The Greatest Amount of Good for The Greatest Number


It is a old Chinese Utilitarian Ware.


The Greatest Happiness Principle, the core of utilitarian theory.


In another word, the greater number present greater good.


Is that always true? Or is that applicable to our world?



We have elections. We afraid of dictatorship and despotism. We have divided the authority and restrain them with multiple other authorities. We have done this mainly through a democratic process. But is it always true that greater number present greater good? I have no doubt that team approach is far better than individual endeavor. We gather each member’s strength and expertise as well as sharing the burden of the task. We eliminate the weakness and shortcoming of self-centered and individualism. We followed a democratically way of doing things. But when the team has formed, or the group has gathered, we have also assembled many individual interests. We have inevitable interest conflicts.


However, utilitarian neglected the minority interest and their welfare. But is majority really present the greater good? Let us have a look at Adolf Hitler. Was he elected by his people? Then was he presenting the greater good in a long term? Or only did he present the greater number at that time? Then the case of Jone’s Town, Barring Bank? I don’t want to say that majority people are dumb. But we do have few genius people in our society. It is still those people’s deeds that shape our world, in a good or bad way. Many times we have found that people manipulate the majority to get their desired results. The true and real voice has been suffocated through elections and democracy progress.


Why do the lesser number associate with lesser importance? It is just illogical!


I really see this is a flawed theory, but seem modern democracy heavily based on this theory. At the end of the day, it is those "authorities", big figures get to influence people’s voice. Look at the Enron’s case, how many magazine and famous people praised it with its adventurous approach with ignorance of the great risk. Have our society and "greater number" of people learned from their mistakes? Or rather keep their old way?


Is the society really getting better under utilitarian approach? Or is the democracy really presents greater good for majority people?



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