A philosophy webcomic about the inevitable anguish of living a brief life in an absurd world. Also Jokes

2053

The Last Chance at Happiness, with Jeremy Bentham


What if being a Utilitarian makes you sad? We should probably kill all the Utilitarians just to be safe.
What if being a Utilitarian makes you sad? We should probably kill all the Utilitarians just to be safe.

A lot of the critiques of Utilitarianism, the doctrine that we should try to create a world that maximizes happiness, point out the bizarre and inhuman actions that we would seemingly have to accept if we accepted the theory. For example, we can imagine that if we wanted to maximize happiness, it would be morally justified, and perhaps even required, to murder a healthy person and harvest their organs in order to save five people. After all, five lives are more valuable than one, so even if it doesn't seem like justice, we should kill one person to save the five. However, as the comic points out, you don't even need to get five people involved. It seems as though a single happy person is intrinsically "worth" more than a sad one, so we should even kill one person who is sad to save one that is happy. All in all, utilitarianism usually sounds great when people first hear about it, and the theory really only suffers from one minor flaw - no one wants to live in a world where we actually believe it is true.

A lot of the critiques of Utilitarianism, the doctrine that we should try to create a world that maximizes happiness, point out the bizarre and inhuman actions that we would seemingly have to accept if we accepted the theory. For example, we can imagine that if we wanted to maximize happiness, it would be morally justified, and perhaps even required, to murder a healthy person and harvest their organs in order to save five people. After all, five lives are more valuable than one, so even if it doesn't seem like justice, we should kill one person to save the five. However, as the comic points out, you don't even need to get five people involved. It seems as though a single happy person is intrinsically "worth" more than a sad one, so we should even kill one person who is sad to save one that is happy. All in all, utilitarianism usually sounds great when people first hear about it, and the theory really only suffers from one minor flaw - no one wants to live in a world where we actually believe it is true.

Philosophers in this comic: Jeremy Bentham
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