The Issue of Terrorism Dilemma - Paper Example

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Vanderbilt University
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This study paper is based on the Utilitarian theory of morals and ethics from the perspective of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. The ethical claims dwell on the critical concepts of humanity can live, the kind of actions to be undertaken and the norm character to be embraced and developed. In a different view, the Utilitarian theory is concerned with the ethical claim of what is morally good, right and permissible. This is explained further by ethical hedonism the school of thought. It asserts that happiness is the highest good for humanity. The crux of the moral hedonism is supported by the two categories of Grenaic and Epicurean hedonism. Grenaic hedonism was developed by Aristippus the Grenaic in 350 BC. The greatest good summum bonum of this principle stated that the humanity has the present to enjoy intense physical pleasure. On the other hand, the Epicurean hedonism school of thought held the principle that humanity should have a long-term peace of mind as asserted by Epicurus in 300 BC. However, Ataraxia further added the concept of serenity. Nevertheless, the principle of hedonism carried with it some challenges. The Grenaic hedonism promoted selfishness, had no consideration for others and was not sustainable. The Epicurean hedonism was similarly challenged. It was characterized by lack of passion, selfishness and proved to be too passive.

John Stuart Mill is recognized as a significant contributor to Utilitarianism theory. He based his hypothesis on the concept of happiness, the summum bonum. He believed the quality of human endeavors contribute primarily towards the development and refinement of the peoples happiness. While it is unfortunate that Mill does not bring out the correlation of Utilitarian variables of morals and happiness, it is also not oblivious that his hedonism philosophy is distinguished by his ethic of human growth. From this perspective, the researcher can predict the sentiments of John Mill when it comes to Terrorism. Although there are varying definitions of what terrorism is, it involves causing harm to the innocent. The harm is opposed to the happiness of the people thus, in J. S. Mills view, this act is considered wrong.

Jeremy Bentham, on the other hand, contributed significantly to the theory of Utilitarianism. His hedonism is based on the aspect of quantity to judge the morals ethics. His Hedonic calculus factors explain this. In addition to quantity, other factors such as purity, intensity, duration, certainty, propinquity, and fecundity. Jeremy developed this theory between from the perspective of hedonism of paradox. It asserted that happiness comes by seeking good for others. He, therefore, concluded his summum bonum that the most significant amount of joy for a more significant multitude. From his perspective, the researcher can use hypothesis that Jeremy Bentham would view terrorism ethics from the standpoint of the numbers. He would, therefore, dismiss an act of terrorism based on the small number of people affected against those who are still happy.

In the world of today, the notion preached by John Stuart Mill of quality of morals to happiness is critical in understanding the act of terrorism. The cruelty of terrorism diminishes the quality of the terrorism act like the killing which happened in Kenya involving massacre of university students at Garissa. Hence, Mill would justify it as wrong. Jeremy Bentham, on the other hand, would classify the conduct of Boko Haram killing in Nigeria as terrorism based on the significant number of losses and deaths registered.

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