Utilitarianism as a Veritable Vehicle for the Promotion of a Just Society
Utilitarianism as an abstract ethical theory holds that good is achieved when the aggregate of pleasure is greater than the aggregate of pain. For the utilitarians, an act is good if it leads to the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people. A society is said to be just and good when its citizens are happy. A just and happy society is an ideal society. Every citizen desires the ideal society and for this to be achieved, scholars have suggested the application of various ethical theories. This paper, in the same connection, seeks to analyze and articulate the prospects of utilitarianism as a veritable tool for the promotion of a just society. Utilitarianism is sensitive to human nature and human beings do fundamentally desire happiness. The social, economic and political progress of every society must seek the happiness of its citizenry. This essay states that utilitarianism is a fundamental vehicle of transformation in a democratic society. It provides for society the standard with which to measure the progress and prosperity of a State. And as a concept of justice, it ensures equitable distribution of scarce resources to the greatest number of people. This practice is achievable if friendly policies and result-oriented programmes are rolled out for the people by the managers of the State. The State’s leadership policies cannot be evidently obeyed if the citizenry and strong followership are not connected. A strong followership is achievable in leadership if the greatest number of the population is protected in line with the afrioxiological concepts of gidi gidi bu ugwu eze and onye aghala nwanneya.
KEY WORDS: Utilitarianism, Justice, Society, Policy, Happiness.