Responses to Objections of Utilitarianism.


Utilitarianism states that action should lead to the greater good. It is based on the greatest happiness principle, which states, “Actions are right in the proportion they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.”- John Stuart Mill.

Happiness refers to pleasure or absence of pain, while unhappiness refers to pain or absence of pleasure.

Possible Objection

The objection to utilitarianism theory is that it is too demanding. The critics argue that utilitarianism implies that we should always act in order to maximize happiness; this is too strict requirement. It is asking too much of people to be always motivated to promote general happiness.


Utilitarianism does not imply that people should have a sense of duty to promote happiness. Instead, it implies that most of our actions result from other motives and the motive has nothing to do with the morality of the action. Many people have found this response inadequate because regardless of the motive, Utilitarianism requires people always to maximize overall happiness.

Therefore, an additional response will be that Utilitarianism is not too demanding. The people only find it too demanding because they perceive a right action as a burden.

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