Criticism Of J. S. Mill On Morality

Every person would like to believe that they always act according to morality. The view of utilitarianism is used to show that people focus on the consequences of their actions as opposed to the reasoning for their actions. By following this belief a person can perform a necessarily bad action, but since it has a good consequence then they will be abiding with morality. In accordance with J.S. Mill’s Utilitarianism, humans act morally because they wish to benefit the greater good even over performing an action to benefit themselves. Say there is a group of soldiers who finds a group of twenty protesters. The soldiers tell you, an observer, that you can shoot one protester and if you do not then they will shoot all twenty protesters. According …show more content…
This connects to Glaucon’s challenge because he says that it is better to always be just instead of unjust. If someone was following utilitarianism then there are actions they can commit that are ethical but would be unjust in Glaucon’s eyes. For example, looking at the protester example, Mill believes that killing one protester would be the best option because it has a good consequence. However, according to Glaucon, that person would be committing an unjust action because in the eyes of society murdering an innocent person is a bad action. This would be a criticism of Mill’s argument because it creates a complex for someone trying to follow utilitarianism as well as being a just human being. It would be impossible to fulfill both of the views so one cannot think about being just when acting with utilitarianism. Another criticism of this argument would be that not all people have the same morals. Mill generalizes all morals into one set of morals for everyone, but depending on a person’s background they can follow a different set compared to everyone else. This would make it difficult to decide if an action’s consequence is bad or good because people’s view of bad and good are not congruent with each other. Mill’s argument would work if you do not focus on whether or not the actions are just as well as generalizing concepts so that all people think

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