Assignment help




Another problem with utilitarianism is the impracticality of calculating the utility of actions in real time. The calculation of utility is said to be self-defeating as by the time the best utilitarian course of action has been calculated and decided, the opportunity to take this action may well have passed. How can one calculate which of all possible actions will maximise the most happiness overall. What if one is in a dilemma and has a decision to make quickly? In high pressure situations, one usually does not have time to sit down and make exact calculations regarding which decision will bring about the most happiness and minimise pain. Mill deflected this objection with the response that humans learn general moral principle though experience that can later be relied on in such situations. Exact calculations are not necessary for each situation in life as this would be impractical. In chapter 2 of his essay Utilitarianism, Mill replies to such criticism: “In such circumstances, one should follow common-sense moral rules, which summarize lots of human experience, and tend to guide us toward actions that promote general happiness and away from actions that tend to dampen it. Also, one can cultivate habits and train individual character, so that people become disposed to act in ways that are happiness-promoting.” I feel his reply is valid as utilitarianism as a theory is still in use when making decisions in ordinary situations without exact calculations. It is logical to assume common sense moral rules as guidance when making decisions without needing to apply exact calculations.A further problem of John Stuart Mill’s utilitarianism is that strict application of some utilitarian principles can result in unpalatable consequences. This has been argued by many of utilitarianism critics and there are plentiful examples of scenarios where consequences of utilitarianism being applied leads to unacceptable consequences.


电子邮件地址不会被公开。 必填项已用*标注