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Pros And Cons Of Consenquetialism Philosophy Essay

1453 words - 6 pages

Consequentialism has been seen by philosophers such as John Mill as a very good doctrine about how an individual should morally act in making the greatest good towards society. Others like Bernard Williams don't quite agree with the theory that Consequentialism brings because it does not take fully into effect the integrity of the individual while doing the deeds based solely on what would cause the most good in society. I will argue the pros and cons of Consequentialism and in turn reach a conclusion based on my own beliefs about the pros and cons of this doctrine and whether one outweighs the other. First I'll argue about the pros which Mill sets out in Utilitarianism and then I will argue the cons which Williams sets out in A Critique of Utilitarianism.
Consequentialism is the belief that the actions that people make should be the one that provides the greatest amount of happiness over pain towards society, which mill says to be the "greatest happiness principle", he also says that these are the "only things desirable as ends. What mill means about them being the "only things desirable as ends" is that when an individual focuses on helping society he will also benefit himself. Mill argues that the people who attack this doctrine by saying "it is exacting too much to require that people shall always act from the inducement of promoting the general interest of society" don't acknowledge the fact that when an individual is basing his actions on what is better for society, it doesn't mean that the individual is not thinking about what's better for himself either. Mill provides two great biblical quotes "to do as you would be done by" and love your neighbour as yourself" as the foundation of what Consequentialism is and states that by using this as a moral means will place the "happiness or the interest of every individual as nearly as possible in harmony with the interest of the whole".
On (Pg6) Mill says: it is the business of ethics to tell us what our duties, or by what test we may know them; but no system of ethics requires that the sole motive of all we do shall be a feeling of duty; on the contrary, ninety-nine hundredths of all our actions are done from other motives, and rightly so done if the rule of duty does not condemn them. What Mill means by this is that if individuals have the understanding of the moral ethics of Consequentialism, they are then able to choose their actions based mostly on what would benefit them. Mill provides a great example of this (Pg6), where a person saves another from drowning, he then says that the action taken is morally right whether it was based on duty or on the hope that he would get paid for his actions. By following a moral set of standards that are set up, an individual chooses to do good actions for others in society but also because if he does these actions it will also benefit him. " The great majority of good actions are intended not for the benefit of the world, but for the of individuals, of...

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