In his book "Utilitarianism", John Stuart Mill supports and explains his reasoning . Mill illustrates the guidelines of his theory. He defines utilitarianism as the quest for happiness. His main point is that one should guide his or her judgements by what will give pleasure. He would say all that matters in the decision of right versus wrong is the amount of happiness produced by the consequences. He believes that a person should always seek to gain pleasure and reject pain. Although Mill fully justifies himself, his approach lacks certain criteria for which happiness can be considered. This paper will examine Mill's utilitarianism, and the reasoning behind it. Showing where there are agreements and where there are disagreements which critique the theory of Utilitarianism. .
First disagreement with Mill`s utilitarianism is about the importance of good effects morally. A Decision of Life The dialogue Crito, by Plato, recounts the last days of Socrates, immediately before his execution was going to take place in Athens. In the dialogue, Socrates" friend, Crito, proposes that Socrates escape from prison. Socrates considers this proposal, trying to decide if escaping would be "just" and "morally justified." Eventually, Socrates concludes that the act is considered "unjust" and "morally unjustified."He argues that obeying the state is a requirement right up until death. He says that by not obeying the state that he was raised in, is like not obeying his parents that raised him. Socrates decides to accept his death penalty and execution. Following Mill`s thinking, Socrates`s decision does not maximize happiness and the outcome does not benefit most people. Mill believed that civil disobedience would be justified if the general happiness were maximized. For instance, Socratess` researches could bring happiness to many Athenians therefore the general happiness would be maximized. Mill also believed that Utilitarism makes ethical decisions based on the consequences of the action taken which is measured by how much happiness or sadness the action creates.