Practice Questions (2)

How to distinguish between the levels of pleasure and

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Unformatted text preview: tinguish between the levels of pleasure and pain. So, there was no actual way of identifying equally in Bentham’s terms. He believed, “the quantity of pleasure being equal” as “push-pin (a children’s game) is as good as poetry”. Some may argue that a positive aspect of Bentham’s utilitarianism was that all preferences were counted equally. However, the fact that pleasures were undistinguishable in Bentham’s utilitarianism eluded to the idea that values are single dimensional and can be measured and compared on a single scale. Due to this particular reason, many object to utilitarianism because they believe that some pleasures are actually higher than others. For example, Christians being forcefully thrown to lions for the amusement of spectators is a violation of individual rights and results in the inhumane pleasure of others. Bentham considers all preferences to be equal, which cannot happen because the act of pleasure or pain is subjective. However, Mill believes it is possible to assess the quality of pleasure rather than just the quantity of people’s desires. Mill’s belief was that happiness is pleasure that is intentional and the absence of pain; by unhappiness is the unintended pain and the lack of pleasure. He Sadia Kamran 3 recognizes that certain types and levels of pleasure are more desirable and appreciated than others. Mill’s proposition of deciding which is a higher pleasure is through a test, which is based on the selection between two constructs from all who have experienced it and whichever they prefer from the two, irrespective of any feeling of moral obligation to prefer it, that is the most desirable pleasure. The advantage of this test is that it is fundamentally based on the utilitarian notion that desires and pleasures are intertwined with morality. Mill’s notion of utilitarianism made an effective attempt to advance Bentham’s ideas on utilitarianism. Mill provided another view on utilitarianism by shedding light on how people can be held accountable for their desires and pleasures on the basis of morality. In comparison to Bentham, Mill did not oversimplify pleasures on a scale; instead he delved more deeply into the issues surrounding utilitarianism. An important theme that Mill touched upon was the whole concept of justice and how hedonistic pleasures must be gauged in order to avoid harm and displeasure for people. Mill’s idea of morality and justice are profound because these ideas are not just relevant to higher pleasures, but are relevant to people’s day-to-day lives, situations and careers. Overall, Mill did outline crucial factors and also did fill in the uncertainties brought up at Bentham’s utilitarianism....
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