Jeremy Bentham and the United Nations

3154 Words Feb 21st, 2018 13 Pages
As a doctrine that seeks to maximize pleasure and minimize pain, Utilitarian thinkers, including Bentham, would approve of any organization or set of practices that have the tendency to do so. The United Nations is such an organization. Bentham firmly believed world governance was possible, at least under his utilitarian system (Pitts 212). “The community is a fictitious body, composed of the individual persons who are considered as constituting as it were its members,” (Bentham 1823, 586). In this quote Bentham refers to how single communities are merely collections of individuals. Since the distinctions between individuals are arbitrary the only objective grouping of people is to include the entire world population. As Bentham saw borders as imagined, he would approve of the coming together of humanity that the United Nations fosters. With its border-crossing initiatives of conflict resolution and humanitarian aid, the United Nations is a source of good in the modern world and one that Bentham would endorse if he were here to do so, albeit with some concerns and recommendations. The United Nations’ primary goal stated in Article One, Section One of the organization’s charter is “[t]o maintain international peace and security”. So far as the United Nations achieves this goal, Bentham would be in complete approval as war and conflict are great causes of human…
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