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Connection Between Summum Bonum and Moral Right Action

According to Mills, any action has to be considered either as being morally upright or being morally incorrect. He explains that this is actually a property of every action. An action is considered to be morally upright according to the extent which it causes, a given individual or the society at large, to experience pleasure and happiness. On the other hand, an action is considered to be morally incorrect if it inflicts pain on the individual rather than creating happiness. Hence the more pain a certain action inflicts, the more the action is considered to be morally incorrect.

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Mills tries to narrow down and focus wholly on the actions that are considered to be morally upright. He explains that there are consequences that arise from given actions that are unexpected. In fact, he terms them as not having any value. These actions are referred to as goods. However, the consequences from a morally upright action create different extents of pleasure. The goods(consequence) that offer the greatest amount of pleasure are what is referred to as Summum bonum. It is reasonable to say that Summum bonum is the the good that produces the most happiness from a morally upright action. On the other hand it is correct to say that an action can only be considered to be morally upright if it produces Summum bonum.

Mills explains that what one individual might term as being Summum bonum might not be what another individual might consider to be. He brings in the pig objection which he tries to compare with the life of a human being. According to Mills, the pig requires very little to be comfortable. For example a pig might just require enough feed and shelter which might not be necessarily that good in order to have the uttermost pleasure. No matter how simple this might look the pig will have a great amount of happiness in that that’s the level that the pg might gauge its happiness. It does not require more happiness. That is the best level where things can get. On the other hand, a human being requires a lot of things in order to be comfortable. If a human being was put in the level where this pig is in. He or she would consider this as being a pain. According to humans this would be a morally incorrect action in that the good that results from this action would inflict more pain than happiness to the human being. From the pig objection, Mills is able to explain that the levels of summum bonum is different between different individuals.

In addition, Mills brings out the fact that time is not a factor that affects summum bonum. In this case, he tries to compare the life of an oyster ans the life of a human being. He explains that an oyster might live for a long period of time but end up just end up experiencing mild happiness. Even though it is logical to argue that the small portions of the oyster’s happiness over a long time might outshine the happiness of a human beings who just lives for about 70 years, this is not so in that human beings have many sources of happiness compared to the oyster. Human beings have happiness from things like fame, music and other things. Generally the quality of the happiness that human beings experience is of far much greater quality compared to the oyster. From the comparison of the oyster and human beings it is clear that the addition of other sources of pleasure is very important since it increases the level of summum bonum.

In conclusion, it is important to note that Summum bonum results from a morally upright action. In other words, it is the Summum bonum that results from a given action that makes the action to be considered as being morally upright.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 12). Connection Between Summum Bonum and Moral Right Action. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/connection-between-summum-bonum-and-moral-right-action/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 12). Connection Between Summum Bonum and Moral Right Action. https://studycorgi.com/connection-between-summum-bonum-and-moral-right-action/

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"Connection Between Summum Bonum and Moral Right Action." StudyCorgi, 12 Dec. 2021, studycorgi.com/connection-between-summum-bonum-and-moral-right-action/.

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StudyCorgi. "Connection Between Summum Bonum and Moral Right Action." December 12, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/connection-between-summum-bonum-and-moral-right-action/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Connection Between Summum Bonum and Moral Right Action." December 12, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/connection-between-summum-bonum-and-moral-right-action/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Connection Between Summum Bonum and Moral Right Action'. 12 December.

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