Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Chapter 27 - Utilitarianism and its historical manifestations

Chapter 27 - Utilitarianism and its historical manifestations
Utilitarianism is defined as: "The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, Utility, or the Greatest Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure ". (Chapter 2 - What Utilitarianism Is, The Principle of Utility, Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill)
It has been proven throughout the material timeline where societies have attempted the above observation but later fall short of maintaining such a society, at times, defined as utopian. In an earlier chapter, the concept was introduced: 'Roman Material Theory' which presents the introduction of the over-all material unhappiness of society which was initiated by the imposition of cheap or "slave" labor. The reader would first have to follow through in understanding the Greatest Happiness Principle presented by the previous renown scholar of the 1800's:
" actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness."(Chapter 2 - What Utilitarianism Is, The Principle of Utility, Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill)
The first issue which must be presented is the description of the U.S. Constitution as a Utilitarian document. The Declaration of Independence of July 4th, 1776 states:
" We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. "
The previous example existed in A.D. 313 when the Edict of Milan, co-authored by Emperor Constantine, allowed freedom of worship to the Christian population. The Edict of Milan is an early form of utilitarianism in interaction with Christianity. However, this interaction in the mankind’s material timeline, exposes the fallacy of John's "prophecy" or prediction. The Reductio ad Absurdum supposition is given:
1.      The Book of Revelation mentioned the physical return of Jesus (Revelation 1:7, The Gospel of John 19:34, and Zechariah 12:10).
2.      The Edict of Milan ended the persecution(s) at the marketplace (1st John 5:21, Revelation 2:14, 2:20, 9:11, 9:20, 13:16-17, 18:11-13, 18:22).
3.      Jesus of Nazareth did not return, as predicted by John, to end the persecutions (Revelation 19:11 and 21:4).
4.      Therefore the machinations of human beings ended the persecution not a supernatural deity.
5.      The historical manifestations of Utilitarianism ended the persecutions of Christians throughout the Roman Empire in 313 A.D., years past John’s marker prediction(s) – “wormwood”,i.e. seventy years captivity.
6.      The predictions by John and other New Testament writers are proven false through mankind’s material history.
The evidence below is a copy from a previous chapter.
The Edict of Milan:
“ When we, Constantine and Licinius, emperors, had an interview at Milan, and conferred together with respect to the good and security of the commonweal, it seemed to us that, amongst those things that are profitable to mankind in general, the reverence paid to the Divinity merited our first and chief attention, and that it was proper that the Christians and all others should have liberty to follow that mode of religion which to each of them appeared best; so that that God, who is seated in heaven, might be benign and propitious to us, and to every one under our government. And therefore we judged it a salutary measure, and one highly consonant to right reason, that no man should be denied leave of attaching himself to the rites of the Christians, or to whatever other religion his mind directed him, that thus the supreme Divinity, to whose worship we freely devote ourselves, might continue to vouchsafe His favour and beneficence to us. And accordingly we give you to know that, without regard to any provisos in our former orders to you concerning the Christians, all who choose that religion are to be permitted, freely and absolutely, to remain in it, and not to be disturbed any ways, or molested. And we thought fit to be thus special in the things committed to your charge, that you might understand that the indulgence which we have granted in matters of religion to the Christians is ample and unconditional; and perceive at the same time that the open and free exercise of their respective religions is granted to all others, as well as to the Christians. For it befits the well-ordered state and the tranquillity of our times that each individual be allowed, according to his own choice, to worship the Divinity; and we mean not to derogate aught from the honour due to any religion or its votaries. Moreover, with respect to the Christians, we formerly gave certain orders concerning the places appropriated for their religious assemblies; but now we will that all persons who have purchased such places, either from our exchequer or from any one else, do restore them to the Christians, without money demanded or price claimed, and that this be performed peremptorily and unambiguously; and we will also, that they who have obtained any right to such places by form of gift do forthwith restore them to the Christians: reserving always to such persons, who have either purchased for a price, or gratuitously acquired them, to make application to the judge of the district, if they look on themselves as entitled to any equivalent from our beneficence.
All those places are, by your intervention, to be immediately restored to the Christians. And because it appears that, besides the places appropriated to religious worship, the Christians did possess other places, which belonged not to individuals, but to their society in general, that is, to their churches, we comprehend all such within the regulation aforesaid, and we will that you cause them all to be restored to the society or churches, and that without hesitation or controversy: Provided always, that the persons making restitution without a price paid shall be at liberty to seek indemnification from our bounty. In furthering all which things for the behoof of the Christians, you are to use your utmost diligence, to the end that our orders be speedily obeyed, and our gracious purpose in securing the public tranquillity promoted. So shall that divine favour which, in affairs of the mightiest importance, we have already experienced, continue to give success to us, and in our successes make the commonweal happy. And that the tenor of this our gracious ordinance may be made known unto all, we will that you cause it by your authority to be published everywhere.”
The above is also expressed in the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: " Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech,..."
The concept is also expressed in Article VI(6) of the U.S. Constitution: " ...but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

Even if the religious errors have been corrected by a secular methodology the previous method also corrects other secular doctrines. Mathematics seems to be a fair judge in the material timeline and is partly an ingredient to unbiased empirical data. There is one individual which composes the previous expression and his name is Francis Hutcheson. Francis Hutcheson died in 1746 and influenced David Hume and Adam Smith. The importance of the date, 1746, is important to note knowing that the said philosopher influenced Adam Smith and his writings. Francis Hutcheson is credited for the saying:  The Greatest Happiness for the Greatest Number . The previous observation or saying is from the mathematical models researched by Francis Hutcheson and through his observation of the material timeline of humanity concluded with the said observation. Reading through the last treatise by Adam Smith, the so-called founder of classical capitalism, the pages of Smith's celebrated treatise the residue of utilitarianism could be seen. David Hume takes the negation of a creator and Adam Smith embracing the materialistic ethos of such a creed.

Most importantly, Francis Hutcheson's writings were before the initiation of the American and French revolutions which brought about change in the political character of the said nations. Adam Smith also composed his well-known treatise in 1776 at the time when the American revolution was commencing. In Smith's treatise, the idea of revolting against the British crown over excessive taxation was brought forward by the author because the taxation was used for war industry while neglecting the health and wellfare of the populace. The previous is an example of positive utilitarianism and collective utilitarianism - the very themes adapted from the previous writings of Francis Hutcheson.

The previous paragraph explains the meaning and application of utilitarianism. The meaning is not individualistic application of such a creed but rather its collective nature expressed in the previous calculation: The Greatest Happiness for the Greatest Number. The very idea of individualistic satisfaction is not the intention of the previous scholars and writers. Jeremy Bentham, who lived between 1748-1832, explains the moral theory of utilitarianism by refuting attacks against individualistic utilitarianism or psychological hedonism. Psychological Hedonism was expressed by the Roman philosopher, Epicurus, who defined such a theory as an action which is right if and only if it maximizes pleasure and minimizes pain. The very notion of the "pig satisfaction" or simply individualistic satisfaction were both refuted throughout both the writings of Epicurus and later Jeremy Bentham. Hence, there is a difference between individualistic utilitarianism and individualistic satisfaction or "pig satisfaction". The previous is an expression of the Moral Principle of Utility which refutes the notion of such "pig satisfaction" individualism. Pleasure may not be sufficient for happiness but it is a crucial ingredient for happiness and tranquility in society. The meaning of the term - pleasure - is actually describing tranquility within society rather than its "grossest form". Hence, the importance of the mention of the U.S. Constitution as an utilitarian document.

Jeremy Bentham did not conjure up the mathematical expression: The Greatest Happiness for the Greatest Number. Francis Hutcheson derive the phrase first through his observation of collective utilitarianism with his proposed mathematical models in his treatise - An inquiry concerning the original of our Ideas of virtue or Moral Good, section 3, part 8 :

" . In comparing the moral Qualitys of Actions, in order to regulate our Election among various Actions propos'd, or to find which of them has the greatest moral Excellency, we are led by our moral Sense of Virtue to judge thus; that in equal Degrees of Happiness, expected to proceed from the Action, the Virtue is in proportion to the Number of Persons to whom the Happiness shall extend; (and here the Dignity, or moral Importance of Persons, may compensate Numbers) and in equal Numbers, the Virtue is as the Quantity of the Happiness, or natural Good; or that the Virtue is in a compound Ratio of the Quantity of Good, and Number of Enjoyers. In the same manner, the moral Evil, or Vice, is as the Degree of Misery, and Number of Sufferers; so that, that Action is best, which procures the greatest Happiness for the greatest Numbers; and that, worst, which, in like manner, occasions Misery. "

For the above evidence is proof of positive and collective utilitarianism expressed by Francis Hutcheson years before Jeremy Bentham's own words expressing the same phrase. Francis Hutcheson, it is fair to suggest, not only influence David Hume and Adam Smith but also Jeremy Bentham. Jeremy Bentham expresses the previous mathematical expression and even proposes mathematical models within his 1776 treatise titled: A Fragment on Government

" Correspondent to discovery and improvement in the natural world, is reformation in the moral; if that which seems a common notion be, indeed, a true one, that in the moral world there no longer remains any matter for discovery. Perhaps, however, this may not be the case: perhaps among such observations as would be best calculated to serve as grounds for reformation, are some which, being observations of matters of fact hitherto either incompletely noticed, or not at all would, when produced, appear capable of bearing the name of discoveries: with so little method and precision have the consequences of this fundamental axiom, it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong, been as yet developed. " ( The preface of A Fragment on Government )

For the above reference is presenting that the origin of the phrase is a mathematical construct deriving from Francis Hutcheson which later was borrowed by Jeremy Bentham. In the treatise of A Fragment on Government , Jeremy Bentham employs mathematical expressions with words and phrases to conduct an observation and conclusion concerning the British government. In chapter three of his 1776 treatise he presents a proposition theory in chapter three - British Constitution section 20 Proposition Theorem, in which he proposed a false construct concerning the perfection of the British government based on the observation of others. Or is it that Jeremy Bentham presented the fallacy of any government being perfect? despite that many governments are based on the collective utilitarian ethic. The perfectness of any government is surely a subjective condition rather than its perceived objective principle.

The fallacy of perfectness concerning any and all collective utilitarian society has been presented by Jeremy Bentham through the Francis Hutcheson's original mathematical observation. The imperfectness, deducted and concluded by these two past scholars, of any said government creates the obvious conclusion: the existence throughout the ages of negative and positive collective utilitarian societies. The default notion is to suggest all nations and tribes from beginning of time were either negative or positive collective utilitarian manifestations. Nevertheless, collective utilitarian manifestations.

Throughout the years of the human timeline, the human race experiences the rise of negative collective counsciousness which results in the formation of negative collective utilitarian manifestations. During these phases of society, there arises one or several brave individuals called moral agents. These positive moral agents are change agents in the midst of negative collective counsciousness deriving from flawed beliefs and false social constructs. It may be the case, that these flawed social constructs started out and derived from moral codes. Yet, these very moral codes evolved into obselete moral codes or outdated social codes.



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