can you think of a situation in which one person s happiness might be more important than the happiness of the majority is this a fatal critique of utilitarianism

The Greatest Happiness Principle is at the center of utilitarianism, according to which actions are right as they tend to promote happiness and wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is meant pleasure and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain and the privation of pleasure (Mill, 1861/2001, p. 7). The kind of happiness at issue here is the happiness of the majority of people. According to utilitarianism, then, individual happiness is only important insofar as it is a part of group happiness. If one person’s unhappiness is deemed to be necessary to result in the happiness of the majority of people within a given situation, then, according to utilitarianism, that person’s unhappiness is morally permissible and perhaps even required. Can you think of a situation in which one person’s happiness might be more important than the happiness of the majority? Is this a fatal critique of utilitarianism? Please respond to both questions in your initial discussion post

 

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