Stewart The Greatest Happiness Principle Analysis

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Register to read the introduction… This is important as it was Stewart’s hope that a utilitarian society would help society, as a whole, escape from the poverty that existed at this time. So what is this utilitarianism that is supposed to be able to help those in poverty? Stewart’s utilitarianism is often summed up by his idea of The Greatest Happiness Principle, (Mill 1861). What this means is that decisions in life, in morality, should be based on what will result in the greatest amount of good, or happiness, for the greatest amount of people. So basically, when making decisions one must not consider their own happiness, but rather how to morally make the decision that will make the most people happy. To put this into other words in the hopes to further explain his point, consequences for ones actions must be thought of rather than the actual motif for doing so. This proves Stewarts idea of utilitarianism to be teleological as it is based on the results of actions, as well as it proves to not be egoistic as individuals happiness is not of concern but rather a collective happiness of …show more content…
Although it is not quite modern enough to be listed as contemporary, it is still worth noting as it shows utilitarian principle’s being practice in a culture totally alien to Stewart. A highly touted aboriginal author by the name of Pauline Johnson wrote a short story titled, “We-hro’s Sacrifice.” It is the story of a young boy whom is said to be the chief’s son and his relationship with a little white dog he finds at a small age. The dog and the boy become attached at the hip until the boy is forced with a decision to make. A traditional sacrifice of a pure white dog is common among aboriginal communities. Seeing that there are no other pure white dogs in the village but the one that belongs to his son, the chief gives his boy the option of keeping the dog and remaining happy, or giving the dog up for the betterment of his village. Eventually the young boy realizes that the utilitarian decision is the right one and he gives his dog up for sacrifice, (Johnson …show more content…
Allowing what is best for the greatest number of people helping make your moral decisions is a tool that can be very useful, but also can lead to some really tough decisions. Having a complete utilitarian society could possibly spoil individual’s entire life as they are not focusing on their own happiness, but everyone that their moral decision will affect. This might lead them to lead a life making decisions that never fulfill their own happiness but only those around them. I have no argument against the fact that the utilitarian concept sounds very fair and sounds like it would work. But after actually thinking deeper into what a utilitarian society would be like, I conclude utilitarian values only work in doses, and that is why we only have a few examples in contemporary

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