Utilitarianism : The Moral Theory

Decent Essays
Utilitarianism is the moral theory that emphasizes “the greatest happiness for the greatest number” (Clark, Poortenga, 2003). John Stuart Mill was a philosopher who believed in the principles of utilitarianism. He believed that humans desire for happiness and pleasure; therefore humans would be motivated to act morally in order to obtain that happiness (Clark, Poortenga, 2003). Mill’s approach has strengths, weaknesses, and is not fully equipped to hold true for all circumstances. Mill’s approach to utilitarianism has much strength. It views happiness as intrinsically good that comes as a result of acting morally (Wilkens, 2011). Humans want to feel happiness or pleasure and are motivated to be morally good in order to achieve those feelings. Humans do not desire feelings of unhappiness and pain so they would not lean towards evil acts, which bring those feelings. Utilitarianism joins together doing good with the result of happiness (Wilkens, 2011). Another strength is that this moral theory emphasizes the importance of other people’s happiness just as much as our own (Wilkens, 2011). It is concerned with the happiness of the greatest amount of people (Clark, Poortenga, 2003). When making a moral decision a person would not only take into account the happiness that would result for them individually, but for others that may be affected by that decision as well. Utilitarianism looks for observable, concrete results that everyone can see and experience (Wilkens, 2011). Other
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