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Allowance: A Lesson in Utilitarianism

Updated on October 4, 2017
tHErEDpILL profile image

Alem is an Entrepreneur and Writer with an A.S. in Digital Film Making.

Utilitarianism is an interesting idea. This philosophy asks the question, what makes an action or policy a morally good one, or morally right one? Jeremy Bentham believed that "actions and policies are appropriate when they promote happiness, or pleasure, and not appropriate when they tend to cause happiness or pain." After coming up with this idea he goes on to develop a system to calculate if an action is moral or not. Basically, this system simply says that an act of punishment is not justified if it is groundless, ineffective, too expensive, would escalate evil, or if evil would cease on its own without interference.

John Stuart Mill admired Bentham's ideas but he believed that there were two types of happiness; Animalistic happiness and intellectual happiness. He placed a higher importance on intellectual pleasures.

In the end, many people would say that Utilitarianism basically comes down to the belief that, "the consequences of an actions determine if the means are justified". The "skeptics" of this theory will argue that this idea may lead to evil acts. This is where I come in. Imagine several powerful men (let's say bankers) become so powerful that they gain control of a great nation's monetary and economic system (let's say America), could these men start to use this philosophy in order to rationalize their egoistic desires? Hmmm.

These bankers held up our economy then took control of it. J.P. Morgan, Rockefeller, The Rothschild's, and others created Wall Street, The Federal Reserve, and the Federal Income Tax, all systems that are designed to feed off of the hard work of the majority of the population. They regulate our money just like a parent would regulate a families money in a household. But this old house is more like "The Bates Motel" than "Little House on the Prairie." These parents give us allowance then figure out ways to take most of it back. Did you make a lot of money this year? Well, now you owe more taxes! You need more money after we purposely crashed the stock market? Well now we have to lend you more money, and that means you owe more taxes! A couple of countries are supposedly doing bad things with weapons that we can't find? Well, now we have to give you money to go to war. Now you owe more taxes!

At some point, you have to figure that these guys went past the point of just being greedy, power hungry, Egoist's and came to a point where they needed to rationalize all the evil shit they did. Much like King Henry VII, Hitler or Sadaam Hussein, maybe these men now believe they are doing the utilitarian thing by attempting to control the globe by any means necessary because they think the world would be better off that way.

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    • tHErEDpILL profile image
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      Alem Belton 5 years ago from New York

      No problem my friend. I try to put things in a different perspective when I can.

    • charmike4 profile image

      Michael Kromwyk 5 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Really useful explanation of ultiltarianism, thanks theredpill.