utilitarianism

Topics: Pleasure, Morality, Utilitarianism Pages: 2 (753 words) Published: April 16, 2014
Second Writing Assignment, PHILO 120
Professor Shelley, Tue/Thur 230pm
Mill is an heir of an intellectual movement in England known as Utilitarianism; utilitarianism is concerned with the acquisition of pleasure and elimination of pain. John Stuart Mill follows the guidelines of utilitarianism in order to decide if certain actions are moral. Utilitarianism states that a person should perform the action that produces the most pleasurable outcome for every person involved. In order to accurately judge if one pleasure is greater than another, the person must be unprejudiced and have experienced both; such judges will prefer the higher pleasures over the lower ones. However, Mill recognizes that people aren’t always driven to follow moral social standards, because the reasons behind their actions can be not only external but internal as well. What Mill means is that expectations of us from our peers and from a higher being, such as God, do not obligate us to follow these rules set out by society; it is our own feeling within that holds us accountable to these standards. Lastly, Mill believes that in order to be a moral creature, we must obey the three conditions of utility: 1) Goodness is understood as production of happiness, elimination of pain, 2) for all of those concerned with the action, and 3) each counts for one and “no more than one.” Utilitarian’s believe that a person’s actions are right if they produce happiness; “the greatest happiness of greatest number,”(Denise, Peterfreund, and White, p.158). Michael, Peter and Samir are employees at Initech and are planning scamming the company by installing a computer virus that skims money out of the company’s bank account. Mill would look at this action by looking at the conditions of utilitarianism. Although they meet the first criteria of producing happiness through the elimination of pain by acquiring large amounts of money, they do not meet part two or three. In regards to part two, it does produce...
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