Philosophy and Social Ethics - Hedonism

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Calvin Paulino
Assignment #1
In today’s society, mankind usually follows the ideas of Utilitarianism, a philosophy in which decisions should be made based on what brings about the highest ratio of good outcomes as opposed to bad outcomes. Out of all the philosophers that have contributed to the ideas of Utilitarianism, two specific philosophers are accredited a large amount of acknowledgement in regards to creating the ideas to what we know today as Utilitarianism. The first man was Jeremy Bentham, who was essentially considered to be the father of Utilitarianism. The next man was John Stuart Mill, a man who was rigorously raised to follow the ways and thinking of Bentham. Though these two had both contributed heavily to the same philosophy, they both differ in their hedonistic values in the sense of what is considered the “best” option. Hedonism, the theory that pleasure is good and pain is bad, combines with Utilitarianism in a way to create an almost absolute moral theory by stating that, when combined, decisions should be made based upon whatever decisions creates the highest ration of the most pleasure when facing the pain aspect of the decision. As stated prior, both Bentham and Mill both disagree about what truly is the best, but after reflecting upon both of these philosophers ideas, I believe that Mill’s values of pleasure are more convincing for several reasons. Though both arguments do have their advantages and disadvantages, I find it that the arguments that Mill had presented seem to outweigh the arguments that Bentham had brought up in several ways.

When comparing their theories of values, both Bentham and Mills differ from each other in several ways. On one side, Bentham believes that the best decision is the option that yields the most rational outcome. One example of Bentham’s values is represented within his case of the vile malefactor who gains the most pleasure in doing absolute evil. In this case, Bentham proposes that what if a man were...
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