Essay about Utilitarianism and Its Shortcomings

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Utilitarianism is the argument that all actions must be made for the greatest happiness for the greater number of people (Bentham, 42). However, utilitarianism cannot always be the basis of one’s decisions due to the fact that people need to look out for their own pain and pleasure before consulting others’ wellbeing. I will first explain the arguments of the utilitarianism ideal. Then I willl explain why this argument is unconvincing. Ultimately, I will then prove why people consider their own happiness before considering others. Thus showing the utilitarianism view is implausible due to the need for people to consider their own happiness when making decisions or else they themselves will be experiencing the most pain and unhappiness. In…show more content…
Thus Bentham believes humans consider the possible outcomes of the acts they are about to do before they do them by weighing the pleasures and pains of the act and that we should try to strive for the greatest happiness for society as a whole when choosing the acts we execute. John Stuart Mill adds more arguments to Bentham’s view of Utilitarianism, which are important factors to consider when discussing this topic. Utilitarianism is the idea to promote the greatest happiness to the general society as opposed to oneself (Mill, 114). Each pleasure is said to have its own difference in quality, so people are able to make the choice between two pleasures (115). Mill believes mental pleasures reign more important than bodily pleasures seeing that bodily pleasures are seen as inferior to the greater good (115). It takes a higher grade of pleasures to make a human satisfied and pleased. “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied” (116). An important factor for choosing higher pleasures over inferior pleasures is that you only have time for one pleasure and if you chose the inferior pleasure it will be wasted (117). However the standards of what is right and wrong are not decided by the person’s own happiness but the happiness of everyone who is concerned in the decision (117). Being a Utilitarian forces you to stay an
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