John Stuart Mill: The Pros And Cons Of Utilitarianism

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Every day, we as humans, face tasks that we must come to a decision on whether we are going to do what is morally right, or for the better for the greatest amount of people. Utilitarianism is the action that is best, which procures the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers (100). This may be helpful for short term tasks and requirements, but in the long run always choosing the action that benefits everyone would ultimately hold people back. I will discuss both sides to utilitarianism, how it can be beneficially and harmful. In doing so, I will explore John Stuart Mill’s side as he supports utilitarianism, as well as the opposition.
First off, John Stuart Mill is one of the many supports of utilitarianism as he uses the idea of happiness,
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Although day in and day out we don’t think of those being utilitarianism ideas, they are ultimately helping more people than we could ever imagine. By simply donating a couple dollars or serving your time for your country or local food shelter, that is doing what is best for a greater number of people.
Furthermore, John Stuart Mill is seen not only as a supporter of utilitarianism but also one who promotes eudaimonistic utilitarianism which “defines happiness in terms of higher-order pleasures or satisfactions such as intellectual, aesthetic, and social enjoyments” (Mill, 104). The lower pleasures of life would be things that we thoroughly enjoy, but are temporary and if overused could cause pain such as eating, drinking, sexual activities, and sleeping. These lower pleasures are things that people always enjoy, but are not enough since people need more substance to fully take advantage of life. Contrary to the lower pleasures are the higher pleasures of life which would be the ones with deeper meaning such as creativity, cultural views, and
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After reading both sides to it, Mill’s and the opposition, I have decided that it would be in our best interest to not live always trying to please everyone else. I think that there are good ideas behind it, and we should take time out of our days to do something good for others such as donate money or time, but it should not be a constant thing. People have jobs and families that they need to tend to, which in my opinion comes before helping strangers. The pleasures standard that John Stuart Mill speaks about is extremely relevant about how we cannot simply live without higher pleasures, but I don’t think that these pleasures and utilitarianism necessarily promote happiness. I can be just as happy doing things for myself as I could for helping others. Overall, I do not agree with utilitarianism and do not think it is in everyone’s best

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