Utilitarianism - Grace Van Winkle PHIL 220 Utilitarianism...

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Grace Van Winkle PHIL 220 4/15/11 Utilitarianism This work, by John Stuart Mill, describes the essential beliefs of utilitarianism, and elaborates the foundation behind these beliefs. The first thing Mill mentions is that all moral beliefs stem from general laws. Even though emotions and intuition can influence ethical decisions, these stem from the general laws, or principles, that distinguish between moral actions and immoral actions. Utilitarianism is based on the principle that the most moral action is the one that leads to the greatest amount of utility, or happiness. Happiness is defined by utilitarianism as intended pleasure and the absence of pain. Moreover, a completely just idea of what constitutes ultimate happiness is the greatest amount of happiness that can be attained by all people, not just the people involved in the immediate situation, or even the individual making the decision. Mill holds that everyone born into a civilized country should have the capacity, and therefore has the
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