Essay On The Principle Of Morality

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J.S. Mill’s principle of utility is explained as actions are right as they tend to gain happiness, and wrong as they tend to reduce happiness. Mill defines happiness as, “pleasure and the absence of happiness is pain.” He argues that pleasure can differ in quality and quantity, and that more complex pleasures are ranked higher. Mills also places people’s achievements of goals, such as a virtuous living, should be counted as part of their happiness. When Mill states that the principle of utility is the “First Principle” of morality he is ranking the principle of utility highest because that in order to know what the boundaries of morality are, it is necessary to know how actions should be accounted. The first principle dictates the rest of the principles of morality because it illuminates what the right thing to do is, and that is to maximize happiness. Happiness is the goal of morality, and this is why Mill believes that morality must have a first principle.
Happiness is the goal to having a virtuous life, and the principles of morality try to promote this happiness without committing injustices. Utilitarianism is the theory that maximizes utility, defined as maximizing happiness and reducing suffering. Mill is a major contributor to this theory and utilizes the bible to show examples of how it can define morality. He uses this quote from the bible to convey his point, “In the golden rule of Jesus of Nazareth, we read the complete spirit of the ethics of utility. To do as one would be done by, and to love one's neighbour as oneself, constitute the ideal perfection of utilitarian morality." There are two different types of utilitarianism, direct normative utilitarianism and indirect normative utilitarianism. Both are normative ...

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...ause of the adaptability of moral principles to utilize in situations such as George the chemist. George illuminates that happiness and suffering are very hard to compete with each other, and even if more happiness is on the table, it can lead to suffering and possible injustices that may occur. In the grand scheme of things, utilitarianism will not be able to work in all situations because it causes injustices and lacks integrity. Opposition to utilitarianism says that a correct moral theory will never require us to commit injustices, so utilitarianism is not the correct moral theory. Concluding that utilitarianism is a good moral theory to start from, because it spells out a goal and a consequence, but when these aspects are mixed up in the situation, ranking and the specificity of happiness are what it all comes down to. Maximize happiness and minimize suffering.
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