John Stuart Mill's Theory Of Utilitarianism

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John Stuart Mill is a very important and popular philosopher in the 19th century. He is one of the earliest advocates of Utilitarianism. He defines the theory of utilitarianism in his book, Utilitarianism. It focuses on the general good of individual pleasure. Mill tried to provide evidence for his theory of moral utilitarianism and refutes all the arguments against it in his book. He states that "actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness" (Mill). According to his words, utilitarianism as a theory is based on the principle of happiness. He calls this the “greatest happiness principle.” He claims that people usually seek pleasure and reject pain. In other words, …show more content…
It makes utilitarianism theory look like consequentialist. This causes Mill lacking attention on intentions behind actions. He believes that motivation of actions is insignificant for judging one’s morality. Results are more important and critical in Mill’s theory. And here the issue I have comes, how are people supposed to know what results their every action would cause before they do it? Sometimes the consequence is predictable, but in many situations, people can only know the results after they have done. I disagree with Mill’s idea that motivation plays an insignificant role in judging an action’s morality. Sometimes even an action eventually makes a good result, it is still not moral. For example, a psychopath burns one’s home, causing the government paying more attention on healing psychopath and the one getting a better house as compensation. The result for the action is good; patients get more attention, the one has a better house. However, it is hard to accept the action is moral, even though the consequence is good. Furthermore, Mill has an opinion that everyone has some innate utilitarianism sense which develops people to realize that making happiness is the general morality. He believes an educated society can solve any serious problems, such as poverty and disease, through raising value education of social happiness. He claims this can cause …show more content…
He distinguishes happiness level by level. He says that happiness has different quality, and high quality happiness is more valuable. However, it is hard to qualify happiness. Different people have different experience, and this causes people have different definition of pleasure. It is hard to say one thing has higher quality compared to another easily because people preferences differ. There are also many conflicting situations that people face since their judgments of pleasure are different. This disprove Mill’s argument that pleasure’s quality is one of the main part of moral actions. His logic of high quality pleasure is hard to prove since everyone’s happiness is different. A result might have different meanings to varied people, so it is hard to find the sum of happiness. Morality is balanced to people’s true happiness, but not based on the sum of

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