Qualitative Pleasures

Qualitative Pleasures
John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham are regarded as the most renowned utilitarians in
the human history. These two scholars had different views about the way divergent values should
be measured. Mill in his scholarly work was accused of being in inconsistent but maintained that
while measuring the value of pleasure the element of quality should not be left out. While
Bentham on the hand was consistent but less subtle in his scholarly work, however, he argued
that while measuring the value of pleasure quantity is the only element that should be factored in.
John Stuart S Mill states that some pleasures are plainly higher and better placed than others
(McKinnon & Fiala, 2014). Jeremy Bentham pointed out that quality of pleasures was constant
everywhere and explained that the greatest pleasure that one can have is the pleasure of greatest
number (McKinnon & Fiala, 2014).
Mill concern on the differences among qualitative pleasures is illustrated in his doctrine
of utilitarianism. He argues that actions by someone are deemed right equal to the proportion that
tends to uphold happiness, and wrong if they seem to uphold the contrary of happiness. John
Stuart Mill’s hedonism is centered on the recognition of happiness together with pleasure. Mill
states that happiness is supposed to be the deliberate pleasure without any form of pain and by
unhappiness, pain and the privation of pleasure (McKinnon & Fiala, 2014). The human
existence ultimate goal is the enjoyment of pleasure without experiencing any pain, this concept
is, however, more than often reprehensible. In efforts to counter this notion Mill attempts to
explain that not all pleasures seem to be the same (McKinnon & Fiala, 2014).
Some ought to be referred to others because they are intrinsically superior in their class.
He points out that the intellectual pleasures that one intends to pursue are more permanent and
come with less cost as compared to the pleasures of flesh such as drug use. Some people tend to
make a mistake while in pursuit of the lower end pleasures. For instance, John Belushi indulged
himself in cocaine and heroin use as a way to get an easy form of pleasure. He unfortunately
died, and if he had opted to engage in more clear-headed pleasures of Socratic dialect, he could
have lived longer. According to Mill, the distinction between what is perceived to be safe,
stable, and cheap pleasures and those that are risky, short-lived and costly are rather descriptive
than normative (McKinnon & Fiala, 2014).
According to Mill’s moral theory of utilitarianism, the concept that whether a certain idea
is morally correct or wrong entirely depends on their impacts. In his moral theory Mill points out
that virtue can essentially be a stop to human actions besides living a pleasant life full of
happiness and pleasures (McKinnon & Fiala, 2014). He comes to an agreement with his rivals
that there are individuals who ought to desire and approve certain deeds by virtue and lack of
vice instead of pleasure and without pain. In his hedonism doctrine, it is pointed out that if some
people honestly value virtue as the criterion of right and wrong of how a person should behave,
and then happiness ceases to be the only first opinion (McKinnon & Fiala, 2014).
Mill’s moral theory of utilitarianism has experienced many critics because it has failed in
some ways to give enough protection to human rights in the sense that not all things can be
estimated using the similar set of standards and that the aspect of happiness being more
sophisticated than shown in his theory. Mill argues that his theory corresponds with the normal
responses which come from the human beings societal environment (McKinnon & Fiala, 2014).
Hence, if our communities were to endorse utilitarianism as an ethic aspect, then everyone would
internalize the principles of his theory as ethically binding (McKinnon & Fiala, 2014).
McKinnon, B. & Fiala, A. (2014). Ethics Theory And Contemporary Issues (8th ed.).

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