Monday, June 09, 2008

Mill on the Golden Rule

I must again repeat, what the assailants of utilitarianism seldom have the justice to acknowledge, that the happiness which forms the utilitarian standard of what is right in conduct, is not the agent's own happiness, but that of all concerned. As between his own happiness and that of others, utilitarianism requires him to be as strictly impartial as a disinterested and benevolent spectator. In the golden rule of Jesus of Nazareth, we read the complete spirit of the ethics of utility. To do as one would be done by, and to love one's neighbour as oneself, constitute the ideal perfection of utilitarian morality.

John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism


  1. My understanding of this:
    Utilitarianism is compatible with the golden rule because utilitarianism stresses on maximising the interest and happiness of others. It is all abut fulfilling the needs of others not yourself.

  2. branemrys1:37 PM

    In a strict sense, I think Mill would insist that it's all about fulfilling the needs of others as well as yourself -- you count yourself in the calculation, but you count everyone else as well.


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