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Mill's Utilitarianism

             Imagine a society where the main focus is the maximum happiness of its people on a grand scale; in other words the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. In its basic form this is Jeremy Benthams" definition of utilitarianism. You cannot talk about utilitarianism without mentioning Bentham. He went even further to say that some good actions are better then other good actions. Realizing that this would be hard to prove he developed a formula that measures pleasure and pain. The conclusive definition of Benthams version on utilitarianism is that it focuses upon an action's relevance depending fully on the value of its consequences. This is called act-utilitarianism. While Bentham was credited to be the father of utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill was considered the heart and soul of it. Mill's version of utilitarianism focuses on rule-utilitarianism. In this paper I will discuss Mill's version of utilitarianism and what kinds of objections are raised against it. .
             John Stuart Mill was a student of Benthams and picked up where Bentham left off. He saw the flaws of act-utilitarianism and introduced his theory to overcome the weaknesses. The new theory was called rule-utilitarianism. Instead of looking at the consequences of a particular act Mill's version of utilitarianism focused on value of the consequences of following a particular rule. The rule, which produces the best overall consequences, is the one that should be followed. To understand rule-utilitarianism, a society must accept that certain rules must be followed. For instance, if stealing is wrong then a rule-utilitarian society would avoid this problem by adopting this rule even if by doing so there is a sacrifice to pleasure. This is true for lying or torturing little animals. Human beings prefer pleasure than pain; as a result, people desire to act in order to achieve the maximum happiness. Mill also saw that there is quality in every type of pleasure.

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