Principle Of Utility Essay

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The principle of Utility
The principle of Utility is considered as the “greatest happiness principle”. Mill defines this principle as actions are right if they tend to promote the most happiness and wrong if they tend to produce the reverse of happiness (Utilitarianism, 7). There have been many arguments against the principle of utility. People who are against this principle argue that there is no time to calculate what generates the most happiness in a given situation. Mills responds to this objection by explaining how secondary moral reasoning and the fundamental principle of morality are taken into account when deciding what promotes the most overall happiness. After explaining his argument, I believe Mill succeeds in responding to the objection, he explains why it shouldn’t be a problem when weighing the best possible outcome by using the secondary moral rule as the first principle.
According to Mill, there are several elements to the principle of utility. First, it allows people to choose the action that promotes the most happiness. As stated, Mill believes that an action is right if it promotes happiness and an action is wrong if it promotes pain. Second, the principle of utility does not focus on an individual’s happiness but it focuses on the overall happiness. As stated, “first laws of social arrangement should place the happiness or the interest of every individual as nearly as possible in harmony with the interest of the whole” (Utilitarianism, 17). The principle takes into consideration the happiness of others and does not allow you to only think of yourself, this incorporates the idea of equal treatment to the principle. Another element to the utility principle is consequentialism, which is defined, as what makes an...

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...le of utility, helping the family would promote the most happiness because it’s a greater number compared to only one person. In the end, you would be saving five lives instead of only one.
I believe that Mill succeeds in responding to the objection. He clearly states that an individual should use common sense as the first instinct of what is wrong or right. As defined, “If utility is the ultimate source of moral obligations, utility may be invoked to decide between them when their demands are incompatible, though the application of the standard may be difficult, it is better than none at all” (Utilitarianism, 25). By this, in most ordinary circumstances, common moral rules should be able to distinguish what promotes the most happiness without needing the principle of utility. And only when the secondary rule conflicts, you should use the principle of utility.
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