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Bentham's utilitarianism Theory


A prominent philosopher of Britain, Germy Bentham is thought to be the founder of the concept-Utilitarianism. Born in a rich family of London in February, 1748 was a great thinker of his decade. He wrote a bundle of books, among them ‘ Fragment on Government’ and ‘ Principles of moral and legislation’ were prominent once. 

In the latter, The principles propounded in 19th century England are an influential philosophy with links to statecraft. It is the ideological idea of utilitarianism. Utility is the basis of the work of the state. he presented the idea of maximum happiness i.e. theory of Utilitarianism.  This book got great fame and Bentham's fame started. Jeremy Bentham was a great legal reformer of the world. 

He applied the utilitarian the theory to ethics, politics and law. This theory is based on individual happiness in the name of utilitarianism. Ethically, it means that sine man is conscious and seeks happiness and avoids pains so in the light of this. according to Bentham, "Greatest happiness of the greatest number. 

According to the theory of utilitarianism of Bentham, "Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters-pain and pleasure." 

His theory has four levels. he gave the concept of pleasures and pains, which he divided into fourteen and twelve respectively. As concerned With the defects, it is incomplete, focus on individualism, ack of spiritual joys, presents as a complicated structure of society, loss of free economy also be found. Furthermore this theory is the negation of humanity and neglects the ethical aspects.

Importance of the specifics of the objectives of work: 

In the theory of Bentham utilitarianism, the specifics of the objectives of labor are important. It does not matter for what purpose any work is done, the important thing is its result. According to him, the thing which gives us the feeling of happiness is good, right and useful and the thing which makes us feel sad is bad, wrong and useless. Nature of happiness and sorrow - The principle of purpose is the principle of attainment of happiness and prevention of sorrow. What is the nature of happiness and sorrow and how its factory is made, this Bentham has analyzed the poison of legal fault. 

According to him, 
there are 14 types of pleasures:-
pleasures obtained through the senses, pleasures obtained from education, friendship, good character or fame, power, purity, charity, real desires, intelligence, memory, imagination, hope, and freedom from sorrow. 

There are only 11 types of sorrows: sorrows arising from the senses, pain, foolishness, enmity, supernaturalism, generosity, betrayal, memory, imagination, anticipation, companionship and indecency are the simple sorrows. 
All other types of pleasures and pains arise from the mixture of the aforementioned pleasures and pains.

Sources of happiness and sorrow – 

All the symptoms of happiness and sorrow arise from the influence of external symptoms. There is a difference. Benjamin's definition of a human being is affected by 32 factors, some of the main ones being health, amount of knowledge, spiritual ability, stability of mind, moral, religious, economic livelihood, sex, age, position and climate, etc. Bentham has given five sources of happiness and sorrow, which are as follows :- 

(1) Natural: When natural events occur that cause happiness or sorrow, then natural happiness or sorrow occurs. 

(2) Political or legal – When any happiness or sorrow has a political or legal cause, it is political happiness or sorrow. 

(3) Moral - When any happiness or sorrow is good or bad from moral point of view, then it is called moral happiness or sorrow. 

(4) Social or worldly: When the society rewards or punishes us for doing any work, then our happiness or sorrow is social. 

(5) Religion: Religion is the source of the sorrow and happiness that we get by working according to religious leaders or against them. 

An important point of Bentham's philosophical theory is that the difference between different pleasures is only of quantity or quantity, not of quality. According to him, different pleasures can be more or less than one another, the other does not differ in quality. If we say that the pleasure of poetry is better than food, it would only mean that it is greater than the pleasure of food. According to the principle of Ukti, it would be wrong to say that one pleasure is superior or inferior to another. If we accept qualitative difference between pleasures, then utility will no longer be the criterion of goodness, then we will have to find some other criterion of goodness. There is a difference only in the quantity in various pleasures, in this regard his famous statement is that "If the quantity of pleasure is equal then Pushpin (a type of children's play) is as good as poetry recitation. 

Characteristics of Utilitarian Theory

Following are the characteristics of utilitarian theory:-

i. Good and Bad Actions - All actions are good or bad according to their pleasure or pain which they bring to human lite.

ii. Societal Welfare -  A Society is a collection of individuals and a society welfare is the. sum total of welfare of all   individuals.   

iii. Basis Hedonism -  It is based on Hedonism and it has a generous view and manner. 

 iv. Utility Meaning -   Utility means in this theory, the maximum pleasure of the maximum people.  
Happiness measurement method: 

In Bentham's view, happiness and sorrow can be measured and for this he has provided a 'Felicific Calculus'. According to him, attention should be paid to 6 things in this regard. Intensity, duration, certainty, proximity or remoteness, fecundity, i.e. the ability of one pleasure to produce another similar pleasure, and purity. These things are necessary to measure individual happiness and sorrow, but to measure the happiness and sorrow of a group of people, it is important to pay attention to another thing, that is, the extent, that is, the effect of the happiness or sorrow received on how many people. But is going to fall. To find out which work will be useful for a person, he will have to give marks on the above seven grounds and adopt the work with higher marks. Bentham has given a process to arrive at a definite result by calculating the pleasures and pains, which in his own words is as follows: 
“All the values of all the happiness should be collected on one side and all the values of all the sorrows should be collected on the other side. If happiness is left after subtracting one from the other, then acertain action is fine, but if sorrow remains then understand that Must be that a certain work is not right." 

Use of principle of utility in law making :- 

Bentham did not consider the utilitarian principle to be limited only to personal conduct, rather he said that it should be applied in all areas of life. He has given special emphasis on adopting this principle in law making. What should be done in collective life should be decided on the basis of the principle of 'greatest happiness of the greatest number'. In his words, "The intention of the principle of utility is to calculate or calculate the comparative estimate of pleasures and pains. The objective of the law maker is to give pleasure to the public. His guiding principle in law making should be general utility i.e. maximum interest." Bentham considers utilitarianism as a universal principle and says that all explanations of human behavior are directly or indirectly based on the principle of utility. According to Bentham, the principle of utility is certain and objective and can be proven by experiment. Therefore, if we want to make the conduct of human relations a definite science, we will have to adopt the principle of utility and we should do so.

It has the following defects as well:
1. Misperceived Human Nature

As per Bentham, only pleasure and pains are motivating forces for a man but it is not so.
Numerous passions affect his actions. So this theory is incomplete and misperceived.
2. Cognitive Aspects

According to this theory, every individual does something for his own benefit and this proves man greedy and selfish and it seems that he has become devoid of feelings like cooperation,sympathy, love etc.
3. Complex Structure of Society

Society is a collection of individuals whose activities are initiated by their individual pleasure but a man being selfish has also passion for sacrifice.
4. Low to Free Economy

As per Bentham, a state does not interfere in the affairs of individuals without any reason. In this way, cunning and clever succeed in getting monopoly in their business and poor people suffer injustice. Wealth comes into the hands of a few people.
5. Minimal Spiritual Pleasures

This theory is based on materialism and it promotes material well-being. It lacks idealism.
6. A usual conflict

According to this theory, individuals remain busy in getting pleasures and the collective welfare of society is ignored. Therefore there is a conflict between individuals and the society.
7. Omitted Human Nature

It does not conform to demands of human nature. Only these acts have been considered good that provide pleasure to man.
Conclusion -
In spite of all those drawbacks philosophy of Bentham introduced an era of reforms in Britain and influenced the political thought of the day to a great extent. He introduced a new method of studying Political philosophy and brought utility as a measure of law. He propounded liberal and humanistic ideas and passed the way for reforms by preaching his philosophy of "greatest good of greatest numbers". As per Hazlitt, "He has offered constitutions for the new world and legislation for future times. He stated this without fear, for example, he s tasted, "In this country, justice is sold and dearly sold and it is denied to him who cannot afford the price at which it is purchased." As such he championed the cause of judicial reforms and supported universal education. In a nutshell, Bentham holds a distinctive place in the history of political thought. He was more a legal reformer and jurist rather than a political philosopher.

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