UTILITARIANISM: Jeremy Bentham and the Greater Good
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What is the principle of utility? How does Bentham define good? What are the problems that come with Bentham’s formulation of Utilitarianism, and why?
How does one action create a new sense of being; one that best defines the goodness of the motive behind it? According to Bentham, every action that serves a benefit to others is good enough; or at least, is not completely wrong. Because of the fact that it does give attention to providing what others need, the concept of utilitarianism on the part of Bentham is one that responds to the need of the greater number of individuals. Relatively, no matter how supposedly ‘bad’ an action is, if it is done for the sake of redefining the point of greater good, then it should be considered acceptable.
Happiness and satisfaction are the two primary elements used by Bentham as means of measurement; one that attests to the idea by which others are benefited through the action of another. It could not be denied that it is with such definition that some wrongful acts are considered acceptable in the society. For instance, the concept of the story behind Robin Hood and how he has basically responded to the need of supporting the poor and their plight for survival through taking from the rich ones in the society proves the fact that there are instances when something bad has to be done in order to gain what is good? Should this idea always be acceptable especially in terms of redefining the ways of improvement on how the society views moral standards? Technically, the conditions ought to be viewed differently; especially if moral grounds are to be given attention to. However, because of the social imbalance that is highly prominent today, it is but extensively acceptable that there are times when goodness ought to be sacrificed to be able to gain the higher value of the greater essence of goodness itself.
Bentham, Jeremy (January 2009). An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (Dover Philosophical Classics). Dover Publications Inc.
Bentham, Jeremy (2001). The Works of Jeremy Bentham: Published under the Superintendence of His Executor, John Bowring. Volume 1. Adamant Media Corporation
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