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According to the principle, actions are right as long as they encourage happiness as a form of pleasure and they are wrong as long as they discourage happiness. The Greatest Happiness Principle articulates many ideas regarding happiness as pleasure and unhappiness as pain or lack of pleasure. Since this theory establishes that the only thing that is yearned for by an individual is happiness and pleasure, this view of life is often seen as having no greater purpose. This indicates that the only thing which one demands is pleasure thereby disregarding all higher yearnings. However, this notion implies that individuals have no other yearnings apart from pleasure. In reality, things that might satisfy the pleasure of one individual may not satisfy that of the other. Because of this some pleasures are more satisfying than others due to their intrinsically virtuous properties. Mills has describes two forms of pleasure – higher and lower – based on the characteristics of these pleasures (5-6). But what brings about the difference in characteristics? The difference in the quality, according to Mill, results from the preference of one pleasure over the other among people who are aware with the two pleasures (6). Hence, the chosen pleasure is superior to the other one because the preferred pleasure dominates the other one due to a higher quality. Relatively, the preferred pleasure is a higher pleasure because of its higher quality in terms of preference. Due to the quality differences in the numerous forms of pleasures, some pleasures are preferred over the others. Mostly, people who are aware of both higher as well as lower pleasures prefer higher pleasures in their ways of life. Higher pleasures make use of higher faculties which is why any human may not choose to switch to an animal and enjoy animal pleasures. Humans use a higher form of capacity and reasoning and that is why any unhappy human would not replace for a happy and satisfied animal unless the state of unhappiness is so severe that he may want to escape from the situation. Another theory has been presented by Immanuel Kant that relates to the question of morality. According to Kant, all the ethical philosophies are by nature comprehensive, reasonable, and objective hence the categorical is a way by which actions are assessed and they qualify as being comprehensive, rational, and reasonable. The Categorical Imperative provided a path to evaluate our actions and make ethical judgments based on the set criteria. The Categorical Imperative allows an individual to make judgments regarding his or her actions, and how an individual decides which moral principles are going to be applied. Kant described two types of imperatives including categorical and hypothetical, which defines Kant’s view of moral law and what the right action in a particular situation is. The Categorical Imperative applies to all classifications without any exceptions. Since the moral law is an essential obligation therefore according to Kant, it is a Categorical Imperative. That is to say, it is applicable on all moral representatives, times, and places, universally. They are always applicable due to rational reasoning rather than an empirical study. Some actions however are backed up by personal interests or motives which drive an individual to take a particular course of action. The moral worth is guided by a specific motive which decides whether an action is right or ...Show more

Summary

Moral Philosophies John Stuart Mill clearly expressed his moral theory in his book Utilitarianism written in 1861. In his book, Mill tried to rationalize the Utility Principle or the Greatest Happiness Principle as the basis for ethical standards…
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