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Paper On Mills

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I decided to write my paper on Mill for two main reasons. The first deals with happiness and virtue and his take on these things. I would first off like to state my disagreements with his ideas and then I will speak of my agreements.

Mill contends that a less intelligent individual can not be as happy as one with a greater intellectual capacity. He also states that you would not be happy as swine even if everything you desired was given. I disagree. I feel that if you do not know of what you do not have then you cannot miss it. If we were less intelligent then we would be more content with the more primal needs that our ancestors had. If their needs were met then they were happy. Can we say the same for ourselves? Even if I had everything I ever wanted I could not be as happy as a caveman who had a mate, good hunting grounds and a full stomach. They had no one to worry about except protecting their clan. Yet we as a more civilized culture have much more to concern ourselves with. We must not only worry about ourselves and our families but also our neighbors and communities. If a caveman was considered virtuous it was because he was a good protector and provider and could be relied upon by his clan, yet for a man to now be considered virtuous it takes almost the same but this goal is much harder to achieve.

I do feel like Mill that to live virtuously is a goal that we should all strive to attain and like him I believe that these acts will not bring about happiness as an end but by acting in such a manner will contribute to your overall happiness exponentially. I also like the fact that that if something should bring about your happiness then it is ok to try and achieve it such as money. He does not say it is wrong to try and get as much money as you can and he says it is ok if it is a means to an end for bringing you happiness. Money will buy many of our desires and wishes and for many it is there main goal in life and yet for others obtaining the money itself is there goal. That alone will bring them happiness as it is there driving force and having enough will satisfy them. This in many occasions will make the person noxious to others but not always. We should look at this then that to try and achieve a lot of money but not become noxious and still trying to live virtuously would be acceptable. That is not necessarily everyone's goal who hopes to acquire a lot of money but if one acted in such a manner and it was a means to making him happy then it would be acceptable according to my understanding of Mill's philosophy.

Should we all therefore stop trying to do anything other then get rich? No this is not what we should do. What we should strive for is to make ourselves happy by whatever means is necessary as long as we continue to live with virtue. Not because virtue is a means to our happiness but because virtue is a blessing to others whom we deal with and it will become a part of our happiness because of how we look at ourselves and how others look upon us. Virtue then should be our driving force in life, because it is desired above all else.

We will move on to justice now since in a sense it still pertains to virtue. Justice is what we look for when we have been wronged or our rights have been violated. Who is to say what is just? Can I say it is unjust because I am not rich? No but I could say it was unjust if I was not rich because someone stronger then me came along and took what was mine. I could also say it was unjust if I was due a certain amount and never received it, or someone prevented me from collecting it. I also like what Mill has to say about justice also being a moral requirement. I agree with this completely. If we know an action of ours was wrong yet it would save a life or bring about more good then any harm it would cause even though this action



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