There is an emphasis on lives containing more pleasure than pain under the rule that one person cannot put their own happiness above others. I think a type of morality such as this would be more successful than other forms of morality because it wants every human life to be a life filled with more pleasure than pain. I see this as an appropriate foundation because it promotes good over bad, which is ultimately the function of morality as a whole. As written by Raymond Plant, “Since the principle of the individual is to try to satisfy his desires…the principle of society should be to try to advance the satisfactions of those who belong to the society…”
Rachels’ explains, “right actions as those that produce the greatest possible balance of happiness over unhappiness, with each person’s happiness counted as equally important” (Rachels, p. 102). Mills states, “the happiness which forms the utilitarian standard of what is right in conduct, is not the agent’s own happiness, but that of all concerned.”(Rachels, p. 102) In summary, morally right actions are those that promote the happiness of all ... ... middle of paper ... ...mine what is acceptable, Act-Utilitarianism implies our ordinary moral feelings as sometimes mistaken (Rachels, p. 116). In closing the theory of Utilitarianism of morality is concerned with the happiness of the general population. Right actions as those that produce the greatest possible balance of happiness over unhappiness, with each person’s happiness counted as equally important. At first glance the theory of utilitarianism appears plausible.
A rule utilitarian would probably be interested in thinking along the lines of: a specific action is morally justified if it conforms to a justified moral rule; and a moral rule is justified if its inclusion into our moral code would create more utility than other possible rules. So we should judge the morality of individual actions by referring to general moral rules, and we should judge particular moral rules by seeing whether their acceptance into our moral code would produce more well-being than other possible rules. The key difference between act and rule utilitarianism is that act utilitarians calculate every action for beneficial outcome for ourselves, while rule utilitarianism is based on a rule promoting beneficial outcomes. Once the rule has been established then one must follow
Utilitarianism is a moral theory that states that an action is considered right as long as it promotes the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. This theory was first proposed by Jeremy Bentham and later was refined by J.S Mill. Mill differs from Bentham by introducing a qualitative view on pleasure and makes a distinction between act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. John Hospers critiques utilitarianism and shows that rule utilitarianism under more specific and stricter rules would promote utility better. Bernard Williams believes that utilitarianism is too demanding from people and instead believes virtue ethics is a better solution.
Utilitarianism Utilitarianism is the greatest good of the greatest number. It takes the view that an action is right if it is likely to produce the best consequences compared to all the other possible actions. The best consequences are those which involve the maximization of what is good and the minimization of what is bad. The worst consequences are which involve the maximization of what is bad and the minimization of what is good. The basic premise is the idea that the greatest good comes from creating happiness for the greatest number of people.
The utilitarianism theory holds that an action is moral if it produces the greatest amount of good for the largest amount of people that are affected by the consequences of the action DeGeorge 44). Jeremy Bentham believed that one should measure the intensity, duration, certainty, remoteness, or purity and their opposites when evaluating for each person that is affected (DeGeorge 46). For example, a consequence that gives a more desirable quality like pleasure would be favored, just like if one would receive a good immediately rather than at a later time, the sooner would be favored. To know whether the action produces the absolute greatest good, one must compare it with alternative actions as well. To determine whether an action is moral or not, one should calculate the action and its opposite.
In his book he states, “The Greatest Happiness Principle holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain and the privation of pleasure” (Mill). Although this passage is pretty straightforward I will explain it in simpler terms in order to better understand it. Basically, what Mill is proposing is that according to a Utilitarian, actions are unjustifiably right if they produce happiness, or pleasure, and have an absence of pain. This is a key point into looking at the connection of utilitarianism and the liberty principle.
Qualitative hedonists believe that there can be different levels of pleasure, meaning that some will be better than others. John Stuart Mill would be considered as a qualitative hedonist, which makes up part of his theory of Utilitarianism. In order to determine what is happiness, Mill establishes his Greatest Happiness Principle, which introduces the adoption of Hedonism. Mill’s argument for qualitative distinction of pleasures is inconsistent and problematic for hedonism, which brings about more problems than it solves for Utilitarianism. Mill begins his essay on Utilitarianism by explaining his Greatest Happiness Principle, stating actions are right in that they promote happiness and actions are wrong if they take happiness away (Mill, “What Utilitarianism Is,” para 2).
Holmes' proposal is that of micro and macro ethics. Micro ethics regards the happiness of the individual as the highest good and defines what is right as the action that maximizes that end. By definition, micro ethics is very similar to the belief of ethical egoism. On the other hand, macro ethics views happiness as the well-being of a group as a whole and defines what is right as the action that maximizes that end. As used here, a group can be those people of a specific city, state, nation, or race, and any particular group has "greater importance than any particular individual or subgroup within it, because its good exceeds the sum of any and all of its parts" (Freeman 49).
“Utilitarianism is the view that the supreme principle of morality is to act so as to produce as much happiness as possible, each person counting equally” (Mill, 114). By ‘happiness’, this includes anything that is pleasurable and free of pain. Simply put, utilitarianism is the theory that an action is right, as long as it produces the greatest good for the most number of people (Peetush). The central point to this theory is that one must consider every consequence before taking any action. There are two classical forms of utilitarianism; rule utilitarianism and act utilitarianism.