Happy with Utilitarianism? Most Folks Aren't!
Probably on the Right
Yesterday, as I was looking at Dr. Boli's blog, I saw a joke about "Utilitarianists," to which I added my own joke:
Opinion polls reveal that most people are unhappy with utilitarianism.The humor hinges upon knowing Jeremy Bentham's "fundamental axiom [of utilitarianism, namely], . . . the greatest happiness of the greatest number . . . is the measure of right and wrong" (A Fragment on Government, London, Preface, 1776, 2nd para.). I was so proud of my joke that I sent notice to my philosophical friend, Bill Vallicella:
Here's a philosophical joke I came up with just this morning:Bill replied:
"Opinion polls reveal that most people are unhappy with utilitarianism."But some wag must already have coined this piece of witty wisdom . . .
That's good, Jeff. Variants:I replied:
a. Opinion polls reveal that most people are unhappy with eudaimonism.Greetings from Arizona . . .
b. Opinion polls reveal that most people are displeased by hedonism.
Those are good, too.You see? Philosophy is useful, after all . . .