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Ethics Paper

781 words - 4 pages

John Stuart Mill defines “The Greatest Happiness Principle” as the principle of utility. It can be measured as the greatest happiness for the most number of people. Maximizing the happiness of the greatest number of people should be priority over all else. The action that increases pleasure and decreases misery would be considered the best option for the good of the whole. Mill explains that some pleasures are superior to other pleasures faced. There are higher and lower pleasures and the superiority of one over the other is determined by those who have experienced both kinds (GT, 161). It is explained that pleasures of intellect, of the feelings and imagination, and of the moral sentiments ...view middle of the document...

Rule Utilitarianism is applied to kinds of actions and whether they are always morally right or wrong to act upon (MP, 83). Act Utilitarianism states people should always act in ways that will maximize the total well-being of everyone affected and produce the greatest benefit. This type of belief does lead to a number of significant problems. One individual may be harmed for the good of the group. No one person’s interests are more important than another’s, including one’s own. It requires too much from people, including impartiality, because it is wrong for people not to do whatever will produce the most total well-being. It also ignores distribution of happiness and moral duties because it may produce a more total well-being by helping many rather than the duty owed to one person. The problems faced by Act Utilitarianism were many and so Rule Utilitarianism was formed to overcome the issues. It is a view that believes society should implement the principles that create the ultimate good for all people. It states that the right thing to do is follow the correct moral rules in any circumstance. Moral principles can conflict with each other because more than one may exist, unlike Act Utilitarianism. In order to resolve conflicts, people can appeal to Act Utilitarianism and what will produce the most total well-being. Rule Utilitarianism does not require as much from society as Act Utilitarianism because...

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