John Stuart Mill and Utilitarianism Essay

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e. herself very unhappy. Personal happiness should not be compromised for the sake of greater happiness of maximum number of people when the one person who would be most affected by your decision is you. I feel that Mill's concept is workable when rights of other people are involved. For example Katie would not be hurting anyone's rights by choosing to become a doctor. But lets consider another example. Larry is in love with Susan while he is married to Anne. Susan wants Larry to seek divorce from his wife and abandon his three children in order to marry her. Though he doesn't love Anne anymore, they are both polite to each other. He often feels that his love for Susan grew out of boredom from his present marriage. Larry is utterly confused. He loves Susan but he is legally married to Anne and loves his children immensely. If Larry decides to marry Susan, he would definitely be hurting his kids as well as Anne. But if he decides to remain married to Anne, he might end up hurting himself in the long run. In this case, it would be ideal to take into consideration happiness of the greatest number of people. Even though this may appear like a matter of personal choice, it is not. In this case, rights of many people are involved. The rights of his first wife and their three children are just as important as Larry's right to choose and be happy. Mill's concept may help solve this dilemma.

It must then be borne in mind that no matter how wise a philosophy appears, it is not always applicable to all areas of our lives. I respect this concept when it comes to decisions, which are likely to have a broader impact such as government's actions, lawmaking decisions, economic activities, ethical and moral standards in various professions etc. But this concept is vague and rather useless when it comes to decisions that affect one's personal happiness and do not involve violation of rights of…

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