The Criterion Of Right And Wrong Controversy Essay

1637 Words Oct 22nd, 2015 7 Pages
The criterion of right and wrong controversy has yet to be concluded though many years of argumentation have ensued. Mill attempts to explain the criterion of right and wrong using the concept of utilitarianism. Utility is not something that should be contrasted with pleasure, but rather pleasure itself with the freedom of pain. The criterion of right and wrongness is introduced for utility as the actions are right in proportion if they promote happiness and are wrong in proportion if they produced the reverse of happiness. Happiness is defined by pleasure and the absence of pain and unhappiness is vice versa. However, there are higher and lower pleasures, higher pleasures consisting of when one pleasure is desirable over another even if that pleasure comes with discomfort and lower pleasures include simple bodily functions. These lower pleasures do not satisfy human beings though as we have higher faculties in comparison to the example of animals. This meaning we will never be happy to leave those higher pleasures uncultivated. Mill continues on to explain how this defines simple expediency and that morality differs from these ideas as far as what is considered right and wrong and how it relates to the criterion.
“We do not call anything wrong, unless we mean to imply that a person ought to be punished in some way or other for doing it- if not by law, by the opinion of his fellow- creatures; if not by opinion, by the reproaches of his own conscience. This seems like the…

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