majority of the people. This leads to him stating that pleasure is the only desirable consequence of our decision or actions. Mill believes that human
Moral philosophy considers the role of morality in an individual’s life. In her essay, “Moral Saints”, moral philosopher Susan Wolf strives to establish what is wrong with morality. Wolf does this by examining the idea of Moral Sainthood, which teaches that an individual should be as morally perfect as possible. Through the analysis of two distinct products of Moral Sainthood, Wolf arrives at the conclusion that while there is nothing inherently wrong with morality, there are drawbacks when it dominates an individual’s life. In this paper, I will first establish the expectations that Wolf must meet in order to prove her argument. I will then present the two products of Moral Sainthood that she will be using as proof. After, I will raise an objection to the soundness of her argument. Lastly, by responding to what I believe Wolf would reveal as an oversight on my part, I will insist that her argument still is not consequential.
How do we apply aged philosophies to present day problems? Like his forefather John Stuart Mill, modern thinker Peter Singer approaches moral philosophy from a utilitarian perspective. In this paper, I will argue that Singer’s and Mill’s utilitarian philosophies share numerous similarities but also differ. Singer and Mill agree that selflessness can end human suffering. In addition, their views concerning the significance of consequences align; however, they conflict on the relevance of motivation. I contend that Singer improves upon Mill’s utilitarianism by accurately recognizing the discrepancy between absolute affluence and absolute poverty and also by considering the intricate concept of motive.
Utilitarianism, or the Greatest Happiness Principle, states that the morality of an action should be judged based on the extent to which it produces happiness, or the opposite of happiness—an action is good as long as the result is happiness, and deemed bad if it results in pain. A clearer understanding of what Utilitarianism is can be gained by John Stuart Mill’s characterization of what it is not. He states, “I believe that the very imperfect notion ordinarily formed of its meaning, is the chief obstacle which impedes its reception; and that could it be cleared, even from only the grosser misconceptions, the question would be greatly simplified, and a large proportion of its difficulties removed” (Mill, 2007, p. 4). In defining Utilitarianism, Mill dispels common misconceptions that are held about Utilitarianism in order to give the reader a clearer understanding of the doctrine and the rationales that support it.
John Stuart Mill introduces his assessment of Utilitarianism by stating how a standardized system in which people’s actions may be judged to differentiate between right and wrong has been minimal in progress. He expresses the misconception with the way utility is understood by the general populous and other philosophers. The struggle to lay the foundations in what constitutes as right and wrong dates longer back than 2000 years ago.
In “Utilitarianism,” John Stuart Mill responds to several objections to the utilitarian view, but what exactly is the utilitarianism view. Utilitarianism is the view that an action is good to the extent that it produces the greatest possible overall happiness or utility. According to Mill, utility is the pleasure itself and the absence of pain. What this means is that pleasure and the absence of pain are the only things desirable as end in themselves. It's the only things that is inherently good. A good example of utilitarianism would have to be about the Trolley Problem or to me gay rights. With gay rights, legalizing gay marriage would cause the greatest amount of happiness. Therefore, any circumstance, event, or experiences is desirable only if it for pleasure.
In his essay, Utilitarianism Mill elaborates on Utilitarianism as a moral theory and responds to misconceptions about it. Utilitarianism, in Mill’s words, is the view that »actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.«1 In that way, Utilitarianism offers an answer to the fundamental question Ethics is concerned about: ‘How should one live?’ or ‘What is the good or right way to live?’.
This work has probably received more analysis than any other work on utilitarianism available. However, I seek to do here what many others have been unable to accomplish so far. I hope to, in five paragraphs, cover each of the chapters of Utilitarianism in enough depth to allow any reader to decide whether or not they subscribe to Mill's doctrine, and if so, which part or parts they subscribe to. I do this with the realization that much of Mill's deliberation in the text will be completely gone. I suggest that anyone who seeks to fully understand Mill's work should read it at length.
John Stuart Mill, in his Utilitarianism, turns morality into a practical problem. His moral theory is designed to help one evaluate his moral principles and senisibilites and be able to ajudicate conflictions in moral conflicts. Mill postulates that actions are right so far as they tend to promote happiness and minimize pain. This theory manifests itself as an impartial promotion of happiness. Morally "right" actions are ones which promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number number of people and reduce pain. Utilitarian moral theories need to be coupled with theories of well-being, so that we can point to what is being maximized through the moral theory's operation. Mill's moral theory is
In the book, “The Element of Moral Philosophy”, James Rachels explores the several criticisms of Utilitarianism. In this essay, I will touch on these criticisms, outlining the major implications they propose to Utilitarianism. I will also explain why many of the notions proposed against Utilitarianism are self-serving, and instead serve to improve the general good of a minority population, which contradicts the Utilitarian theory of equating moral aptitude to the general good of a majority population, and that in this respect a greater consequence is achieved. Lastly, I will demonstrate how many societal values have a Utilitarian basis, which proves that Utilitarianism can be salvaged in the face of most criticisms.
In this paper I will present and critically assess the concept of the principle of utility as given by John Stuart Mill. In the essay “What Utilitarianism Is” #, Mill presents the theory of Utilitarianism, which he summarizes in his “utility” or “greatest happiness principle” # (Mill 89). Mill’s focus is based on an action’s resulting “happiness,” # pleasure and absences of pain, or “unhappiness,” # discomfort and the nonexistence of contentment, rather than the intentions involved (Mill 89). After evaluating Mill’s principle, I will then end this essay by discussing my personal opinion about the doctrine and how I believe it can be altered to better suit real-life situations.