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Unformatted text preview: 2/4/08 Utilitarianism: The Greatest Happiness principle : The ultimate end in morality is the greatest balance of pleasure over pain for all conscious agents. The You’re-no-Snowflake Principle: Every moral agent is the same worth; my pains/pleasures do not count for more or less than your pains/pleasures J.S. Mill: “As b/t his own happiness and that of others, utilitarianism requires him to be as strictly impartial as a disinterested and benevolent spectator.” (pg.17) Objection1:What happiness? But happiness is unattainable, Mill. It can’t be the ultimate end if not even attainable Mill’s reply i. If you take ‘happiness’ to mean a long period of intense pleasures, then that’s not what I have in mind. ii. Even if it is unattainable, there is still a fundamental god in preventing pain. Mill: (pg.13 Utilitarianism) As long as life has some pleasures here and there, “not to expect more from life than it is capable of bestowing”. Objection2:Virtue won’t let me Happiness can be renounced; moreover, doing so is necessary to be virtuous. Ex: the soldier who throws himself on a grenade to save his 5 comrades Mill’s reply i. Sure, there are cases where sacrifice is a good thing. But its only admirable when it is done for the happiness of others....
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- Winter '08
- Ethics , greatest happiness principle