Summary: Utilitarianism Notes

– the greatest happiness for the greatest number

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

  • Bentham equated happiness with pleasure and the absence of pain.
  • His scientific mind led him to believe that the study of ethics could be undertaken in a practical way, carefully measuring the possible consequences or outcomes of an action before deciding which choice to take.
  • Bentham’s theories led to extensive social reform affecting Parliament, criminal law, the jury system, prisons, savings banks, cheap postage etc.
  • His Hedonic calculus = was helpful in determining how to measure different amounts of pleasure:
  1. Remoteness – how near it is
  2. Purity – how free from pain it is
  3. Richness – to what extent it will lead to other pleasures
  4. Intensity – how powerful it is
  5. Certainty – how likely it is to result
  6. Extent – how many people it affects
  7. Duration – how long it lasts

John Stuart Mill (1806-73)

  • Mill believed that quality was more important than quantity when it came to pleasure.
  • For example, the pleasures of the mind are far superior to the gratification of the body’s desires. This deals with the problem of sadistic torturers, as their pleasure is of a significantly lower kind.
  • “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied”

Act Utilitarianism

  • You look at an action to determine what is moral, and from this general rules can be derived.
  • E.g. when faced with a road traffic accident (rta) a paramedic will treat a pregnant woman first. This is because in any given situation, the pregnant woman and her unborn child have a greater potential for future happiness than any individual involved in the crash. By deciding how to act in a specific case, the general rule ‘Always treat a pregnant woman first’ can be derived.
  • This rule is only a guideline, and should be discarded if doing so will bring about more happiness (e.g. if a brain surgeon is in need of treatment)

The biggest criticism of Act Utilitarianism is that it is impossible to make the sorts of calculations it requires.

Rule Utilitarianism

  • Some general principles are formulated. From these, certain actions will be ruled out as unacceptable.
  • The principle of utility is therefore applied to a rule, so the rule will hold if in general following it leads to greater happiness.
  • This means that in an individual case, even though an injustice might bring about greater happiness, if it goes against the general principle that injustice tends to lead to misery and a reduction in happiness, it is deemed wrong.

 

Summary: Just War Theory Revision Notes

The Roman Empire became Christian when the Emperor Constantine did in 313AD. Christianity supports pacifism, therefore they needed a way of justifying war to maintain the empire.

  • Just cause
  • Just authority
  • Just intention
  • Proportionality
  • Last resort
  • Reasonable chance of success
  • Comparative justice

These conditions were put forward first by St Augustine (first 2), then Aquinas (first 3), and modern bishops and philosophers.

Jus ad bellum– Conditions war can justly be started under
Jus in bello– How war can be fought justly

Problems with modern warfare
– Innocent civilians are the biggest casualtys in modern warfare
– Nuclear weapons are not proportional to threat, allow no chance for surrender, and make war less personal and mass indiscriminate killing easier.
– Puts the lives of millions in the hands of politicians- what gives them the authority to decide who lives and dies?

Negatives
– May be misused- A just intention could be used to conceal a less just one eg. Iraq war
– Makes war more likely to be fought if there a situations where it is just
– It is impractical- Everyone thinks their own cause is just. There is no guarantee the theory will be applied as these decisions are usually made based on military strength
– War and violence are always wrong- Jesus and pacifism

Positives
Imposes rules- Prohibits random acts of violence for self-gain
Greater good- Recognises the need to defend yourself and others against injustice
Pacifism

Absolute pacifism- War is always wrong (Quakers)
Relative pacifism- War may sometimes be the lesser of two evils
Nuclear pacifism- War involving WMD is opposed
Active pacifism- Campaigning and protesting to end war

Pacifists may become conscientious objectors during war time. They may contribute to the war effort in other ways eg. being a medic.

Christians may become pacifists because of teachings from the new testament such as:
– “Blessed are the Peacemakers”
– “I tell you do not resist an evil person… turn the other cheek”

HOWEVER in the Old Testament it says:
Joshua 10:40- “Everyone was put to death, this was commanded by the Lord God”

message to mankind

Please check out these poems that are actually deeper than my soul x

fotzepoetic

firstly, they looked me in the eyes,

but gaze fell as my leg would rise.

i cannot be apart, owning space, or

worship another, be of different race.

with pride they peeled the innocence

from me, burning

my skin with brutal integrity.

and your mouth! they said,

you cannot expel fire,

or need or want or lust or desire.

sit still, calm down, prized

queen of drama – your role

is sister, wife and mother.

so i took my seat, stained subsidiary,

beautiful wisdom veiled Mary.

piercing fine needles one by one:

their sex, the childbirth, want of son.

mentality grew to detest all touch

but as my window of worth creaked

solemnly shut,

wrinkled skin and breast so mean

enclosed a heart still bright.

still keen.

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Rudi Oppenheimer

I met a survivor of the Holocaust, named Rudi Oppenheimer, he was 85 years old (born in 1931) and this is his story which he experienced with his brother Paul Oppenheimer. I am simply writing his story, I do not own copy-rights or any of that jazz, only want to spread his amazing story.

Rudi was 14 years old when he was a victim of the Holocaust, with both his mother and father being Jewish Germans. They moved to Berlin in his early life, due to economic advantages within the city. Rudi explained he was an assimilated Jewish person, who never took interest in the festivals and did not practise his religion.

From staying in Berlin for a few years, he then moved to London with his family on the 24th March 1936. In London, his baby sister Eve was born.  They then left England and went to Amsterdam, bringing along his grandparents. Germany then invaded the Netherlands on the 14th May 1940. Due to this, Rudi and his family had to move away from the coast to a set village, sending him to a Jewish school. From April 1942, he had to wear the Jewish sign of a star. Rudi brought one of his stars into to show us, it was written in Dutch, but the Germans had tried to mimic Hebrew, which was very offensive to the Jewish community. Then, from January 1942 it was issued all Jewish people must live in Amsterdam. As Rudi’s sister was a British citizen they got treated better, so stayed in the same area for a while longer. He now went to a school named with a number and played in the same area as Anne Frank. He joked about how he was so “manly”, he felt he couldn’t play with Anne as she was a girl. He then spoke about a curfew for the Jewish people and then being banned from seeing non-Jewish citizens of the town.

“Re-settlement of Jews in the East”. Rudi’s grandparents were sent to Poland, he never saw them again. Only after the war they discovered they were gassed within a concentration camp. The Nazi’s used the curfew’s to find people easily within their homes and take them away. On Sunday 20th June 1943 he was told to stay at home by the Nazi Officers and a neighbour warned them about this. He was already packed, but given 20 minutes to do so. Him and his family were taken away to a railway station and had to board cattle trucks.

The journey was three hours to Westerbork Transit Camp (please excuse my spelling!), which was a camp that was 500mx500m. Within the camp they found his grandparents (Dad’s parents). Nobody within this camp died except through natural causes as it was a transit camp, so they didn’t usually stay here long, only to be transported to death camps from here. Rudi described about sleeping on a three tier high bunkbed without any steps. He slept with two strange women next to him. He talked about how the top bunk was the best as you could hang your clothing out on the top of the wooden pillars of the barrack. He received the same meal three times a day, and was given a bath once a week. Every Monday afternoon an empty tram would come and the members of the camp were not allowed to see the boarding of the trains. 3 weeks after arriving his grandparents were taken away to another camp and gassed upon arrival.

On the 31st January 1934 a standard class train came to collect Rudi and his family. It was an exchanging of Jewish prisoners and only 9 people were on the train. This train was to Bergen-Belsen. He described the camp as “not being very nice” and was a mile long x a mile wide lined with high double barbered wire. When arriving at the camp, Rudi explained how he wanted a job, so decided to go with his dad so he could get one, as the men got the jobs and the women didn’t. Every morning he got a mug of “coffee” which he described as being like muddy water and at 7:00 the prisoners were counted in rows of 5. This could go on for hours, he once had it took 9-10 hours, so they had to stand outside all day. If it was correct they then received 4cm of black bread and a “normal” day took place. He managed to survive by secretly eating the pieces of potato at the bottom of the soup dish everyday, which he admits is wrong, but this is how he survived. Margo and Anne were also within this camp, who died here. Roughly 600 people a day died within the camp.

He spoke about the death of his mother and father briefly, saying all of their possessions had been stolen immediately after their passing. On the 9th April 1945 he was put back on a train, unfortunately the camp was liberated by the British on the 15th April 1945, who had to bury the bodies as he explained the people would have been too weak to do so. He cooked grass on the train and jumped off the train after the Americans came. He said the Americans shot at the train after telling people to get off, so some older people were killed who could not walk. They then ransacked German villages, with the Russian armies putting them into hospitals afterwards. Him and Paul, who has been with him throughout the entire experience, met up with their sister in the Netherlands after seeing her on their lorry. As they were German Jews they were put into another camp by the British, with some SS guards, which seems ridiculous now, but Rudi said they kept their distance so it was a quick experience. After a few days they were put into an orphanage. In November of 1945 they were taken back to England. He then stayed with his uncle.

Rudi became an electrical engineer. He went back to the Netherlands and then traveled the world with SHELL. He retired at 59 and then decided to do talks after this.

Rudi was an incredibly strong man and I was one of the lucky few to hear his story. I will never forget seeing him and hearing his story. Thank you Rudi if you ever read this, your suffering will never be forgotten x

 

Schindler’s List.

Hello there, this post is very graphic, containing disturbing material. Please do not read this if you are sensitive or get triggered easily. This has to be my most heart felt entry so far, so I excuse any gibberish in advance.

The film is based on a man named Oskar Schlinder, who was apart of the Nazi party, however he saw past the illusion most of Germany at the time accepted; he knew the Nazi’s actions were immorally wrong.

Let me start at the beginning.  Jewish families being registered by Nazi’s. This is illustrating how they confided to the rules set by a “superior” race, through this accepting they are part of the “weaker” race. Anti-semitic behaviour is shown very early on within the film, Nazi’s cutting off a Jewish man’s payots and mocking him with them. This is merely the beginning of the de-humanisation of the Jewish people.  We are then shown the Judenrat (councils for Jewish people set up by the Nazi’s), one woman is tryingg to appeal a case about SS men now living in her home, leaving her homeless. Buying and selling on the streets was also made illegal, so the Jewish people used to trade at the back of Churches. Something Oscar Schindler uses to his advantage when getting in supplies for his many elaborate bribes.

I noticed the Nazi’s used the Jewish people mainly for labour tasks, for example, shovelling masses of snow. This is when they would also be able to select various people who were fit enough to work, the whole time the Nazi’s tested the Jewish people, always wanting the healthiest workers. Nazi officers shot one of Schindler’s workers (in front of the whole ghetto); a one armed older man. I was stunned by the ease the Nazi’s had when pulling the trigger of their guns and how one simple movement could take life. Schindler took a liking to this man, who waited outside of his office everyday to thank him for saving his life by hiring him.

The Nazi’s tried to keep their grand illusion of hope alive with the Jewish people right until they reached the “showers”. They were told to leave their luggage on the train platform, and clearly label their bags, suggesting they would be following them to the camp. This cruel act was followed by a scene of Jewish workers sorting out the peoples possessions, as they were being taken to a death camp.

The extents the Jewish people would go to just to keep some of their prized possessions were incredible. One family took out their jewels and stuffed them into pieces of bread. Each member was made to swallow one. However, the Nazi’s also went to extreme lengths to capture these people. They made it into a sort of sick sadist game, using a stethoscope to listen to ceilings and then firing machine guns up at the people hiding under the floorboards. In the labour camp, the head of the camp would sit on the balcony of his mansion overlooking the premise, randomly shooting anyone he deemed to not be working. This began with someone typing their shoelace and then he began to shot anyone sitting down or not looking busy.

A jewish man was working within the camp factory; Schindler set this up to keep his flow of money coming in to be able to pay for his monthly bribes. He was not deemed efficient enough to work, so Nazi officers took him outside and put a gun to the back of his head. *click* The first gun was jammed. *click* *click* The second and third guns didn’t work. This was the point in the film in which I truly believed God was present. As after this the officers merely hit the man and left him alive, this may have also been a brutal punishment, but he kept his life. I have no knowledge of guns, but I certainly know three separate guns not firing is unusual. Was it fate?

Inspection day came around. Women in the barracks pricked their fingers and wiped the blood on their cheeks to “look more alive”. This scene partially upset me, knowing how the people were so desperate to stay in the camp, as this was before the Nazi’s shaved their heads and stripped them of their identity, simply giving them a number. As I knew their fates I felt sick watching the Nazi’s select the healthy from the not healthy. This was when the Nazi’s played the role of God, choosing who they deemed to be worthy or not to live. During this time the Nazi officers would personally pick girls they took a liking to, so later on they could use them for their own personal wishes.

As the film progressed, a scene was shown of what looking like snow in the camp, which is in fact the skin particles of the bodies being burnt in the crematorium. Small children were almost dancing and playing in the “snow”.

Oskar Schindler also goes to extremities to save his workers. Bribing guards, forging working permits and rescuing his workers from Auschwitz. He bribes the leader of the labour camp to allow him to build a sub-camp called Brünnlitz, within this camp his workers are safe; they are “essential workers” so they cannot be killed or harmed. His list of people he wishes to buy comes to 1,200 people. Which some may view as little, some as a large amount. I personally believe it is a great number considering those people would most likely be sent straight to the gas chambers. Oskar went broke right before the end of the war, after spending a fortune on rescuing his women and children workers from Auschwitz.

At the end of the film, Schindler has to flee after the war due to his position as being a Nazi. His workers prepare a document which they have all signed stating his true nature. They forge him a gold ring, made out of one of the workers gold teeth saying “Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire” in Hebrew. Schindler puts on this ring before he leaves. I believe this film is a must-see, this film really gives an insight into the life of the Jewish people being persecuted by the Nazi’s, obviously the film can be criticised by Holocaust victims, but Stephen Spillburg did a very good job in replicating the time.

After the war, Schindler was not arrested. He was allowed to plant a Holy tree in Jerusalem, which still grows today even after his death. A picture of this tree is below:

http://digitalassets.ushmm.org/photoarchives/detail.aspx?id=31615&search=Schindler&index=36

In a 1983 television documentary, Schindler was quoted as saying, “I felt that the Jews were being destroyed. I had to help them; there was no choice.”

I am struggling to end this post, I just want to leave you all with the final quote again engraved on Schindler’s ring.

“Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.”

body positivity instagram accounts..

Two words, body positivity.

I used to constantly dwell on beautiful model bodies; wishing, praying, pleading i would one day wake up with flat rock hard abs and a four inch thigh gap. 

Then i woke up. 

I am proud to say those days are long gone. Looking at those photos and comparing my own figure to them seriously damaged my self image, why do we not educate young girls that restricting calories does not give you their bodies?! It gives you a malnourished body and sticky out ribs, which is certainly not abs. 

However, I would like to seriously thank @fallingintoselflove, @selfloveclubb and @___halle__ on instagram for being so bloody inspirational! I never fully understood the use of photoshop, and to some extent it can be seriously realistic. Maybe this is an exception. I stumbled across their pages one day and follow their accounts to this day. I only follow three accounts but i always have a post pop up on my feed everyday. 

The phrase “bikini-body” boils my blood. After being that person frantically searching the internet hours before catching a flight to Lisbon trying to find a “bikini body fix”, yes maybe slightly late. I am assure you each of these tricks do absolutely NOTHING, been there, done that, got the t-shirt. With abs-olutely no abs to show for it /: So please, take it from me, they DO NOT work. 

Instead, maybe reconsider how the media portrays young men and women in a negative light, how photoshop is used so widespread. Just do one thing, follow one of these accounts. You would seriously be surprised at how much you can change your thinking after exposing yourself to realistic body images.  

Have a nice day, love Anna x 

 

P.S: Some recent scandals/articles:

VOGUE photoshopping plus size model 

H&M using computer generated models

Norwegian city bans photoshopped adverts! 

Darling magazine swears it will feature no photoshopped models 

Would you buy a fur coat if you really knew how many animals died for it?

Snakes are usually skinned alive to take their skin. They pin the snake up on a tree and carve it out, throwing about the remains of a bloody snake. Lizards often squirm in agony whilst they are ripped from their skins. There are few laws to protect reptiles from abuse, and those that do exist are often not enforced. What is worse it that it takes roughly four crocodiles to make one bag.

Rabbits are common for their fur, which is used in coat linings. The rabbits are crammed into barbed wire cages, in appalling conditions, then killed, (their skulls are usually cracked, throats slit or necks broken) and finally skinned. There have even been reports of rabbits who have been skinned alive. The rabbits spend most of their lives cramped in a cage, restricting them of their natural instinct to jump and leap. This leads to extreme suffering.

A PETA Asia undercover investigator visited almost a dozen rabbit farms in China, the source of 90 percent of the world’s angora, and found rabbits screaming in pain and terror as workers ripped the fur out of their skin.

Here is a guide to the number of animals that suffer and die for “fashion” to make roughly one coat:

  • Mink 30-70
  • Rabbit 30-40
  • Fox 10-20
  • Chinchilla 30-200
  • Seal 6-10
  • Lynx 8-12
  • Badger 10-12
  • Otter 10-16
  • Dog 15-20
  • Bobcat 16-22
  • Coypu (Nutria) 26-34
  • Raccoon 30-40
  • Marten 50-60
  • Sable 60-70
  • Squirrel 200-400

All I ask is that you watch this video, raising awareness is one key aspect you can be doing to stoping this nightmare.

It is called “China Fur Trade Exposed in 60 Seconds” and is by PETA.

PETA have amazing guides on how to wear vegan clothing and non-cruelty clothing.

Have a nice day, love Anna x