JeremyBentham talks about the principle of utility or the greatesthappiness principle that forms the cornerstone of his thought. Hetalks about happiness which he understands as a the predominance ofpleasure over pain. He goes ahead to say that nature has placedmankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pleasure andpain. These determinants oversee what people ought to do, and alsoregulate what we shall do. Bentham goes ahead to talk about theprinciple of utility and moral obligation in reference to thegreatest happiness for a considerable number of individuals who getaffected by an action. He supposes that social policies get evaluatedfor their effect on the well-being of the general population.Criminal punishment is the best way to deter crime because itdirectly alters the outcome of criminal behavior. It attaches thelikelihood of future pain in order to outweigh the apparent gain ofcommitting the crime. Therefore, the punishment is meant to fit thecrime by changing the likely perception of the value of undertakingit.
Accordingto John Mill, another proponent of the greatest happiness principle, states that pleasure and freedom from pain are the only desired ends.All that is desired gets preferred because of the satisfaction theyprovide, or they promote happiness or reduce pain. However, he saysthat there are different kinds and intensities of pleasure. There aredifferent kinds of pleasure that are more desirable and valuable thanothers, and the amount of happiness is more vital than quality. Hestates that actions that result in the opposite of happiness, forexample, pain are wrong. He considers all activities are contributingto the general level of pleasure in society.
Hegoes ahead to say that everybody should pursue happiness as the endobjective in life. An example of how it relates to contemporarysociety: a person goes to school so as to obtain a diploma and getinto college then get an accurate degree for a particular job. Hegets that job so as to earn income, and that income is then used tohave a beautiful home. A person has a beautiful home so as to putpleasurable things in it, and these pleasurable things bringhappiness. All these things merely lead to the ultimate end ofhappiness.
Unfortunately,this greatest happiness principle has flaws. Happiness cannot getguaranteed as continuous and with high pleasure. Happiness cannot bethe rational objective of human life since it is unachievable. Millrealistically agrees that happiness and joy can only last for a shorttime and with only a few exceptions. Utilitarianism can be said tohave concentrated on obtaining a life that has few pleasures in moments of various displeasures. In addition, people can be existentwithout pleasure, and all righteous people have turned out to bevirtuous by forsaking happiness
TheGreatest Happiness principle appears good in general, but alsocontinues to exhibit flaws as other ethical systems do. People havethe inability to forecast the future flawlessly according to theiractions. Assuming that the future can be altered by people`s actions,the results that they often wish does not come to be what gotenvisioned. If unanticipated bounds can cause people`s actions to gowrong, even though they were making an attempt to act in harmony withUtilitarianism, all people could be considered immoral as theirresults only led to pain. If this occurred to everybody in the wholeworld, then nobody could be viewed as moral.
TheGreatest Happiness principle permits individuals to cause discomfortto others as long as the majority become happier. Accordingly, wecould as well just rip-off resources from smaller overseas nationsand drive them to scarcity as long as more persons are going to gainthan lose. Issues like bullying, racism, rape, slavery and murdercould be warranted under Utilitarianism so long as the majority havea preference for it. Murderers may perhaps defend their action byjust killing all of those who opposed them. As soon as the number ofmurderers grows bigger, slaying becomes justifiable. Finally, theGreatest Happiness principle disregards the procedure of the lawsprovided by the regime. So long as individual`s actions escalategeneral utility, then the number of rules that get broken in theprocess doesn’t matter. Individuals can go flying down the roadsdisregarding traffic signals to their full gratificationnotwithstanding the speed limits, but as long as few persons caredand most individuals would be having a blast.
Itis also very erroneous to judge the goodness of an action by itsconsequence. A person inspired merely by greediness or vengeancemight pick out a course of action that occurs to make the greatestamount of people contented. However, does this make him a goodperson? More concerning is the likelihood of sadists whoseinclination at tormenting others is so boundless that this makestheir activities better. The philosophy gives the impression thatthe mistreatment and exploitation of minority groups are fine if itgratifies the ruling majority.