Utilitarian Point Of View

Decent Essays
In this paper, I would explain why it is wrong to lie to a person in a utilitarian’s point of view. One problem for this view is that it simply only looks at the amount of happiness of individuals as a group. It does not address the quantity of happiness each person would have in a certain situation. Moreover, I will also state how Mill would reply to this objection by stating that how happy a person is does not equate to the significance of how many people would be happy in response to a certain event.
First of all, utilitarianism is a theory wherein an action is right if it tends to promote happiness at the end of the day, and that an action is wrong if it tends to produce the opposite of happiness. This theory that was ‘produced’ by Jeremy
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For instance, is the Greatest Happiness Principle referring to a result wherein a lot of people would be happy? Or is it referring to how happy an individual, or a group would be? To clarify, this principle would be a problem in a situation where a young girl, Clara, and her two other brothers, James and Josh, were fighting about whether or not they should keep their dog. If they do not keep the dog, James and Josh would both be happy since they would not have to help Clara clean up the dog’s mess. However, if they do keep the dog, James and Josh would be sad but Clara would be really happy for the next 15 years, till the dog dies, because she loves the dog very much. In this situation, getting rid of the dog would cause more people to be happy. However, James and Josh’s sadness could not compare to the sadness that it would cause Clara since losing a best friend hurts a lot more than being forced to help your little sister to clean up a little mess. It would not also compare to the huge amount of happiness that Clara would be experiencing for the next 15 years if they do keep the dog. So if I was a utilitarian, I’d pick the action that would lead to great happiness. But in this situation, would getting rid of the dog cause more happiness or much less, considering the amount of happiness that Clara would have to experience if they do keep the dog? In this occurrence, if I…show more content…
I imagine him stating that the amount of happiness a single individual experiences would not compare to the amount of people that would be experiencing even a little bit of happiness. This, I think would happen because of a thing I call the ‘ripple effect’. This phenomenon occurs in our lives more often than we notice it. For instance, in this example, I might decide that Clara’s happiness would be a lot greater than James and Josh’ happiness. However, Mill might decide otherwise; because making James and Josh happy would, in return, make more people happier. To demonstrate, if two people are even a little bit happy, there would be a really high probability that they would be treating other people nicely. In effect, more people would be happy as well, fulfilling the greatest happiness principle. However, compared to one happy person, that single individual alone would not make as much happy people as much as the two individuals would. Therefore, it would seem that getting rid of the dog would result into the greater
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