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Explain Mills Version of Utilitarianism. Mills version of utilitarianism is morally unacceptable. Discuss.

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Introduction

Part A Explain Mill's Version of Utilitarianism Utilitarianism is a universal teleological system that calls for the maximisation of goodness in society. Utilitarianism itself is a consequential theory, i.e. the goodness of an action is judged purely by the consequences of the action. It is commonly understood as being a hypothesis that assesses and promotes moral actions on the basis of their outcome using the maxim, 'the greatest happiness for the greatest number'. Utilitarianism begins with David Hume but comes into the classical era with Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. They were struggling for social reform and tried to make the law serve human needs and interests. An example of utilitarianism is in the bible. Caiphas advises the Jewish council to hand Jesus over to the Romans for the good of then nation. Mill maintained that the well being of the individual was of the greatest importance and that happiness is the most effectively gained when the individuals are free to pursue their own ends. ...read more.

Middle

We have all got the potential to reach the pleasure o the mind, but it is more difficult to get to as we are tempted by the rest of the body. The pleasures of the rest of the body are more tempting that the pleasure of the mind, even though the pleasure of the mind are easier to get to, the pleasure of the mind last longer. The pleasures of the mind however are much more pure and the extent of the mind is better. J.S Mill argued that utilitarianism fitted in with Christianity. He said there was a positive place for rules in society. He said that truth was the greatest rule for society, the greatest way to secure happiness for society. He didn't agree with the hedonic calculus which is way of telling if an action will cause you more pain of pleasure. Part B Mills version of utilitarianism is morally unacceptable. ...read more.

Conclusion

Once this is recognized, supporters argue that utilitarianism becomes a much more complex, and rich, moral theory, and may align much more closely with our moral intuitions. Since utilitarian's judge all actions by their ability to maximize good consequences, any harm to one individual can always be justified by a greater gain to other individuals. This is true even if the loss for the one individual is large and the gain for the others is marginal, as long as enough individuals receive the small benefit. Thus, utilitarian's deny that individuals have inviolable moral rights. This seems problematic to many critics of utilitarianism, one of whom notes that according to utilitarianism there is "nothing intrinsically wrong with sacrificing an important individual interest to a greater sum of lesser interests. That assumption is retained in the foundations of the theory, and it remains a source of moral concern. I there fore think that utilitarianism is morally unacceptable as it is hard to see if it an action does cause pleasure for the majority. ?? ?? ?? ?? Louise Hempton Ethics TG1 Miss Smith ...read more.

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