Mill also accounts that the goal to a virtuous life and the ultimate goal of happiness can be achieved with the help of utilitarianism. Mill also goes into great detail on his meaning of happiness and the ups and downs they eventually lead to a virtuous life. Mill also talks about justice and how the rights and regulations set by authority are only in order to help people overall achieve happiness. Mill argues that a persons actions are good when they lead to pleasure or happiness and bad when they produce the opposite. Mill agrees that some forms of pleasure are better than others and can be easily compared by an individual.
Once the greatest form of happiness is achieved, then everything can be based off of that and it can be easier to dictate the highs and lows of ones happiness. Mill also talks about when people make judgments they do so with the overall goal of self- happiness and wouldnt usually do something that wouldnt be beneficial for their own good. Mill also makes a good point that only the people who have experienced the highs and lows of happiness can be a fair judge of the quality of pleasure. For example Mill states, It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied.
Mill also argues that it is not only correct for people to strive for what makes them personally happy, but to increase the overall amount of happiness in the world. There is still question to the fact that there is no ruler to measure the quality f happiness and what makes one action better than the other. There is no reason a person can dictate what makes an action better than another if they both result for the good of something. Mill also talks about the term utility or in other words pleasure. And pleasure being the absence of pain.
Mill points out that some people seek for other values than utility, but if a community were to understand the morality of utilitarianism, it would promote a better society. Mills also ties justice with utility, and gives his own definition of justice through history and ties it with utilitarianism. He then goes on to talk about human rights and how they can differ from different individuals. Certain people see justice with different meanings and people have different views on individual rights. Mill speaks very strongly throughout the book and goes into great detail about a lot of things including utility, pleasure, and justice.
He combines his thoughts with what he knows and speaks as utilitarianism to be important for morality. He also tries to defend his thoughts many times and understands the misconception people have with happiness and the different measures people can differentiate them by. There are many qualities of happiness as he says and the only people who can identify the correct quality of happiness are those who experienced the very highs of life along with the very lows of life. 2. What I read in the text that stood out differently in class was how much Mill talked about human rights and the background of his understanding of justice.
Mill talks about punishment for those who have done wrong and considers it a part of self defense and deems punishment necessary for those who dont abide by the regulations of society. I found it interesting that Mill compared justice as a form of retaliation because in reality that is what legal punishment is. Although I agree it is necessary, humans are capable of feeling sorrow and regret for something wrong they have done. Society and individuals have the right to protect themselves and by all means necessary that includes punishment for those who have done wrong. Mill also talks about security and how it is necessary for some to achieve utility.
With security, there is more reason for society as a whole to be able to seek happiness. Mill also ponders how justice can be so debatable, which is easy for me to understand due to our current justice system and how complex it can be. It is so hard to derive what is the right form of punishment and has many factors that must be included in a certain punishment. Mill also talks about how the preservation of punishment helps keep society under control and prevents people from doing harm to each other. Mill also agrees hat rights are important to provide happiness and the extent of our human rights can lead our society into an overall better state.
In class we talked about how people can do bad things that seem bad for other people but in some way can be a form of good for the one individual. I found it interesting learning what Hill had to say about justice and how complex it can be at times. Hill is why our judicial system can at times be harsh but at the same time it must be very complex because of the millions of diverse situations that go on every day. Utilitarianism is a very interesting topic to digest and just by reading what Hill had to say changed the way I look at certain actions. It really made me think about how most things are done with the one goal of achieving happiness.