Mills Essay, Research Paper

Question 1

Mills states that it “… is not the agent’s own greatest happiness, but the greatest amount

of happiness altogether…”. This leaves no room for opinion because then the greater

number would not be contemplated. So who does Mills leave to decide to whom may

plan what the greater happiness is? It would be left up to people with lots of knowledge

and wisdom. Mills thinks that the so-called experts would be able to decide the greatest

happiness. But must be ” strictly impartial as a disinterested and benevolent spectator “.

At some point his idea makes sense. To live in a strict utilitarian society you would need

someone to decide what the greater good would be for all. I would to some extent agree

with him on that point. But the truth is we don’t live in a utilitarian society. Well, I like

making my own decisions and deciding what will make me happy who cares if everyone

else is happy if it’s going to keep me from being my own person.

I think Rachel’s article brings up good point on how Utilitarianism can and can’t

work. He agrees with it in general with the basic principals in theory for example that

consequences are what matter most. He also gives his reasons on why not to trust our

common sense. Rachel believes the (act) utilitarianism is legitimate because it focuses on

the consequences of the individual acts to deem what is right and wrong. For this Rachel

has pointed out that this proves that common sense is not to be trusted. According to

Rachel, common sense includes prejudices that we have brought to the situation. If pure

utilitarianism is applied, there is no room for the prejudices to corrupt our thoughts and

our decisions will be based on only the consequences.

This idea had a lot of validity to it, but I don’t know how practical it is. To ignore what

your common sense tells you to do or at least to put it aside while making the decision

would be a hard thing to do. I don’t think a whole lot of people would be willing to

actually do this. I know for but me it would be very hard to do. I’m not sure I would want

to. But then again to look in on a perfect world and see I would have to agree it could

possibly produce many favorable outcomes.

Question 2

Of the two formulations we discussed of Kant on the Categorical Imperative then I

would go along with the second idea it seems to be the most workable and valuable. This

concept states that humans are the ends in themselves(mere means). Though this point

seems to be very simple and idealistic, it could be sensible. Kant believes that the

preservation of life is the number one duty in sensible individuals. This not only includes

our lives, but also trying to help others in their lives. This is what he meant when

discussing that humans are not means but ends. This goes on that humans aren’t used to

be methods to get somewhere or something by other humans. If this point was taken and

used it could prove to be useful. People wouldn’t be taken advantage of or manipulated.

Unless it was some kind of mutual agreement.

Human beings as ends include another aspect of life. That no cause if worth taking a

human life to fix it. I would say I do agree with this opinion. I guess it’s just the fact when

you look at what’s going on in the news and magazines and read that someone gave there

life for that cause. Is anything worth losing your life? I feel kind of shamed because I

wouldn’t give my life for anybody’s cause. I’m the only cause I know. I defiantly have

things I have strong feelings about but I wouldn’t give my life over it. I guess Kant’s

whole thought is how we should live life for its own sake. I guess I can kind of go along

with that.

Question 3

I use to work as a gymnastics coach and I had many parents of the children I teach

telling of how well off they were to each other. It so makes me angry that they could sit

there and basically brag to each other. I guess it just jealousy of how I wish I was in their

spot (without the children). I guess its kind of an understanding of John Rawl’s theory of

justice. His second theory justifies their wealth and states that inequality is okay for all in

society benefit from it and the benefits are assessable to all.

Most of the parents fall in this category themselves or their husbands do. I guess I

understand because them bringing in their children pays my salary. With most of the

parents occupations being doctors, dentists, lawyer’s etc…. I guess it all comes down to

the occupations benefiting society. And anyone can choose these positions if they so

choose. So they met the two qualifications of Rawl’s. Their wealth benefiting to all and

open to all. So I just don’t like his justifications because I’m just too jealous to accept


Question 4

The masculine theory on ethics seem to be based on the obligation and duty. The

Feminist theory of ethics are based on love and trust. And on a personal note either of

these theories on their own don’t make a dam bit of sense. And even together gather very

little weight. The benefits of ethics that are centered on obligation are pretty obvious.

Society seems to have this group of rules to keep society in order and then a certain sense

of responsibility is promoted. If we to compare this to a family it would say that the man

was to play the father figure and set the rules and discipline for breaking those rules and

other things like that.

Alone it doesn’t hold any ground. Then theirs the feminist theory of love balances the

scale. The theory, which is based on trust, is suppose to be taught by the mother. But

according to Baier, it is not simply enough to teach obligation without understanding the

purpose of it. It is typically the traditional mother role. These rules and discipline,

teaching the moral values and nurturing can they be explained. Let’s use a common quote

of “so far so good” and this seems to go along well in the parenting department. Baier

seems to make a point with obligation. That it’s a person’s obligation to relies weather or

not they can instill the love and trust into a person they are bringing into the harsh world.

This should be decided long before giving birth to a person otherwise they shouldn’t give


But these things love and trust make a person vulnerable (Baier emphasizes ). It must

be learned on when to and when not to trust. Baier says this can replace “… laws with a

security increasing sacrifice of security, distrust promoters of a climate of distrust.” This

point sound unimaginable to me. Is it time for a change? Going back to discuss the

family, it is quit possible and in some circumstances; better to raise a child solely by one

parent but with the balance of both mother and father but is strong and make logical

sense. In some situations I guess it would be better to use these ideas separately but put

them together and they seem to build a strong balance with out going over the deep end.

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