Mill replies to the objection that people see virtue as an end by saying

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Mill addresses the argument that the most virtuous people in history are those who have renounced happiness. He admits this is true, and he admits that there are martyrs who give up their happiness. However, Mill argues that martyrs must sacrifice happiness for some greater end--and what else could this be but the happiness of other people? The sacrifice is made so that others will not have to make similar sacrifices; implicit in the sacrifice is the value of others' happiness. Mill admits that the willingness to sacrifice one's happiness for that of others is the highest virtue. Furthermore, he says that to maintain an attitude of such willingness is actually the best chance of gaining happiness, because it will lead a person to be tranquil about his life and prospects. He specifies, however, that while utilitarians value sacrificing one's good for the good of others, they do not think that the sacrifice is in itself a good. It is a good insofar as it promotes happiness, but is not a good if it does not promote happiness.