The Prozium World: Utilitarian Dream or Nightmare?

This is the opening scene from 2002 film Equlibrium. As (now) experts in Bentham’s moral philosophy you are equipped to engage with many of the issues the film raises.

Would you take prozium? Why?

Would you want to live in Libria (this is sightly different question)? Why why not?

What would Bentham have said, do you think (answer with support from the core texts)?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbNh6QubxCM

10 thoughts on “The Prozium World: Utilitarian Dream or Nightmare?

  1. 1. I would not take prozium due to human emotion being the only thing that distinguishes us as human beings, without emotion we are nothing.

    2. I would not want to live in a place where i have to bend to the moral laws of a higher power so much so that I have to lose all feeling of emotion and therefore everything that comes with it, memories etc.

    3. Bentham talks about pleasure and pain being the two ‘sovereign masters’ of human existence. But if we live in a society where there is no emotion pleasure and pain cannot really be felt. Bentham rates the importance of an action on many different factors of pleasure and pain, like duration, intensity etc. But if we have no pleasure to feel then no action can be taken.

  2. i would go along with everything and take prozium and live in the city as i wouldnt want to get burnt, i still wouldnt like the idea but i dont like being on fire and if the drug took away my emotions while i was under the effect then it it wouldnt affect me as much. I think bentham would with a utilatarianistic point of view would op for it as it would cancel out pain but pleasure making it neutral but would prevent war making it a positive.

  3. Would you take prozium? Why?
    Yes. I don’t think it would be worth dying over because if everyone else was taking the drug you would be trying to over throw a system all by yourself which is near impossible. Also, if you could feel but no one else could it would cause you more sadness and sympathy for everyone else.

    Would you want to live in Libria (this is sightly different question)? Why why not?
    No I would not want to live anywhere that my life would be controlled to that extent. The idea behind Libria is a positive concept- to take away peoples inhumanities towards other humans- but in reality this is a huge contradiction as people are denied their freedoms and feelings. This sinister society has many similarities to Nazi Germany in that you co-operate or you die. I would never want to live in a society that co-operates because of fear, are limited in knowledge and therefore of any power or individual thought.

    What would Bentham have said, do you think (answer with support from the core texts)?

    Bentham would say that it leads to more happiness because the lack of war means lack of death and therefore pain. However, because the people don’t feel many pleasures it is a hard decision whether it is in line with utilitarianism. The lack of pain and pleasure means that the issue seems to be in no mans land.

  4. I would not take prozium because feeling human emotion is required for life, I would not say you are living if you cannot feel emotion. Emotion is what makes you differ from other people it has the biggest impact on how you live it is not worth taking.

    I would not choose to live in a libria as if free will is demolished i would not be able to enjoy myself in life like that.

    Bentham would say it definatly leads to more pleasure because the idea behind libria because libria leads to the end of war so no more pain can be caused to other people

  5. Would you take prozium? Why?
    – I would not take prozium because you would get no human emotions which would stop you having good human emotions as well as bad. Without human emotions you would not be yourself. But if you were living in Libria then it might be just as well to take the drug because no one else has emotions so there would be no point having emotions if you can’t share them with someone else.

    Would you want to live in Libria (this is sightly different question)? Why why not?
    – No because you are being forced to live a certain way which means you have no freedom. It would also be very simple because human emotion drives so much of life and life would have no meaning and you would feel like a robot.

    What do you think Bentham would have said (answer with support from the core texts)?
    – Bentham might have thought that if living in Libria would stop mental pain then it would be a good thing but if it stops all happiness then it would be a bad thing.

  6. Would you take prozium? Why?

    – I would not take prozuim because it stops you having all human emotions. Without human emotions you are not yourself. But if everyone else around you has no emotions either then it might seem like the right thing to do because there would be no one else to share their emotions with.

    Would you want to live in Libria (this is sightly different question)? Why why not?

    – I would not like to live in Libria because you would be given no freedom. Without freedom you wouldn’t be able to be your own person. Also, without any emotions life would have no meaning because you would be living, but living under the control of someone else.

    What would Bentham have said, do you think (answer with support from the core texts)?

    – Bentham would have said that if living in Libria brought the majority of people happiness through stopping any mental pain then the lifestyle in Libria would be a good thing. However, if it stops all happiness and they cannot feel pleasure for anything then it would be seen as a bad thing.

  7. i would not take the prozium pill because it take away my freedom and ability to be different from others

    i would not chose to stay in librial as it seems to be a dictator ship and you are hevaly watched and would not be a enjoyable life

    bentham would say it was a good thing

  8. Would you take prozium? Why?
    It’s easy to say that you wouldn’t when there’s no repercussions in our lives for not taking it, but because there are so many people taking it in the new world, there must be some incentive.

    Would you want to live in Libria (this is sightly different question)? Why why not?
    If I had the choice then no, because everything I do in my life wouldn’t be okay to do there.

    What would Bentham have said, do you think (answer with support from the core texts)?
    Basically the only emotion in this world are the emotions of the the refugee types… and as they’re getting pain from the regime I think Bentham wouldn’t have been supportive.

  9. Would you take prozium? Why?
    I would not take prozium as i beleive it would be detrimental to society. It drains are humanity and that is no way for us to prevent inhumanity. Without emotions, humans are unable to have relationships, or appreciate at, music and litrature and in my opinion this seems to make life seem rather unappealing and boring, and we would be doing nothing but surviving.

    Would you want to live in Libria (this is sightly different question)? Why why not?
    No i would not live in Libria as it is not a free country, it is a dictatorship. Citizens are controlled and told what to do and when, there is no individuality or expression. There is nothing to enjoy and appreaciate, and even though emotions cannot always be good, and sometimes anger, sadness or jealousy affect us. Yet, these negative emotions only make the positive ones more enjoyable. Life, in my opinion, seems pointless if there is nothing to feel or enjoy, and living in Libria would prevent me from feeling or appreciating anything.

    What would Bentham have said, do you think (answer with support from the core texts)?
    It is debatable what Bentham would have said in this situation. Because the citizens of Libria cannot feel emotion, and Bentham’s theory is based on pleasure and pain, it is difficult to calculate. It is debated that if pain is missing, this is therefore pleasurable and all together positive. However, because pleasure is missing this can be seen as painful and therefore negative. So it can be argued either way.

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