Ethics Kant vs Mill

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Immanuel Kant Pages: 3 (1100 words) Published: November 11, 2013
Intro to Ethics
Kant vs. Mill
Philosophers Emmanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill both have different views on moral worth and Utilitarianism, which states that an action is morally right if it produces more good for all people affected or suffering from the action. Mainly, the question is how much of the morality of an action is predicted by its outcome. Both men have moral theories that differ on this topic.

Mill’s theory of Utilitarianism relates moral actions to those that result in the greatest happiness. This explains Mill’s theory on morality. When happiness is reached, there is pleasure and the absence of pain. Pleasure results from the actions higher in utility. Mill believes there’s a difference between higher and lower qualities of pleasure verses quantity of them. If a pleasure were high, a person would choose it over another pleasure that may come with suffering. Saying this he means a person will choose the higher good. He also speaks about the confusion of happiness with satisfaction. The only way to judge a pleasure is to fully understand the quality of pleasure. Mill’s book of Utilitarianism is based on standard of morality. Every human has the ability to be happy, this results in being virtuous and the most virtuous have sacrificed. Utilitarian’s sacrifice good for others good but only for the happiness. This results in moral worth. The moral worth is determined by the result of an action. Therefore, Mill is a consequentialist. An example of consequentialism would be lying. Mill would say lying is bad but lying could have a good consequence. A person may lie they won a competition fairly when they were bribing voters for they’re favor in order to win which satisfies them bringing happiness.

Kant, however, is a non-consequentialist; he believes only motives and intentions have moral worth. In consequentialism he sees there is moral luck because something we intend to be good is not always good as a situation may change. An example of...
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