Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 1 week ago

Explain the difference between what Bentham Calls the Principle of Utility and the Principle of Asceticism. ?

Which principle does Bentham endorse? Why? Do you agree with him? Why or why not?

2 Answers

  • j153e
    Lv 7
    1 week ago

    Bentham was an atheist, which is illogical, as it is not possible to "prove" God's Being is not.

    Bentham's opinion that "God is not" permitted him to be the law-giver or philosopher-thinker who advocates each person doing what is right in their own opinion, if the act is not particularly a community-affecting act, and doing what is right for the individual and the community if the act is of that kind.

    He decided that everything boils down to pleasure or pain, and challenged religious to debate on any other basis (God, Good, and evil, bad are, according to Mr. Bentham, just pleasure and pain--the notion of divine Love as more than pleasurable was not in his awareness). 

    As in Bentham's world there is no divine Love or Justice, he then contrasts the happiness of utilitarian calculation with the principle of asceticism--which according to him is the fake news (not the "Good news") of the Gospel and of religion--e.g., that denying the utility of drinking to drunken happiness is the religious' way of being virtuous.

    Such utilitarian happiness is common in U.S. society today:  "consenting adults" is the private standard.  A problem with utilitarian morality may arise if the community decides that some qualities are painful:  e.g., in the 1930s, Jews in much of Europe were considered non-persons; in the 1960s, Confucianists in Communist China were considered non-persons; in the 1970s-present, preborn humans are considered non-persons:  things without unalienable or God-given rights to life and liberty.

    A second area of possible disutility to this principle of utility is that if God Is, then while Bentham's community may put lipstick on the pigness of murdering Jews/Confucianists/preborn, the murder is not "made pretty."

    For your purpose, passing the course with a resume-enhancing grade might be enhanced if you scope out the teacher.  If she's a Bible-believing Christian who is biased in favor of Bible-based answers, that's one (albeit unlikely) scenario.  If he's a secular humanist, godless in class discussion, and biased against anti-Bentham religious perspective, you might write to that prejudice, with a grade-enhancing "yes, but" perspective:  i.e., sure, consenting adults, but what about the consenting adults in Germany or China (better to leave U.S. out, lol) who found social utility murdering Jews and (ahem) Confucian *scholars*?

    A teaching mode of "Yes" or "No," a forced-choice between two positions, while perhaps reflecting the preference of the instructor to have the whole class on board with her perspective, is perhaps the "A" or "C-" essay grade.  If you give a "yes, but" answer, then you're more likely to be perceived as someone who is thinking beyond the polarity; teachers like that, usually so long as the thinking reflects their own.

  • Anonymous
    1 week ago

    No, YOU explain it and agree or disagree. Your professor expects YOUR answer, not ours. If you don't do the assigned reading or your own independent research you're going to have trouble with answering. If the class is too hard or too much work for you, the sooner you drop out the less stressful it will be for you to get through the day. Another way out of your predicament is to offer to PAY  for someone to do your work for you. That's how the real world works. Bentham was a realist and would undoubtedly agree.  My fee is 20 quid. Paypal accepted. 

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