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Utilitarianism as a Way of Life

            "The creed which accepts as the foundations of morals, Utility, or the Greatest-Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure." (Mill 10) This quote, by John Stuart Mill, about Utilitarianism embodies my ethical decision making process in a way that Relativism, Deontology or any other ethical system cannot. It is for this reason that I have chosen Utilitarianism as the ethical and moral system I employ in my everyday life. .
             The root of success, the root of anything 'good' in this world is happiness, for without true happiness no amount of money or power or 'success', will fulfill the void that is inside each and every one of us – the insatiable hunger for that which we do not have. In my opinion, the employment of a utilitarian mentality is ideal when it comes to the search for happiness. Utilitarianism, in layman's terms, is the mindset that every action you take should be taken in pursuance of happiness – that every decision you make should be made on the basis of whether it will make you happy or not. .
             Though other ethical systems, such as Relativism, which teaches that knowledge, truth, and morality are all relative and non-absolute, and, as such, happiness is gained through self-reflection upon one's own decisions and actions, also teach similar ethical decision-making as utilitarianism, they do not embody the idea of finding happiness before all else as well as utilitarianism does. For example, Relativism teaches that actions taken 'on a whim', or haphazardly, are fine as long as they can be justified. "The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end." This quote, by Leon Trotsky, written in his book, Their Morals and Ours, depicts relativistic ideals in that through relativism, the end results of actions taken may easily justify said actions as long as the person taking said actions benefit from the end result.

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