Ergo, because the greatest happiness principle assesses the total amount of happiness beyond just an individual, a noble character is still desirable by a utilitarian standard despite not being as desirable for the individual.
Mill suggests that happiness is the ultimate end for human life. However how can happiness be a rational aim if it is unattainable? In addition to this people can exist without happiness, so does that mean that people who do not obtain absolute happiness do not reach their end and will never be fulfilled? And those who have become virtuous are virtuous by renouncing happiness. But if a virtuous person is considered virtuous by standards set by themselves because they are happy, are they actually considered virtuous by outside parties?
Mill would reply that it is an exaggeration to say that people cannot be happy. Mill proposes happiness is possible for almost everybody if educational and social arrangements were different and happiness is defined as moments of bliss that occur in a life of few pains. He notes that the main derivative of unhappiness stems from selfishness and lack of mental cultivation. Therefore, according to Mill, happiness is fully obtainable if education nurtures the appropriate …show more content…
It seems to make sense that one ‘bad’ action can be justified as morally good if it benefits society as a whole. However, what happens when you have to hurt someone you love in the process of trying to create overall happiness? If you had to kill one person from your community in order to benefit everyone else, and that sacrificed person happened to be your mother, would you be able to do it if you were the executioner? While the happiness of the executioner does not outweigh the happiness of the community, you most likely would not be able to go through with the sacrifice. Instead sentiment and feelings get in the way of the greatest