Bentham’s Hedonistic Calculus Case Study
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Bentham’s Hedonistic Calculus Case Study
Please respond to the discussion questions below. Each response should be 250–300-word count for a total of 500 word minimum.
1 day ago
Katherine Weese Ulsh
week 2 Discussion Question #3
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WEEK 2 DISCUSSION QUESTION # 3
Bentham’s Hedonistic Calculus examines moral decision and calculates the possible consequences and outcome of each decision. He has seven different aspects to ponder in making a decision according to his ethical theory. The first is its intensity- how painful or pleasurable will it be. #2 Duration- how long will it last? #3 its certainty or uncertainty- how can we be sure that our action is a direct result of our decision? #4 Its Propinquity or remoteness- how far away is it in the context of space and time. #5 its fecundity- ability to reproduce. #6 its purity- what is the likely hood it will be followed by the opposite emotion it was done to accomplish? #7 its extent- how many people will be effected by our decision? (pg 224-225)
John Stuart Mill was the godson of Bentham and felt his godfather’s theory of Hedonistic Calculus was too simple and that people were not always able to follow the moral calculations. The Victorian era had brought about swift changes in peoples morals beliefs, away from the focus on physical pleasure. Mill’s revised Utilitarian thesis comes from what others believe was from his own personal experience. In his early 20’s he fell in love with a young married girl. They continued to have a secret relationship until her husband’s death. Their relationship seemed to mirror his new revised version of utilitarianism, instead of focusing on the physical pleasures their built relationship was built on spiritual pleasure and intellectual companionship.
My first job was at a drug store called Thrifty. I loved working there and I made a lot great friends and
had tons of good times. I remember I was working as a bookkeeper at the time. I started noticing
discrepancies in the tills. It started out as a few dollars here and there so I didn’t really notice a pattern
until this one checker started showing up short 5, 10, 20 dollars on a consistent basis. As the person
responsible for tracking and accounting for this money I felt compelled to go to my store manager and
let him know. But here’s where my ethical dilemma came in the person, I suspected of pilfering the tills
had become a good friend of mine, she was a single mom and down on her luck. So I let it slide for a few
weeks while I decided my best course of action. I decided to talk to my, so called,”friend “and see what
was going on and see if she would fess up to it. I sat here down the next day away from work and started to tell her what I noticed and she burst into tears instantly and said how her son’s father had a drug problem and he had lost his job after he failed his last drug test and they were trying to live off one
income currently while he looked for another job but unfortunately due to his criminal history and spotty employment his job prospects were bleak. I told her that while I understood her dilemma but it was my job to track and report cash discrepancies to the store manager. She begged me not to tell and said she would find another way. I told her if it continued there was nothing I could do to protect her I would have to report my findings to the store manager. She promised me it wouldn’t happen again. A few weeks went by and my tills were balancing and all was well until one day towards the end of the month my “friend’s” till was short more than 60 dollars. I felt sad but I had to report this to the store manager otherwise I would be jeopardizing my own job if I didn’t. Security launched an investigation and on camera my “friend” was caught in the act. She was marched to the back office and interrogated for about an hour. When they escorted her out of the store she was in tears and I just felt so awful.
Rating my mortal reasoning according to Bentham’s Hedonistic Calculus, I find that there is more pain
than pleasure caused by my decision I was just prolonging the inevitable she couldn’t stop taking money
and I couldn’t stop protecting her, eventually it would come down to her or me? Before we decide what to do we must calculate the consequences of our actions.
According to Mill’s version of Utilitarianism, he believed that it was more fulfilling to gain pleasure from achievement more than from mere physical pleasure. He lived in the Victorian era, and there was a shift in moral climate people were becoming less preoccupied with physical pleasures which was frowned upon by the middle class and more focused on morality. Physical pleasure is fleeting, achievements last a life time. Mill’s theory intends to teach you something not just to gain physical pleasure from your decision. Rating my moral reasoning according to Mill’s version I would say I live my life more by Mills theory. I try to thoroughly think through my decisions before I make them. Weigh the pros and cons and then make an educated decision.
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1 hour ago
Week One, Discussion Question #2
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Hedonistic Calculus Case Study
In Book II of Plato’s Republic, Glaucon proposes that people act justly only because they have entered into a kind of “social contract” in which they agree neither to commit nor to suffer injustice; however, if people could engage in unjust behavior without anyone ever knowing about it and without the risk of every being punished for it, they most certainly would do so. To prove his point, Glaucon tells the story of the Ring of Gyges, a magical object in the form of a ring that allows the wearer to become invisible. Imagine that you had the Ring of Gyges. What would you do? Would you react as an ethical egoist, an altruist, or something in between? In answering this question, explain the difference between egoism and altruism, and say why you would act in the way you have described. What does this ultimately suggest to you about the nature of justice and people’s desire or inclination to do what is just? Do you agree with the view that Plato introduces through the character of Glaucon? Why or why not? Defend your answer using whatever evidence you believe to be relevant.
If I were to obtain the Ring of Gyges, I believe I would lean more toward using it in an altruistic way rather than that of an ethical egoistic way. If I had the capability of being invisible, I would use it to do kind things for people and stop bad things from happening. As if I was some invisible force that stopped car accidents, murders, or other heinous things from happening. This touches on the altruistic side because altruism is the principle/moral practice of concern for the happiness of others. However, I go back and forth on whether I would willingly allow something bad to happen to someone committing a crime. My conscious says I would stop the crime, and help the person they are harming, but then the other part of my says, “Throw the person doing the crime/harm off a small bridge.” Which may sound horrible, but I go back and forth between those to. Needless to say, I would not mind obtaining a large quantity of cash in some way while being invisible, considering if I am invisible, legal vs. illegal does not really come in to play, now does it? When it comes to egoism, that has more to do with self-interest and doing what you think is best in your self-interest. While there is nothing wrong with putting yourself first, one should not be putting themselves first all the time and dismissing the happiness/well-being of others around them – I believe one can have a healthy balance between the two.
Touching on these two different principles, it says to me that the justice system leans more toward the altruism side of the spectrum because they want to bring justice to not only the victim, but the person who did the crime. For the most part, the justice system wants to put away people who do terrible things and by doing this, it helps increase the quality of life for those around. I do believe every person out there has the desire to be just or to be good, but I also believe that they get lost along the way and may do things that put themselves or others in a bad situation. This is not saying I condone those who commit real crimes and do heinous things, but there are many people who are lost, rather than malicious.
Glaucon brings forth a view that all goods can be divided into three classes: things that we desire only for their outcome (physical training/medical treatment), things that we desire only for their own such (joy/being in the highest class), and things we desire for their own sake and for what we get from them(knowledge, sight, and health). Truly, I do not believe that all goods can be divided into just three classes because whether we want to admit it or not, there is so much good around us and I don’t think we can lump them into just three categories and keep them in a box for the sake of categorization like Claucon believed.
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The background and significance of the problem and a clear statement of the research purpose is provided. The search history is mentioned.
Content is well-organized with headings for each slide and bulleted lists to group related material as needed. Use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc. to enhance readability and presentation content is excellent. Length requirements of 10 slides/pages or less is met.
More depth/detail for the background and significance is needed, or the research detail is not clear. No search history information is provided.
Review of relevant theoretical literature is evident, but there is little integration of studies into concepts related to problem. Review is partially focused and organized. Supporting and opposing research are included. Summary of information presented is included. Conclusion may not contain a biblical integration.
Content is somewhat organized, but no structure is apparent. The use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc. is occasionally detracting to the presentation content. Length requirements may not be met.
The background and/or significance are missing. No search history information is provided.
Review of relevant theoretical literature is evident, but there is no integration of studies into concepts related to problem. Review is partially focused and organized. Supporting and opposing research are not included in the summary of information presented. Conclusion does not contain a biblical integration.
There is no clear or logical organizational structure. No logical sequence is apparent. The use of font, color, graphics, effects etc. is often detracting to the presentation content. Length requirements may not be met
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Hedonistic Calculus Case Study