Is It Better to Be a Human Dissatisfied Than a Pig Satisfied Essay

2063 Words May 22nd, 2006 9 Pages
Oak Trees versus Acorns: Which is better?
It has been argued for centuries now, that people do not grow their full human potential, largely because they do not participate in a reasonably sophisticated refinement . John Stuart Mill, in his book Utilitarianism, claims that "It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied" [Mill JS: 1863]. This essay will show that the advantages of being a "human dissatisfied" are better than those of a "pig satisfied". But before this can be proven, we have to understand the metaphor that compares humans to pigs.

Mill compares two types of people: people who prefer to be "humans" according to his definition, and those that prefer to be "pigs". As pigs would ‘eat up' anything that
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Mill does however admit that being a "human" or "higher order being", does come with its many disadvantages4. When a person is aware that there is more ‘out there' to know, they are also aware that it is impossible for them to know everything there is or even half of it. This is bound to create a frustration amongst "higher order beings" in that they wouldn't be able to learn all there is to know. This creates pain and dissatisfaction in "higher order beings" in that they know that they will never truly be satisfiaed with what they know. Then one can argue: what is the whole point of getting pleasure out of knowing there is more to know, when the very essence of your knowledge will create pain and dissatisfaction?

Jorn Bramann, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Philosophy in Frostburg State University; highlighted an interesting comparison in our modern world that could help us answer the question above. In this example, we can consider the "New Yorkers" as being the ‘higher order beings' and the "Californians" as being the ‘lower order beings':

Writers and film makers occasionally belabour a stereotype that allegedly reflects the difference between Californians and New Yorkers. (See, for example, the relevant scenes in "Annie Hall" or "California Suite.") New Yorkers, according to this typology, are highly cerebral, seriously committed to culture, well-read, fast thinking and talking, very productive, aggressive to the point of being

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