General overview of john stuart mill- Utilitarianism - Essay Example

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Name of of Lecturer Course 27 April 2011 General overview of John Stuart Mill- Utilitarianism John Stuart Mill was a British philosopher that argued extensively on the ethics of Utilitarianism. The ethics of Utilitarianism was actually developed by Mill and it is based on the doctrine of good things and the outcome that results from the ethical value of conduct…
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of Lecturer 27 April General overview of John Stuart Mill- Utilitarianism John Stuart Mill was a British philosopher that argued extensively on the ethics of Utilitarianism. The ethics of Utilitarianism was actually developed by Mill and it is based on the doctrine of good things and the outcome that results from the ethical value of conduct. Mill proposed that the main aim of taking moral decisions is to achieve the greatest happiness for the greatest number. According to Mill, this objective is considered a legislative duty for all social institutions. Mill’s Utilitarian theory also posits that the conscience is not in any way the sole authority of the decision to do what is either right or wrong. Mill’s Utilitarianism actually conflicts with the idea that moral actions is dependent on the will of God and that the pleasure that the person gets from performing these acts is the crucial test of good and evil. Mill was one philosopher that believed so much that individuals have the right to decide and do what is best for them and in their own interest rather than base their decisions on other people’s interests. Mill was of the opinion that individuals must seek the truth and make judgments through strictly monitored, unassuming and tolerant dialogue. Mill believed that is the duty of every individual to take decisions on actions that are in their best interest. He also believes that people should be more tolerant of other people’s opinion rather than rely on force to make people reason along with them as this would go a long way in making the truth known about a particular subject matter. Mill uses a non-relativistic perception of truth and belief to work out the notion on toleration. However, Mill believed that this is needed by people to arrive at the truth. On the issue of human reasoning, Mill gave the idea that the reasoning of human beings is unique and valuable. He pointed it out in his book, On Liberty and he gave the argument on individual reasoning another dimension by using the conditions of the society that stipulates that human beings should reason for themselves. Mill then went further to use these social conditions to justify the fact that individual reasoning is a valuable and vital part of the life of an individual. On the issue of freedom and justice, Mill says that, “The moral rules which forbid mankind to hurt one another (in which we must never forget to include wrongful interference with each other's freedom) are more vital to human well-being than any maxims, however important, which only point out the best mode of managing some department of human affairs.” (Mill). From the foregone quotation, it is clear that Mill was an advocate of justice and freedom as he was of the opinion that there were rules that forbade humans from committing an act of injustice to one another. It is also clear that Mill stood for what was morally right and damned the consequences of his actions as long as he knew he was towing the right path. Thus, the ethics of Utilitarianism according to John Stuart Mill allowed people to do what they felt was in their own interest. Work Cited Mill, John Stuart. (1863). “Utilitarianism.” Chapter 5 On the Connection between Justice and Utility. Retrieved from (accessed October 17, 2010) Read More
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