Utilitarianism Is The Greatest Happiness Principle, By John Stuart Mill

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Mill defines utilitarianism as “actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness,” (484) He then begins to explain that happiness is the absence of pain, and pain is the absence of pleasure. He refers to utilitarianism as the Greatest Happiness Principle. Many people that disagreed with Mill’s definition of utilitarianism insulted his work by stating it as a “doctrine worthy only of swine,” (Mill 485). Mill responds to this attack by stating “...for if the sources of pleasure were precisely the same to human beings and to swine, the rule of which is good enough for the one would be good enough for the other,” (Mill 485). Mill responds to this insult by comparing human …show more content…
The famous quote from Mill’s work is, “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied.” (Mill 486). A human is more intelligent than a pig which makes it more desirable to be a human regardless of satisfaction. Being more intelligent means that they are going to desire pleasures of higher quality. When these pleasures are received then the feeling is going to be greater than that of a satisfied pig. Some people do prefer these lower pleasures because it is easy. It is easy to accept the lower pleasures and be happy because they become unaware of what outside issues are occurring. Their mind is free of all problem, therefore they reach their …show more content…
This concept is difficult for some to understand to because people have morals. If there was drug that made people super happy, many people would still not take it because of their morals. According to Mill, if it results in a happiness then it should be acted upon (Bernard para 9). In many situations it becomes too difficult to think ultimately what decision leads to the most amount of happiness produced. Many people react based on selfish purposes. The standard is set to high because humans do not always think in order to produce mass amounts of happiness, but rather to produce immediate pleasures that only benefits the individual.
Mill proves utilitarianism by stating that happiness is the end result. People want to be happy in the end, and they can not answer this question without valid support as to why. If an increase in one’s happiness is good for them, than happiness is good for all (Fyfe para 3).
Utilitarianism as defined by Mill is not clear and cogent. I disagree with his argument because I think it is too broad and too exaggerated. I do not believe that if something creates mass amounts of happiness that it should be done. It is not genuine ethics because it lacks metaphysics. There are many gaps in the principle that are not valid to his argument. Happiness is desired by many as an end result, but Mill does not explain it with a clear and cogent

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