Utilitarianism

Critically respond to these two posts. Looking for argumentative points on both.

 

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Mill’s preferences for higher pleasure can be his own opinion. Those were things the rich liked so maybe for his perspective if the rich like it, it must be a higher pleasure to experience. He could’ve been pandering to the rich for all we know.

One defense for why people chose lesser pleasures over higher ones is because of money. I would love to travel all over Europe, a high pleasure experience, but I simply don’t have the money. So if I want to “travel Europe” I can watch a movie that is based in Europe, a lesser pleasure. A person might really love to go to a classical concert but the money they earn has to go to bills and putting food on their family’s table. The closest they can get to that experience is buying a classical CD or downloading it off of a site. The rich can do all the higher pleasure experiences because they have the money to do so. I suppose a poor person can as well but is going into debt–possibly even deep debt–worth it? (Time can also be a factor. If you are working all the time to make ends meet, then you cannot, or rarely can, set aside free time to do a higher experience.)

There are people out there who don’t have the desire for a higher pleasure of life. They don’t want to put themselves out there or they don’t have higher standards for themselves, no big dreams or goals to reach. Maybe they are content with a lower life or they are holding themselves back. Or they seemly just don’t care and trudge through life.

 

 

 

I don’t think Mill’s introduction of higher quality of pleasure verses lower really got to me. The type of energy that came off of his entire text was that of a rich man trying to explain why HE thinks some things are better than others. My mind immodestly thought, “Who is he to tell me what I prefer?”. I do believe that Mill is mistaking his own pleasures with evidence of a better pleasure.

An example of this could simply be poetry. Writing, poetry, classical music, etc. all have one thing in common. They are traditionally expressed through the lives of the wealthy. While Mill sees these things as a better pleasure than say lifting weights, for example, Then that is simple his personal preference. There is no objective explanation as to why reading and writing poetry is a better pleasure than training your body. It is hard for a man to say one thing is better than another when he has no true realization of how something makes a person feel. He uses the argument in the text that if someone has experienced two things and says one is better, then he knows more about that particular debate than someone who has only experienced one. This is fair, but I believe his position is disproved when you have two people that have both experienced two of the same things (i.e trains your body, training your mind) and each one disagrees on which one is better than the other.

His defense of, “Though men often make their election for the nearer good, this is because inferior pleasures are the only ones they have access to,” seems very ignorant to me. While I may have not experienced a pleasure that he has, it could be because of many reasons, mainly sacrifice that is takes to get those pleasure. Money and time are two prime factors of sacrifice that someone would often have to give up to obtain a certain pleasure. What I am getting at is that if a “higher pleasure” isn’t worth my time or money, then is truly is not a higher pleasure to me personally. Maybe to some one else it is, though, which further disproves his opinion.

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