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Page Range

30-52

Keywords

Utilitarianism, Naturalism, Philosophy, Ethics, Apologetics, John Stuart Mill

Abstract

John Stuart Mill's utilitarian principle of the greatest happiness for the greatest number, often surfaces in cultural debates in the contemporary West over the extent and foundations of moral duties. Given the drift from its historical Judeo-Christian moorings, naturalism now provides much of the epistemic grounding in Western culture in relation to moral duties. The amalgamation of Mill’s utilitarianism and naturalism has resulted in a cultural and epistemic disconnect. Naturalism is hard-pressed to provide consistent epistemic support for Mill’s utilitarian principle. This essay provides a number of suggestions as to why Mill’s utilitarianism may be inconsistent on naturalism.