The Utilitarianism Of John Stuart Mill

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Many have different views when it comes to defining morality and the ways in which a person can achieve morality. The three different views that we have discussed in class are the utilitarianism of John Stuart Mill, the non-consequentialism of Immanuel Kant, and the virtue-based ethics of Aristotle. The view on morality that i disagree with most is Mill’s utilitarianism for various reasons. I believe that the other two views have their flaws, but Mill’s view is by far the most flawed, in my opinion. The arguments that he supports his view with should be disregarded and I cannot fathom why any person would support his views of morality. One thing that we discussed in class while learning of counter arguments to utilitarianism was that this theory calls us to live like swine. In order to understand this counter, this theory needs to be defined. Utilitarianism was not just a theory that John Stuart Mill created, but also a book that he wrote in order to define the ways in which people can live a moral life. His theory claims that the actions of a person are right if they are useful or they benefit the majority of people. The wrongness of an action is determined by the opposite, which is the quantity and unpleasantness that it produces.Those are the only requirements that are needed in order to determine whether or not the action is right or wrong. One section of utilitarianism defined in his theory is preferential utilitarianism. This looks at whether people’s preferences are satisfied. Preferential utilitarianism is another way of determining the rightness of someone’s actions. Many problems arise when using utilitarianism to determine the morality of an action. The first problem takes into account the fact that some actions, even ... ... middle of paper ... ...tely different for one person than another. Just because the utils for slave owners were very high since they did not have to do their own work, does not mean the utils were the same for the slaves being tortured and abused. Every action has many consequences to it, so one person’s happiness might be because of someone else’s suffering. This does not justify an action being right if it causes any suffering at all. It does not matter if a majority is satisfied as long as some of that group is suffering in any way. As seen through these counter arguments, this theory used by John Stuart Mill calls us to live unjustly if this is how we determine happiness. This way of thinking cannot lead to living a moral life due to all of the flaws that come with it. It calls us to live like swine and there is no chance of living a moral life if you follow Mill’s views on morality.

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