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Utilitarianism is the moral doctrine which holds that, "actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness."[1] In Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill defends the principle that, "pleasure and freedom from pain are the only thing desirable as ends," because they make up the happy life.[1]

"The Utilitarian doctrine is that happiness is desirable, and the only thing desirable, as an end; all other things being desirable as a means to that end."[2] - John Stuart Mill


  1. 1.0 1.1 John Stuart Mill Utilitarianism II. What Utilitarianism Is, Utilitarianism, online version, referenced 2-7-2011
  2. John Stuart Mill Utilitarianism IV. OF What Sort of Proof The Principle of Utility Is Susceptible, Utilitarianism, online version, referenced 2-7-2011