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Oct 25

Imagine a World without Utilitarianism: It’s Easy if You Tried


Imagine a World without Utilitarianism: It’s Easy

if You Tried

By Hope Paul

Under utilitarianism, if 51% of a group wanted the remaining 49% to pay an additional tax that applies only to the 49%, the 49% would have no choice but to pay up. It does not matter whether the 49% would like to pay or not. They have no choice; the minority must obey the majority. The individual has no choice but to comply with their masters.

Let us be honest; utilitarianism sucks, it is mean and unfair, but imagine a world without it. A group would no longer be able to tell an individual what they must do. The tyranny of the majority would be at an end. What would such a world look like?

Now that a larger group of bullies are no longer able to tell an individual that they must hand over their Twinkies, the majority will need to offer something in exchange. Another word for this is trade. If person A wants one of person B’s Twinkies, a bologna sandwich is not going to cut it. Something of the same or greater value is going to have to be offered up; Little Debbie I’m looking at you.

What will be the result of having to trade, instead of simply taking what one wants from another? People will need to be more honest. If a person tries to pass a knock-off brand as the original, consumers are going to stop trading with them. This is one of the reasons why people do not buy more than one Rolex watch from a street vender.

Another advantage of abolishing Utilitarianism is that people will have to be more productive. If Bob has nothing to trade, he is not going to be able to take Mary’s waffles. No more free loading. Having a need is no longer a justification for taking someone else’s stuff. If Bob is hungry for breakfast, he will need some money to purchase one of Mary’s waffles; otherwise, Bob better L’eggo her Eggo.

What are those groans and complaints, which are predictably arising in protest? “But what about the disabled, frail, and children, which cannot take care of themselves,” cry the takers? Free rides are a thing of the past, so these individuals best figure out something that they can offer. Keeping in mind that under the current system I am forced to give the government a huge chunk of my income and receive nothing in return, the bar has been set pretty low. That being said, if a person provides another with 1/3 of their income, is it too much to ask for a thank you? Yes, I am asking for gratitude. How about a thank you note? If I donate the cost of a cup of coffee to a kid in Ethiopia, the kid provides me with a letter, photo, and a few other things. For a third of my salary, perhaps a phone call would be in order. Call me, maybe?

Under utilitarianism, a gang of thugs are justified in taking your stuff at will, because it is “for their greater good.” When this system of theft is done away with, society becomes more honest, productive, and grateful. Should utilitarianism be embraced or shunned? The choice is ultimately up to you. Will you submit to others “for the greater good” or follow your own desires?

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