Experience Machine Objection Essay

2001 Words Dec 31st, 2014 9 Pages
Experience Machine Objection

Utilitarianism is a normative moral theory, which suggests that actions are seen as right if they tend to produce happiness to the majority and wrong if they tend to be wrong if they produce unhappiness. This theory can take on the form of act utilitarianism although in this essay, I will be focusing solely on hedonistic utilitarianism as well as an objection to this theory, the experience machine objection. Robert Nozick introduced this objection. Following an explanation of both hedonistic utilitarianism and the experience machine objection I will be critically evaluating the objection. I am going to argue that the experience machine objection is valid against hedonistic utilitarianism because there are
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There is no one-way to promote pleasure as pleasure can be defined in many different ways. “It is quite comparable with the principle of utility to recognize the fact, that some kinds of pleasure are more desirable than others.” (Mill 455) Pleasures or happiness are both subjective internal first person phenomenona as they are measured by our feelings of what we experience as pleasure. Pleasure can be seen on a qualitative basis as well as a quantitative basis although Mill believes that the best estimation of pleasures should depend mainly on the quantity alone.
To determine which of two pleasures is more desirable, if the majority of people who have experienced both pleasures prefer the same pleasure to the other without feeling obliged to prefer it that is the more desirable pleasure. (Mill 455) For example, imagine there are two desirable pleasures, one being watching the FIFA World Cup final live while the other is watching the final round of the PGA Master’s live. Of the people in the world who have experienced both these pleasures, the majority of whom prefer watching the FIFA World Cup live, making it the more desirable pleasure. This is because of the people who have experienced both; the number of people who prefer watching the World Cup exceeds the number of people who prefer watching the Master’s.
Another key point that must be identified regarding hedonistic utilitarianism is

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