John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism

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John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism provides the reader with a meaning behind the value of utilitarianism as a moral theory. Mill defines the utilitarianism theory as one that state's “actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness” (p. 90). Many utilitarians look at utility as pleasure, with the absence of pain. He presents utilitarianism as a view that utilitarians perceive to be the morally right action is the action that produces the most good. This is implied by the theory that the right action is accepted in terms of the consequences produced. Mill believes everything is derived from this desire for happiness, and it is the sole basis of morality. Derived from this …show more content…
Mill argues there is a way to separate higher and lower quality pleasures. He offers the principle of utility to claim some kinds of pleasures are more desirable and more valuable than others. He states that human pleasures are much more superior than animalistic ones, but once people are made aware of their higher pleasures in life it will be evident those people would want to cultivate those pleasures. He says it is considered a higher quality if people would choose it over another pleasure even if the higher pleasure included pain or could be traded for a higher quantity of a lower pleasure. In this utilitarian view, higher pleasures are usually more intellectual pleasures that might require a higher understanding or individual intellect. Lower pleasures may be viewed as more sensual pleasures that can be more easily obtained by man. He believes the highest good is what produces the most pleasure for a person. Mill goes on to dispute that people will always prefer the pleasure that ends with a higher quality over any quantity of lower …show more content…
He argues, people who enjoy higher pleasures over lower are often less content with their lives, but their pleasure is still of a higher quality than someone who enjoys lower quality pleasures. However, people who choose lower pleasures are often more content in life. He contends people that are less content compared to others amounts from the simple fact that they have a deeper, more coherent understanding of the world around them. Mill then goes on to claim that there are people who have experienced both the high and low pleasures in life. He suggests these people are more qualified to judge a pleasure’s overall quality rather than someone who has only experienced the low pleasures in life. Mill declares these people, who are more familiar with those higher pleasures, then undoubtedly have an increased value for high intellect, feelings, imagination, and moral sentiments that are included with the higher pleasures. Mill states, the remarkably lower pleasures only take into account the pure physicality of the pleasure taken part in, unlike higher pleasures. Therefore, higher pleasures are far more superior in quality and naturally more desirable to

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