Sunday, 17 October 2010

The dangers of ultra liberalism

Joel Kontinen

What might happen if society were to discard Christian morals and began to make its decisions solely based on economic or other benefits? The idea is not very new. Utilitarianism, which draws inspiration from the views of Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), attempts to distribute happiness evenly in society.

Bentham was no friend of Christianity. He believed that everyone - including homosexuals and animals – should have the same rights. In its extreme form, it might cause some individuals to believe that some kinds of animals are more important than people.

Many people are ready to defend the rights of animals, but how many are interested in the rights of unborn children and old, infirm people?

Practice has often revealed that theories have dire defects. If society were to emphasise the common good, some individuals would suffer. Melanie Phillips, a well-known British journalist, has written much on the dire consequences of discarding Judeo-Christian values. She believes it will lead to irrational behaviour.

The film Never Let Me Go, due to be released next January, might give us a glimpse of what could happen if the ideas of Utilitarianism were taken to an extreme and society were to decide to use some of its citizens as spare parts.

The film is based on the book Never Let Me Go (2005) written by the Japanese-British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro. It is the sad story of Hailsham boarding school. The destiny of its pupils is to give their young lives for others.


Lopez, Kathryn Jean. 2010. Melanie Phillips on a World Gone Mad. National Review Online (20 May).