John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism Chapter 2, What utilitarianism is Objections to utilitarianism that Mill claims depend on misunderstanding the

view: 1. "Utility is opposed to pleasure." No, it is "pleasure itself, together with exemption from pain." 2. Utility is pleasure "in its grossest form." No, Mill recognize that distinctions can and should be made: a. between the "circumstantial [that is, extrinsic] advances" and the "intrinsic nature" of pleasure. For example, some mental pleasures are superior to bodily ones by virtue not of their intrinsic nature, but of their "greater permanency, safety, uncostliness, etc." b. between the quantity and quality of pleasure. i. One tells "which is the best having of two pleasures" by appealing to "the judgment of those who are qualified by knowledge of both, or, if they differ, that of the majority among them." ii. "It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied." 3. Happiness cannot be the end because "it is unattainable." If by happiness is meant "a continuity of highly pleasurable excitement, it is evident enough that this is impossible." Happiness is "moments of [rapture], in an existence made up of few and transitory pains, many and various pleasures, with a decided predominance of the active over the passive, and having as the foundation of the whole not to expect more from life than it is capable of bestowing." 4. Man must do without happiness in order to become noble. That we can do without it cannot be doubted, but we need not do without it and it is not good to do without it unless doing without it increases or tends to increase the sum total of happiness. It is not one's own happiness that counts, but the sum total, and "as between his own happiness and that of others, utilitarianism requires him to be as strictly impartial as a disinterested and benevolent spectator."

" But utilitarianism requires that everyone's interests be taken into account and treated equally. to interpret to us the will of God. Utilitarianism tells us that it is our duty to promote the general interests of society. previous to action. for calculating and weighing the effects of any line of conduct on the general happiness." 8.5. 9." The motive of an action is irrelevant to determining its moral worth. It is true that "the morality of the action depends entirely upon the intention--that is. the ." If this means that utilitarians do not calculate "the qualities of the person who does" an act in judging the rightness or wrongness of an act. But if God desires the happiness of his creatures. It is "a godless doctrine." 6. No. is "that which is expedient for the particular interest of the agent himself. carefully worked out. Any utilitarian who believes in God's goodness must think him a utilitarian. but "no system of ethics requires that the sole motive of all we do shall be a feeling of duty. It cannot be used because "there is not enough time." Utilitarians distinguish between act and rule utilitarianism and adopt the latter. Utilitarianism is "a doctrine of ethics. It renders persons "cold and sympathizing. the motive is relevant to determining only the worth of the person who acts. What is expedient. For those who think we ought to use the will of God as the truest of right and wrong rather than utility." a. "utility is not only not a godless doctrine. But all systems of morality are subject to the same complaint. that is correct. in the sense in which it is opposed to what is right. It is too much to require persons always to act "from the inducement of promoting the general interests of society. for they all distinguish between judging an act and evaluating a person's character. and ii. For "whatever we adopt as the fundamental principles to apply it by. It tells us what is expedient rather than what is moral. 7. but more profoundly religious than any other. there are two responses: i." But this objection confuses the motives for acting with the criterion for our duties. upon what the agent wills to do." b.

when under temptation. greater than he will see in its observance. and.impossibility of doing without them." for that would be impossible. will see a utility in the breach of a rule. we do not "test each individual action directly by the first principle. We rather test them by "intermediate generalization[s]. "A utilitarian will be apt to make his own case an exception to moral rules." That is. being common to all systems." 10. can afford no argument against any one in particular." But no system of ethics can prevent cheating. .

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