Always do that which will result in the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.
Mill’s “Proof” of Utilitarianism:
Foundational principles are not susceptible to direct proof
Proof requires deduction from something more functional
There is nothing more fundamental than a found’l principle
BUT, we don’t accept fundamental principles arbitrarily
There are rational grounds for believing
Recall that Utilitarianism is based on Hedonism =
Happiness is the highest good
Happiness is the only thing desired as an end in itself
If happiness is the highest good, then the RIGHT THING TO DO is to promote that good.
Proof that Happiness is Desirable?
To show that happiness isdesirable , we must show that it is in desired
This is an empirical claim, testable by observation.
Look around – each person does desire happiness!
Proof that Happiness is HE ONLY Desirable thing :
People desire other things