I’m doing my final paper on John Stuart Mill’s utilitarianism theory. The source I’m using is Mill, John Stuart Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary issues, edited by Steven M. Cahn and Peter Markie 362-396. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. Thesis: I will show how the greatest happiness principle (GHP) should have greater nuance so it won’t remove happiness from others in order to create more happiness. I’m taking two quotes out of the book on utilitarianism perspectives, and on the greatest happiness principle.
The creed which accepts as the foundation 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 produce the reverse of happiness. ” (Pg. 365) “It is by no means an indispensable condition to the acceptance of the utilitarian standard is not the agent’s own greatest happiness. ” (Pg367) Mill’s theory claims happiness for the greater good is the most important thing. However, I think there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed.
The GHP can give happiness for the greater good at the expense of taking happiness from others. An example is, a octor has a couple patients that need healthy organs and one patient that could provide them at the expense of killing that patient. Mill’s theory would be for the doctor not to kill the healthy patient and transplant his organs into the patients that need them. It may create the GHP for their families, but you’re making hospitals less likeable. Doing so would give the hospital a bad reputation if people go around saying that there are killing a healthy patient’s to save a greater group of people.
Even though you’re saving a greater group of people it’s still not the moral thing to do by killing ealthy patients without their consent. People would then be scared to go to hospitals thus they would start to lose money and then they would have to shut down from the lack of patients. With this new GHP I’m going to create the happiness for the greater good without the expense of taking from others, which can happen from donations to organizations, and charity work for the needy.
A big problem in today’s society is the rich and the poor people in today’s world. With all the rich people in world and all the poor people in the world, there should be some kind of ommon ground between them to create happiness for both the rich class and the poor class in today’s society. An example is there are around 250 poor people and around 100 rich people in the town. The rich are living a very wealthy life, and the poor people are barely making ends meet, with poor education and health, and the lack of food.
The happiness of the rich is wouldn’t be as high if the poor got to experience that kind of wealth. The 250 poor in the town would be happy just to be able to make ends meet, and to be able to have a good education, nd, health plan for their whole family, and be able to get some money for themselves. The poor people would be happy with the money they earn from the rich for so long, because they never experienced what it feels like to own some extra money for themselves.
While the rich have been able to experience being rich in their life for a quite some time their happiness will tend to dwindle down. Mill’s utilitarianism perspective would try to create happiness for the greater good between the poor and the rich in this society. Since the population has more poor than rich in the own, I would argue to redistribute the wealth, because there is more poor people than rich people. That would create the happiness for the greater good.
While doing that would create long term happiness, because if the poor people are able to get a good education for themselves, they would be able to get a good job and support their family and not have to worry about having poor health and the lack of food, but doing so would take the happiness from the rich people and that is not the moral thing to do even though their happiness wouldn’t be as high, as f a poor person was able to experience that kind of wealth. I think my approach to the utilitarianism perspective for the greater happiness pursuit is right.
Getting money from the 100 rich to the 250 poor would be the right thing to do, because it would create a more long term happiness for the poor people. Although the way I think it should happen without taking happiness from the rich, is that the rich voluntarily give up their money through donations, charitable events, or any other way they seem fit. People will tend to even gain happiness from given. An example is when a school or business is going to shut down from the lack of supplies or money, and someone with a lot of money comes in and makes charitable donation it would make a lot of people happen even the donator.
With the donation that school or business will be able to continue to run. Another example is at Christmas time, a lot of people say the best part of Christmas is that they would rather give present than receive presents them from others. It gives you a good feeling inside when a kid opens your present and they get all excited. Even though the rich have more money than they can pend it’s still not moral to take things from others, thus taking their happiness away just to create a more and greater happiness.
The rich will get richer and poor will get poorer, the rich in today’s society make their money from overtaking smaller businesses. Digital steaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video are making billions of dollars for their streaming services while taking family owned rental stores out of business. The same can also happen to book stores in the near future, with everyone buying their books digitally on their ablets. That is how bigtime Companies are ruining small business in towns and putting them out of work.
With companies doing that and knowing there going to take small business’s out of work they should make a small donation to those small businesses for taking their jobs away from them, or try to find a new location for them. In conclusion I showed how the GHP can have a greater nuance so it won’t remove the happiness from others in order to create more happiness. That was showed in the example I made with the 100 people in the rich class and the 250 people in he poor class in a town.
Mill’s theory was originally correct by taking money from the rich class and giving it to the poor class as it would create a more long term happiness, to the expense of the happiness of the rich class. The way I would solve it was they shouldn’t take the money from the rich class because that would take their happiness away from them. The only way they should have to give their money would be voluntarily through donations, or charitable events. So it would create the GHP without the expense of taking happiness from others.