• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Practical Questions section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Practical Questions essays

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of utilitarianism, what are the main problems of ...

    Act utilitarianism maintains that the best action is the one that always leads to the greatest good for the greatest number in certain situations. For example, if in a certain situation where lying will create the greatest amount of pleasure, lying is what one must do.

  2. Examine the key features of utilitarianism and its strengths and weaknesses of utilitarianism

    This would prove a problem for a utilitarian because they have to consider how many people would be made happy by saving either their mum or the scientist. If they were to save the scientist then millions of people could be cured of cancer and this is generally what a

  1. Explain the main weaknesses of Benthams version of Utilitarianism. Does Mills version of Utilitarianism ...

    Does the women's pain now outweigh the men's pleasure? Or is it still the latter? Some may say that by using Bentham's hedonic calculus we can measure pleasure, but in reality it is nigh on impossible to weigh up side by side with pain. Continuing along with the last criticism, Bentham relies a lot on measurement of pleasure and

  2. I will be discussing John Stewart Mill theory on utilitarianism. Then I will point ...

    This would permit a particular act on a particular occasion to be seen as right or wrong according to whether it is in accordance with or in violation of a useful rule. In other words if you were to steal a truck of food and deliver it to a homeless

  1. Outline the main features of Utilitarianism andExamine critically criticisms that have been offered against ...

    This type of calculation would be mostly used by an act utilitarian who believed it is always 'the greatest good for the greatest number' and maintaining whenever possible the principle of utility. This type of utilitarianism has the benefit of being more flexible, being able to take into account individual

  2. Capital Punishment

    This therefore represents God's true power and wilfulness. Christianity has four main theories that justify punishment overall; theses are Retribution, Deterrence, Reformation and Protection. Retribution is the action in this case punishment, taken upon the criminal for satisfaction of the victim or the society; it is the theory of revenge and moral balance.

  1. "Explain Bentham's Utilitarianism" and Act Utilitarianism has immoral consequences Discuss.

    He believed you have to consider the intensity, duration and purity of the action amongst other factors in the calculus. For example, if a government was trying to decide whether to go to war, they might consider how long the war will last, how many soldiers or civilians will die, and how much it will cost.

  2. Explain Utilitarianism

    and purity (how free from pain?). Whatever is good or bad can be measured in a quantitative way. Bringing about the greatest pleasure is more important then abiding to rules or laws. For example, in ?Trolleology?, David Edmonds formulates a dilemma.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work