Ethical theory of arthur schopenhauer and its relation to mills theory in utilitarianism

Document Type:Thesis

Subject Area:Philosophy

Document 1

This research shall make use of a dialogue to expound on Arthur Schopenhauer’s theory and try to find how it is related to Mill’s utilitarianism theory and any differences that the two theories might have. The dialogue shall have several characters, with John representing the ideas of Arthur Schopenhauer, Cate shall represent Mill’s ideas. The Dialogue: John: The theory of ethics is not based on duty, but on compassion. The theory uses the concept of doing unto others acts that one would require done unto himself, and refusing to do unto others those acts which one deems that they may be harmful unto them. This theory of ethics hence requires one to perform acts and deeds that are beneficial unto others, and refusing to do those acts that may bring sorrow or may cause hurt unto others.

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Hence, quality and quantity of happiness can be measured and quantified to some extent, or the value of the quality can be estimated which thus implies that happiness can be measured (MILL, 2018). Suppose the five people are wanted criminals, like terrorists and the mother in this case has no cancer. How would that influence the choice? This would mean that the son would choose to save the mother and leave the terrorists to die as this choice would provide greater quality of happiness. Therefore, stating that happiness can neither be measured nor quantified is not true as this case helps prove that happiness is both measurable and quantifiable. Rick: Arthur Schopenhauer’s theory of ethics illustrates that one’s deeds can only be considered to have a moral background if they are done out of compassion for the suffering and pain experienced by others.

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The theory is thus centered on the belief that actions done must provide utility to people for it to be moral. But uncertainty of this theory can cause it to be impractical to implement as the number of people can be huge which cause morality measurement hard. This theory thus is not easy to implement. Cate: Mill’s utilitarianism theory is practical in nature as the problem seems to only exist theoretically but not in true reality. For example, measuring the optimal benefit of an action can be done by looking at all the possible benefits that can be derived from performance of the action, as long as it is practically useful. However, utilitarianism on the other hand considers only persons as the only ones who experience suffering and thus accepts only humans as moral objects and hence rejects animal inclusion into this category, as the utilitarian theory indicates that animals cannot feel pity or compassionate about each other.

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How can this be explained? John: The illusion that animals should be included as moral objects is important because animals have actually been found to possess feelings of pity and compassion upon each other and also to human beings as well. Consider the case where dolphins have actually been discovered to save people who were drowning. There are documented cases where these sea animals removed people from danger by either bringing them to a place where they could be saved by other people. Others actually gave warning signs to divers of impending dangers posed by oncoming sea animals such as sharks. Those who disguise as beggars can be thought of people who lack morality as they are people who are willing to cause harm to others (Ltd.

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, (Firm), & Group 2013). This means that they lack compassion and empathy, even though they strive to benefit from the empathy of others. Michone: The theory of utilitarianism, as expressed by Mill is one that is based on happiness. Individual morality depends on the happiness that a person can acquire from the actions that they do. However, there are cases where an individual does not make this choice as the choice may not be available at all. Take for instance slavery and forced labor where people are forced to do things they do not like. Does weal and woe apply to such cases as these people are not in agreement with their will to do the job, and their opposition does not really matter as they lack the privilege of a choice? Cate: The theory of morality proposed by Arthur Schopenhauer indicates that weal and woe are determinants of the will of a person.

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