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Happiness, Refers To John Stuart Mill's Ideas

1370 words - 5 pages

Happiness: In one word, this concept exemplifies the American dream. People go to any means by which to obtain the many varied materials and issues that induce pleasures in each individual, and intrinsically, this emotion remains the ultimate goal, John Stuart Mill, a nineteenth century philosopher, correctly advocated the pursuit of happiness, and maintained the concept that above all other values, pleasure existed as the final destination, Mill's hedonistic views correctly and rationally identified a natural human tendency, and his Utilitarian arguments strongly support the theory that above all else, happiness is the most important dream to be fulfilled. Upon researching for this paper, I came across a counter argument, which was based on metaphysics. Immanuel Kant, in Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, defends his strong beliefs in the issue of a good will, and surfaces as MM's chief opponent on the topic of metaphysics, The issue diminishes to a clash between emotions and pleasures verses rationality and logic. Yet, what use is logic when the good agent is miserable? Mill's stance within Utilitarianism exists as the more favorable of the two beliefs, for happiness exist as the one intrinsically favorable element, not an emotionless mind.The main defender of the Utilitarian system exists within the Greatest happiness Principle. Mill lived as a chief advocate of this concept, which supports the idea that a decision is morally correct as long as it increases and encourages pleasures and happiness. Kant, however, in his endless quest to remain separate from emotions and thrive only on logic, would argue that autonomy should be placed above happiness in a list of intrinsic values. A good will, however, does not comfort an individual in any way if happiness does not accompany this asset, Consider this example of a seemingly happily married couple. The wife in this duo is madly in love with her husband fiercely loyal, and completely happy with her marriage and children. The husband, however, as wrongfully strayed, and had a brief, but damaging affair behind his wife's back. Kant would argue that autonomy reigns over pleasure, and the woman should therefore want to be informed of her husband's adultery, Mill would greatly disagree. By revealing the secret of the past affair, the woman's happy world would be instantly shattered. Her pride would diminish, her stability would fall apart, and the children especially would be forced to view a nasty side of their beloved father. In this case, individual control is greatly overshadowed by the need for happiness. The husband is no longer acting unfaithful and the family can easily continue to live in a happy realm, If the secret were to become uncovered, all members of this circumstance unavoidably would become terribly disappointed, Under the Greatest Happiness Principle, the wife should not be informed. Since happiness truly lives as the ultimate in human desires, sparing such immense amounts of...

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