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Utilitarianism is usually connected with the specific doctrines of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill who both took the goodness of consequences to be measured by their effect on the happiness of human beings Bentham was both the founder of utilitarianism and a contemporary of Mills father who ensured that his son received a strict utilitarian education based upon Benthams theories It is not surprising then that aspects of Mills views on utilitarianism share fundamental similarities with those of Bentham and also demonstrate a digression from Benthams earlier perspectives to the further developed and more persuasive arguments characterised by Mills Utilitarianism A point of similarity can be drawn between the doctrines of Bentham and Mill in that both philosophers maintain the existence of external sanctions of morality Bentham contends that our actions are influenced by their anticipated consequences which occur independently of the human will These essentially external sanctions exist in the form of penal establishments the responses given by our peers to our actions and by Gods reaction to our doings in both mortal and immortal life Likewise Mill acknowledges that these external sanctions exist within the hope of favour and the fear of displeasure from our fellow-creatures or from the Ruler of the Universe However a point of contention does exist between the two philosophers as Mill holds that the primary influence over our actions lies within internal sanctions namely the conscientious feelings of mankind Bentham and Mill reach consensus in the assertion that it is only what we as humans have experienced that can be deemed as a valuable end Our experience with pleasure affords us the ability to recognise it as inherently valuable Although it is indefinable pleasure as a state of feeling is the only thing that is desirable for its own sake and everything else is to be sought solely as a means to this end This empirical view was introduced by
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