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Mill’s utilitarianism - Essay Example
Human nature had always been abstract therefore not easy to comprehend. Over a period of time philosophers have tried to simplify the issue so as to understand the basis on which human beings had been behaving or should behave. However, time and again they had experienced that the issue confronting them is not simple for which a single answer can be found…
One thing which we should have learned by now during our philosophical journey is that we have to have a theory of human behavior which should be able to address the diversity of human environments and thus cannot be very simple and rigid. Utilitarianism is a step in that direction.
Utilitarianism The founder of Utilitarianism was Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). His theory begins with proposition that nature has placed human beings under two masters: pleasure and pain. Anything that seems good must either be directly pleasurable, or thought to be a means to pleasure or to the avoidance of pain. Conversely, anything that seems bad must either be directly painful, or thought to be a means to pain or to the deprivation of pleasure. From this Bentham argued that the words right and wrong can only be meaningful if they are used in accordance with the Utilitarian principle, so that whatever increases the net surplus of pleasure over pain is right and whatever decreases it is wrong. Moreover, the net pain and pleasure to be considered is not restricted to personal level but should be the sum of the pleasure of all involved by acting or getting effected by a particular action. ...