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Ellie Carter

9ETH1N

08/08/2013

The Hedonic Calculus means that you are using people as objects to achieve something, and not treating them as Humans in their own right. Holocaust & the Hedonic Calculus In this essay, I will be explaining the causes and effects of the Holocaust, whilst comparing the actions to the Hedonic Calculus. The Hedonic Calculus is an algorithm made by utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham for calculating the degree of pleasure that a specific action is likely to cause. I will also be explaining Utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is a theory specifically defining the maximum of happiness and reduces suffering, and classic Utilitarianism, advocated by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, is hedonistic, meaning you weigh up the problem against the Hedonic Calculus. It is weighed up on the consequences of the action and the situation you are in, and it doesnt determine the moral worth of the actions you choose to take. For example, if someone falls over on the ice and I walked past, I could just walk past and choose to ignore it, but if there is someone behind me, then I would help that person up, as it made me look good. It is not morally right to think this way, as you arent doing it because you want to; you are doing it so you look good in front of someone. Linking this to the Holocaust, Hitler didnt have to kill the Jews, but to make him look good in front of the Nazi Party, which resulted in him getting more Nazi followers, and gained more power from Europe. The only flaw in that plan was that he only had parts of Europe on his side, whereas the rest of the world wouldve been finding out about the unimaginable events going on and felt the same was as the allies; that it was totally ethically and morally wrong, and this is what leads to his downfall.

The Holocaust

Ellie Carter

9ETH1N

08/08/2013

The Holocaust was a mass murder of over 6 million European Jews during WW2, and was sponsored by Nazi Germany. The Holocaust was lead by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, throughout German-Occupied Territory. In total, he killed 1 million Jewish Children, around 2 million Jewish Women and around 3 million Jewish men. Nazis put the Jews into overcrowded ghettos, and then transported them by freight train to extermination camps, where they would be put into large gas chambers, and were then killed. The way they managed to trick them into going into the gas chambers, was to make it seem as though they were going for a shower, only to never return. There were also concentration camps, where they would be put in gas chambers, burnt alive or shot. The Nazis made them wear striped Pyjamas with numbers on them, as though they were in prison. Hitler started the Holocaust, as he and the Nazis believed that the Jews were a weaker race, and would hold Germany back from thriving to its full potential. He basically didnt like them, yet he believed that his reasoning was perfectly ethical enough to kill so many of them. He also said that the Jews were a plague, and in order to save his people, he must rid Germany of this plague. Another stupid excuse was that he thought the Jews were plotting against him and he managed to make Nazi Germany believe that Jews were planning to ruin them, despite the fact that they had no reason to. It really just comes down to the fact that Germans were scared of Jews, and Jewish people were doing was following their beliefs, but the Germans just didnt like it. Nazis managed to win the Germans over with the use of extreme propaganda, to make the Jews look like vermin to the rest of the world. The only problem was that the rest of the world didnt care. There is no doubt as to whose fault it was for the Holocaust, as the Germans were, to say the least, out of order to trick the Jews into certain death, as they wiped out nearly a third of the European Jewish population. All of that was because Hitler was scared of them, and he was still furious after being gassed himself towards the end of WW1, which had nothing to do with Jews anyway. The Hedonic Calculus

Ellie Carter

9ETH1N

08/08/2013

Comparing Hitlers actions to the Hedonic calculus his pleasure was no where near as intense as the pain the Jews had to go through, and the pain for the people dying wouldnt have lasted long, but the pain for the families that didnt die would last their whole lifetime, and considering that Hitlers pleasure only lasted until a few months before he committed suicide, towards the end of the war. There was a definite chance that there would be pain, but Hitler may have also regretted what he had done, so there wasnt a guaranteed amount of pleasure during the course of these events, but you knew that the amount of pain would be almost instant, and as Hitler was pleasured by this, his pleasure was instant. It was definite that the deaths of the Jews would be painful for those concerned and the families that were left, as I mentioned earlier, they would feel the pain worse, and they have to mourn the losses forever. The extent of the pain would have been beyond belief, as a third of the European Jewish Population was gone, so in order for Hitler to be happy, he had to kill a substantial amount of innocent people. I think that the Hedonic Calculus does mean that you are using people as objects to achieve something, and it is pretty clear that Hitler didnt think of the Jews as humans, because if he did, he wouldnt have killed so many of them. It is as though you have to fulfil a certain criteria in order to be happy, when you actually only have to think of what you would need to be happy instead of just a generalisation of happiness. I think the Hedonic Calculus is a good way of evaluating your actions, but should never be used to decide every moral action you choose to take in life.