Mill’s critics would likely say that Utilitarianism as a whole can function to create selfish people because all are striving towards a life of more pleasure than pain, but Mill shuts this down with the idea of happiness being impartial. Basically, a person must choose an action that yields the most happiness or pleasure, whether that pleasure is for them or not. Mill would recognize that, “Among the qualitatively superior ends are the moral ends, and it is in this that people acquire the sense that they have moral intuitions superior to mere self-interest” (Wilson). By this, it is meant that although people are supposed to take action that will produce the greatest pleasure, the do not do so in a purely selfish manner. Mill goes on to argue that the happiness of individuals is interconnected; therefore one cannot be selfish in such a way.
When talking about pleasure there needs to be a distinction between the quality and the quantity. While having many different kinds of pleasures can be considered a good thing, one is more likely to favor quality over quantity. With this distinction in mind, one is more able to quantify their pleasures as higher or lesser pleasures by ascertaining the quality of them. This facilitates the ability to achieve the fundamental moral value that is happiness. In his book Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill offers a defining of utility as pleasure or the absence of pain in addition to the Utility Principle, where “Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness” (Mill 7).
In Mill’s essay on utilitarianism, Mill observes that a great amount of people misunderstand utilitarianism by having utility and pleasure together in the same idea and concept. In fact, Mill says utility is described as a pleasure and an absence of pain. Mill observes the relation to utilities and happiness and decides that utility could be seen as the Greatest Happiness Principle. This 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 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). Following from this idea, happiness is pleasure, and unhappiness is pain and the privation of pleasure (Mill, “What Utilitarianism Is,” para 2). In defending the equivalence between happiness and pleasure from his critics, Mill makes the claim that there is “the superiority of mental over bodily pleasures chiefly in the greater permanency, safety, uncostliness, etc., of the former” (Mill, “What Utilitarianism Is,” para 4). He claims that pleasures can differ both in quality and qua... ... middle of paper ... ...hard to maintain his hedonist view, that pleasure is the only happiness. His insertion of quality into the evaluation of value seems to be introducing a criterion of evaluation other than pleasure.
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.
Utilitarianism is based on the right being that which has a good or pleasant outcome, and immoral being an action with a bad outcome. Utilitarianism also maintains that we should act to maximize the happiness of everyone. Some philosophers see this principle as a strict requirement Jeremy Bentham, a philosopher came up with principles to utility. He was the first to propel the idea that an action should be judged by the amount of pleasure or pain it caused. His principle explained that a good action is on that brought pleasure while one that caused pain was evil.
Glaucon’s three examples prefer injustice, and he gives examples of the acceptance of injustice over justice. The only factual foundation that his argument holds, is that sometimes we let our wants and desires muffle our conscience. Sometimes we make bad decisions even though our conscience tells us it’s bad, but we ignore it because we desire our wants. Everyone will have their own views on this, but it really varies upon each person. Someone may be unjust and they can completely agree because they are reaping the benefits from being unjust versus when they were a just person, they just haven’t experienced the consequences of being unjust.
Mill defines utilitarianism as a theory based on the principle that “actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.” In his words he defines happiness as a state of pleasure without pain. Mill rebuttals that the pain caused to one can differ in quality and quantity, and that pleasures aren’t always the same, meaning one’s higher pleasure might be someone’s lower pleasure. Meaning he makes it clear that often times ones goals and ends results conclude to someone’s happiness. Mill also states the Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism. An action could be morally wrong or morally right, depending on what action brings out the best outcome out of the... ... middle of paper ... ...s theory, often called hedonism.
According to John Stuart Mill, The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, Utility, or 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, ... ... middle of paper ... ...r abstract thought separates them from any other creature on earth, but it also makes them unique unto themselves. What makes one person happy may or may not make another person happy. Happiness, in and of itself, in my opinion, in unattainable. To be content with a minimum of worries is as close to absolute happiness as a person can come.
A just person is happier than the unjust person for this reason, which the just person's soul is in order, whereas the unjust person's soul is in decay and disorder. Secondly, the just person's desires are satisfied, since their rational parts limits their desires, whereas the unjust person's desires are rampant and out of control. In conclusion, I would have to agree and disagree with Socrates, for all people are immoral and they strive to become moral, but no one person is ever truly moral, although it is favorable for a person to strive towards morality and value it. On one point I would have to agree with Thrasymacus, on the basis that all people are hypocrites and many only give the illusion of morality, but in reality they are immoral. Overall, a person who strives for morality is superior to anyone who is immoral.