Utilitarianism is Wrong

The truth is that very few people are correct in their ideology because they do not understand human nature and our universal fallibility.

I was a utilitarian when I was young. This means that I believed the means justify the ends. I would tell a lie if I could justify it. But I also know that I believed things which were wrong. I believed I had discovered a perpetual energy design. I spent a couple of years telling people how great my idea was. And it was only when I practiced skepticism did I discover the energy losses in my design. This perpetual motion story highlights the biggest problem with utilitarianism. We can all believe things which are wrong but fail to realize it. I’m not special in my fallibility. All humans are fallible.

When we justify our current actions for a possible future we always make assumptions which are wrong. Some assumptions are explicit and wrong. Most assumptions are implicit. We can’t recognize all of the effects of our actions. I remember Ron Paul talking about “blowback” when he discussed the United States' involvement in foreign wars. He argued that killing innocent people in other countries created more enemies and a more dangerous situation for our country.

The utilitarian does not agree with the golden rule to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. All of those people who agreed with going into the middle east and killing bad people while accepting the fact that innocent people would be killed are in disagreement with the golden rule. All of those people who agreed with telling lies and cheating to defeat Donald Trump do not want others to lie and cheat against them.

The golden rule is better than utilitarianism because utilitarianism allows people to cause harm to an individual if they are able to justify why they are causing harm. Every person who wants to create a criminal law or tax people’s income is a utilitarian and they are wrong. Not only are they wrong, but they also believe they are right. The war mongers believe their war is good and the death of innocents are justified. The election cheaters believe their methods are good and the people who disagree with them deserve no consideration. The politicians who create new criminal laws and new taxes believe they are helping. The people who are receiving tax dollars believe they are good people.

The truth is that very few people are correct in their ideology because they do not understand human nature and our universal fallibility.