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John Stuart Mill and Utilitarianism Essay

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John Stuart Mill and Utilitarianism

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 beings are endowed with the ability for conscious thought, and they are not satisfied with physical pleasures, but they strive to achieve pleasure of the mind as well. He claims that people seek pleasure and reject pain.
There were some moral problems that Mill ran into with his principle. One of the first problems was that actions are right to promote happiness, but wrong as they sometimes tend to produce unhappiness. By moving a victim from a mangled car would be the noble thing to do but what if pulling him from the wreck meant killing him. He intended to produce a happy outcome, but in the end he created an unhappy situation. Utilitarianism declares that men can live just as well without happiness. Mill says yes, but men do not conduct their lives, always seeking happiness. Happiness does not always mean total bliss.
Another problem is that some pleasures are more alluring than others. Pleasure does not deal with just quantity, quality is also important. The old saying, “You ...


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...ale. I think that people intend to do good and the people that produce a bad outcome due to their actions have a disorder it is not necessarily and intended evil. I also believe that we do conduct our lives in hope of happiness. We would not run the race if we did not hope to win. Of course there are going to be losers but with out losing you cannot really pleasure the act of winning. Mill did not prove a justification for what happiness is to the whole. I do not think everyone has the same desire for happiness. We each share similarities but all have different ideas of what happiness means. Rap music might offend my grandmother but LL Cool J loves rap music and never intended to offend my grandmother.
All of the cases presented in utilitarianism and Mill’s views are very vast. Mill does have some good points but really avoided justifying his theory.


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