John Stuart Mill's Ethical System Of Utilitarianism

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John Stuart Mill John Stuart Mill’s ethical system of utilitarianism is a system that is based on the foundation of Jeremy Bentham’s principle of utility, which evaluates actions based on the actions’ consequences. Also, Bentham defines happiness as pleasure and states that the right action is the action that produces the most happiness for the greatest number of people. As a result, this system promotes selflessness. Mill further elaborates that happiness is pleasure and the absence of pain. Mill adds on to introduce the concept of higher and lower pleasures, higher pertaining to the pleasures associated with intellect and lower pertaining to the pleasures associated with the senses. Mill claims that people will opt for higher pleasure when …show more content…
Utilitarianism does not work well with justice. If there was a case where killing one innocent man could save 5 innocent others, under utilitarianism, it would be wise to kill the one innocent man to save the 5 others since the thing that matters most is the net gain of happiness. Another flaw that Mill’s ethical system has is that is does not work well when sentiment is part of the equation. Utilitarianism requires people to be selfless, but people are usually unable to selfless when it involves something or someone that they consider dear to them. For example, most people will not be able to sacrifice his or her mother for the sake of 5 strangers. Lastly, another difficulty with Mill’s ethical system of utilitarianism is that it is impractical because it is simply too difficult to measure every actions’ effect on its surrounding environment and …show more content…
Instead he argued that to know what is right and wrong we must use reason. Morality, to Kant, was a constant; it stayed the same regardless of what religious background a person had. Kant’s deontological ethics stated different types of imperatives, hypothetical imperatives and categorical imperatives. Hypothetical imperatives are not moral choices, it is the times we choose to do something because we want it. For instance, I work because I want money. Kant, however, focused mainly on categorical imperatives to explain morality. He stated the principle of universalizability which reasoned that whatever the action may be, the rule behind it must not have any contradictions when applied universally. A commonly used example to explain this principle is the ethics behind stealing. Stealing does not pass the principle of universalizability because if it were universally accepted then everyone would steal from each back and forth endlessly. Also, Kant argued that we must treat other humans always as an end and never as something we are using for only our own benefit because human beings are not objects to be used; humans are rational and autonomous. An example would be asking a friend if you can borrow his car and telling him that you need to borrow it to rush to the hospital to see your sick dad, when your dad is not sick; in actuality, you are asking for the car to go to the casino to gamble. This

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