Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 2 months ago

How does Bentham and Kant attempt to prove their ethical systems?

2 Answers

  • j153e
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Bentham's proof is axiomatic, his axioms being derived by his interpretation of reality, namely:  all existence is governed by pleasure (attraction) and pain (repulsion).  He maintain that he found no God-pleasure or absolute Good.

    Kant is more logical:  he notes he finds his awareness to be (shaped by) a function of space-time and causality.  He does not rule out a higher God, however, he is unable to find that God within...rather, "only" a moral wonder.  This is equivalent to the "unknown God" of the ancient Greeks, to whom they prayed.  Kant is a step lower than the ancient Greeks:  he does not know God within, only "moral wonderment," and does not deduce God without, as "starry firmament creation."  As Saint Paul noted, there is no excuse for such ignorance, gross darkness as exclusivist materialism or phenomenology of 5-sense data, indicating a lack of inner drawing nigh to divine Love.  Schopenhauer went beyond Kant's phenomena-Noumena divide, by claiming that the Noumenon within was truer transcendentalism.  However, when Schopenhauer looked within, he found "non-caring, impersonal will"--a kind of step-down from Moses' "I Am *that* I Am".

    Kant's ethical system is thus:  make the best universally-applicable effort in a given awareness-matrix.  If one is raised to dislike Jews, the best effort may be how to best exterminate them.  Thus the burden on Kant's categorical imperative is like a calculus of integration and differentiation; yesterday I hated all Jews, today a Jew gave me a coat to keep me warm (Adolf Hitler's experience).  How to differentiate and integrate, on a moment-to-moment basis, in a necessarily-incomplete information matrix, given even a few variously-weighted and interacting variables, asks of Kant the question:  is your Categorical Imperative even applicable to a Talmudic scholar, if the decision is a real-time process, e.g. an equation such as 2(a^5)(b^8)(5c^12) = 0, with the a, b, and c indicating various factors in a zero-sum societal situation?

    In modern physics and philosophy, indeterminacy 

    tends to deny the universality of Categorical Imperative, insofar as Kant proposes its use:  "There is, therefore, only a single categorical imperative and it is this:  act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law."  No such universality is possible, in physics (and therefore space-time).  And, inasmuch as Kant claims that any weaker version of the universal law (given by a calculus of differentiation and integration of available data) is not the Categorical Imperative, it is clear that Godel's Incompleteness Theorems do not permit Kant's ideal CI.

    Thus, Bentham's system is simply his reductive and illogical materialism, whereas Kant's CI is not possible per constraints of incompleteness within a given axiomized system.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Your own ethical system requires improvement because your professor expects your answer, not ours. Bentham and Kant would both undoubtedly agree. 


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