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What is technology?

Technology is understood as new developments of science. Technology is viewed as a

great aid to man in his quest for life. Other sources defined technology as the usage and

knowledge of tools, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a

problem or create an artistic perspective.1

Some people find technology as a detriment to man, not only to his physical aspect but

also to his mental and psychological aspect. In other words, they think that technology can

destroy the life of man. There are also people who say or prove that technology can destroy

nature. These people who are against technology are somewhat biased. They really have a

shallow view on technology. They do not understand and explore well what is really the purpose

of technologies. The Internet presents some disadvantages on technology. These are the


“Technology,” retrieved 01 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:

a) Pollution

One of the biggest concerns about modern technology today is pollution. Vehicles and

major manufacturing plants are releasing ever-increasing amounts of carbon dioxide, and that

may greatly contribute to global warming.2

b) Vocation

As computing technology and robotic mechanisms become increasingly advanced, fewer

jobs are available due to the fact that machines can perform a task more efficiently at a quicker


c) Competency

With spell check and automatic technology, simple knowledge and calculations are done

for most people. While this does save time and effort, it causes many individuals to become

dependent on technology, which can be problematic in situations without modern advancement.4

d) Behavioral Problems
“The Disadvantages of Modern Technology,” retrieved 27 January 2011 from the World Wide Web:

Because of the amount of time that children spend on watching television, views and

behaviors are affected. One example is proven in a study by researchers at the University of

Michigan that spanned 15 years. It found a link between childhood television viewing and adult

violent behavior. Other studies found links between TV viewing and smoking, drinking and risky

sexual behavior.5

The researcher agrees with those people who look at or find technology as a detriment to

man and nature. He even agrees the disadvantages above that are taken from the internet. But,

the researcher will try to prove that technology are not more of a disadvantage to man or to

nature; instead, it is more of an advantage to man.

Majority wins. Most of the people consider technology as very useful and convenient.

There are many examples that would serve as a proof that technology is useful to the greatest

number of people. Here is a paragraph from an essay that presents some usefulness and

importance of technology:

Modern technologies make life easier and more dignified for most of the people.
The first and the major advantage is that medical science is very progressive and
vastly available. Without the needed technology, a lot of people would struggle
with their health. In addition, it saves many innocent lives. The point is to spread
it and reach with medicine help to the poor nations of the Third World. Secondly,
the advanced technology improves industry by making it more effective and, what
is vital today, safer for environment. Moreover, when we look at TV, personal
computer, mobile phone or internet, for instance, it is quite obvious that all this
inventions have been made in the last 20 years. Thus, the speed of improvement is
huge and unpredictable.6


The world is constantly growing. The knowledge of the people does not remain stagnant.

It keeps on growing just like the world. There are things that can only be understood and solved

through technology not just by mere opinion and exhausting all possible angles.

The researcher will try to present the usefulness of technology to the greatest number of

people. He will attempt to prove that technology are necessary to man and nature.


This work intends to answer the following questions:

1. How can the use of technology be beneficial to the society in the light of Jeremy

Bentham’s Utilitarianism?

2. How can the use of technology be justified using the principle of Utilitarianism, the

greatest pleasure to the greatest number of people?

a) How does technology influence those people who find pleasure in it?

b) What makes technology pleasurable to the people?

c) Is it more of an advantage (good) or a disadvantage (evil) to the people? Or it

is neutral?

“Advantages and Disadvantages of Modern Technology,” retrieved 27 January 2011 from the World
Wide Web:


The world needs to know what really is the purpose of technology. Some people find

technology as insignificant to the world because it causes lots of harm to the people and to the

world. Some people even say that it can destroy cultures and traditions. Does technology destroy

traditions? Or it is only the choice of the people not to stick and follow their cultures and

traditions? Clearly, it is the people who are the author of their own lives, not technology. There is

nothing wrong if people would utilize technology and at the same time they continue to follow

their cultures and traditions. Here is a short article that would somehow attempt to prove that

modern technologies are useful:

Nowadays, there are many conventional people who oppose the fast
development of various technologies. Basically, some of us forget the value of our
culture and the greater sense of our self in our society. Somehow, this is true but
we should not stop following our traditions. We should also go with the
advancement of technology for us not to be left behind. Thus, if we choose to stop
and stick to our old and traditional way of living especially in this present time,
would you think we would survive? We should always put it in our mind that
everything changes and that’s the only constant thing in this world. If we choose
to cease the day, we would not be able to see and experience the beauty of
tomorrow. If we choose not to address the advancement of technology, we would
not be able to see and find out if we progress. Thus, the notion of the
advancement of technology in our present time enables each one of us to become
productive in our work towards a progressive society.

Technology makes our works and tasks easy and hassle free. It lessens the
burden of our task because it has the ability to cut off our workload. Some of
these technologies that we used nowadays are laptops, cell phones, calculators,
cars and a lot more. These technologies provide comfort and convenience in our
present living. Thus, when you find difficulty in searching for a company which

has the best lightning products and other equipment needed for improving our
houses, then the Internet technology offers the fastest solution to your problem.7

In fact, some traditions and many more can be developed with the aid of technology.

Technology is useful in many ways.

The researcher encourages his readers, especially to those who have a negative view on

technology, to look from another angle and try to explore and utilize technology. Perhaps, their

negative comments on technology are just products of their ignorance and subjective mindsets.

The researcher tries to prove that technology is very useful to the people and to the world

and it gives happiness to majority of the people.


This research may lead the readers to view technology as very useful not very harmful

because it can make the greatest number of people happy. This research can possibly help change

the perspective of those people who have biases on technology.

The researcher will present some examples of technologies that are very useful to the

people. He will also cite some points on how these technologies help the people and how it gives

happiness to the people.

“The Use of Modern Technology,” retrieved 03 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:

The researcher will only tackle about a few ideas of Utilitarianism especially Jeremy

Bentham’s Utilitarianism. He aims to relate Bentham’s “the greatest happiness principle” with


The researcher admits his limitations and weaknesses in presenting this research but still

he hopes to give the connection between technology and utilitarianism. He also hopes that the

readers would view technologies not only its usefulness but how it promotes general happiness.


The greatest happiness principle or the principle of utility – a term which Bentham

borrowed from Hume. Bentham is not referring to just the usefulness of things or actions, but to

the extent to which these things or actions promote the general happiness.8

Pleasure – Bentham somewhat equates pleasure to happiness. It includes all joy and

gladness — all our feeling good or happy.9

Jeremy Bentham, Notes on Political Philosophy.
“Pleasure,” retrieved 04 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:

Happiness – Bentham considered happiness as the “greatest good”.10 It is the opposite of

pain. Happiness in this sense is free from pain. Happiness is a universal motivation for human


Ethical Egoism – the standard set by reason is one’s best self-interest. One must act on

the basis of what he thinks is his best self-interest. It discerns what will serve one’s best interest

by considering the options available. It then makes a judgment as to what course of action

ultimately serves the self.12

Technology – Technology is the process by which humans modify nature to meet their

needs and wants.13 Other sources defined technology as a broad term that refers both to artifacts

created by humans, such as machines, and the methods used to create those artifacts.14

Utilitarianism – considers what is one’s best self-interest, but it does not stop at the self;

it includes the whole community in its discernment of what is the greatest good for the greatest

number of people. The primary moral criterion for utilitarianism is “the greatest net happiness

for all”.15

Jeremy Bentham, Happiness Is the Greatest Good, retrieved 04 February 2011 from the World Wide
Msgr. Dennis Villarojo, Notes on General Ethics, p. 12.
Ibid, p. 11.
“What is Technology?” retrieved 04 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:
“What is Technology?” retrieved 04 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:
Villarojo, op.cit., p. 12.

Principle of asceticism – People should act according to what they think will cause the

most pleasure and least pain for the individual, group, community, world, whichever applies. An

example of this principle is religious sacrifice.16

Hedonic calculus or felicific calculus – It is a method of working out the sum total of

pleasure and pain produced by an act, and thus the total value of its consequences.17

Ethical hedonism – The belief that the pursuit of pleasure is good providing that it

honors another’s pursuit of pleasure.18

Pantheism – The doctrine which holds that the universe is identical with God; the

reduction of God to the universe, of the universe to God.19

Panentheism – It means that God is present in the world, as the soul is present in the

body, but at the same time also occupies a separate and much higher level of existence.20

Microlith – A very small blade made of flaked stone and used as a tool, especially in the

European Mesolithic Period.21

“Principle of Asceticism,” retrieved 12 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:
“Hedonic Calculus,” retrieved 12 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:
“Ethical Hedonism,” retrieved 12 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:
Celestine N. Bittle, Reality and the Mind (Milwauke: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1936), p. 362.
Arthur Goldwag, Isms and Ologies (United States: Madison Park Press, 2007), p. 272.
“Microlith,” retrieved 15 February 2011 the World Wide Web:

Sundial – A device indicating the time during the hours of sunlight by means of a

stationary arm (the gnomon) that casts a shadow onto a plate or surface marked in hours.22

Gnomon – It An object, such as the style of a sundial, that projects a shadow used as an


Catapult – A military machine for hurling missiles, such as large stones or spears, used

in ancient and medieval times.24

Siege engine – Any mechanical device that is designed to launch projectiles. Such

devices are usually large and must be stationary when fired. Examples include catapults,

trebuchets, etc.25

Stirrup – A flat-based loop or ring hung from either side of a horse's saddle to support

the rider's foot in mounting and riding.26

Rudder – A vertically hinged plate of metal, fiberglass, or wood mounted at the stern of

a ship or boat for directing its course.27

“Sundial,” retrieved 15 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:
“Gnomon,” retrieved 15 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:
“Catapult,” retrieved 15 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:
“Siege Engine,” retrieved 15 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:
“Stirrup,” retrieved 15 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:
“Rudder,” retrieved 12 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:

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Astrolabe – A medieval instrument, now replaced by the sextant that was once used to

determine the altitude of the sun or other celestial bodies.28

Plate armor or plate mail – It is a personal armor made from large metal plates, worn

on the chest and sometimes the entire body.29

Steam engine – An engine that converts the heat energy of pressurized steam into

mechanical energy, especially one in which steam drives a piston in a closed cylinder.30


Mill, John Stuart and Bentham, Jeremy. Utilitarianism and Other Essays. ed. Alan Ryan.

London: Penguin Books, 1987.

This book contains a short background of Jeremy Bentham. His concept of Utilitarianism

is written in this book. This book also includes one of Bentham’s major works, An Introduction

to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. Bentham fulfills all the requirements of the pure

“Astrolabe,” retrieved 12 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:
“Plate Armor,” retrieved 12 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:
“Steam Engine,” retrieved 12 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:

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utilitarian in this work.31 The researcher will just use another source of Bentham’s An

Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation.

Villarojo, Dennis. Notes on General Ethics.

Msgr. Dennis Villarojo is the professor of the researcher in General Ethics. He cites a

very comprehensive idea on Utilitarianism in his notes on General Ethics. He even provides a

critique on Utilitarianism in his notes. The concept of Utilitarianism in his notes can be

understood easily by the readers because it is simplified and explanations are being provided.

Jeremy Bentham. Notes on Political Philosophy.

This handout provides some important points on Bentham’s philosophy especially his

concept of the principle of utility or the greatest happiness principle. Although this handout talks

more on the political philosophy of Bentham, it can still help the readers understand his principle

of utility.

Bentham, Jeremy. An Introduction to the principles of Morals and Legislation. Oxford:

Clarendon Press, 1907.

This work of Bentham will also help the readers understand his concept of Utilitarianism.

Most of the things that are mentioned above can be found in this work.

John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham, Utilitarianism and Other Essays (London: Penguin Books, 1987),
p. 25.

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Rowen, Beth. TIME For Kids ALMANAC 2008. New York: TIME For Kids Books, 2007.

Most of the Almanacs show recent updates of newly invented modern technologies that

are very useful to the people. Majority of these technologies can give happiness to the people

because it is very convenient. Sometimes, time magazine would even present future technologies

that are also very useful and helpful.


The researcher relies primarily on books borrowed from one of the professors, some

notes given by the professors, and the internet. The research procedures are the following:

First is the gathering of data. The researcher gathers all possible data that are related to

his topic. He considers all available editions of the data. He makes some serious research about

his topic.

Second is the organization of ideas. The researcher organizes all the collected data in

order to have a smooth flow of the research. Organization of ideas is very necessary so that the

readers can easily comprehend the message that is being conveyed in the topic.

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Third is the edition of possible errors. Errors cannot be avoided no matter how careful a

person is. One cannot escape the fact that he is prone to errors. Edition is essential because

possible errors (grammar, facts, spelling, logic, etc.) can be spotted and corrected.

Lastly, studying the topic and the mastery of the topic – these two are also very

important because they are of great help to the researcher. Certainly, the researcher is able to

master his topic when he studies it well. Mastery is needed because there may be confusions on

the topic on the part of researcher and the reader and several questions about the topic may arise.

The researcher must be ready to answer any questions from the readers.


2.1 Biography

A leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law and one of the founders of

utilitarianism, Jeremy Bentham was born in Houndsditch, London on February 15, 1748. He was

the son and grandson of attorneys, and his early family life was colored by a mix of pious

superstition (on his mother’s side) and Enlightenment rationalism (from his father). Bentham

lived during a time of major social, political and economic change. The Industrial Revolution

(with the massive economic and social shifts that it brought in its wake), the rise of the middle

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class, and revolutions in France and America all were reflected in Bentham’s reflections on

existing institutions.32

Jeremy Bentham was educated at Westminster and Queen’s College, Oxford. He was

called to the bar but found the work morally and intellectually distasteful and set out to theorize a

simple and equitable legal system. The law of utility, for which he is best remembered, states the

goodness of a law can be measured in accordance with the measure in which it subserves the

happiness of the individual. His democratic views are expressed in his Constitutional Code

(1830). With J. S. Mill, he founded the Westminster Review, the organ of his philosophical


In 1781, Bentham became associated with the Earl of Shelburne and, through him, came

into contact with a number of the leading Whig politicians and lawyers. Although his work was

admired by some at the time, Bentham’s ideas were still largely unappreciated. In 1785, he

briefly joined his brother Samuel in Russia, where he pursued his writing with even more than

his usual intensity, and he devised a plan for the now infamous “Panopticon”—a model prison

where all prisoners would be observable by (unseen) guards at all times—a project which he had

hoped would interest the Czarina Catherine the Great. After his return to England in 1788, and

for some 20 years thereafter, Bentham pursued—fruitlessly and at great expense—the idea of the

panopticon. Fortunately, an inheritance received in 1796 provided him with financial stability.

By the late 1790s, Bentham’s theoretical work came to have a more significant place in political

reform. Still, his influence was, arguably, still greater on the continent. (Bentham was made an

“Life,” retrieved 03 February 2011 the World Wide Web:
John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham, p. 1.

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honorary citizen of the fledgling French Republic in 1792, and his The Theory of Legislation was

published first, in French, by his Swiss disciple, Etienne Dumont, in 1802.)34

At his death in London, on June 6, 1832, Bentham left literally tens of thousands of

manuscript pages—some of which was work only sketched out, but all of which he hoped would

be prepared for publication. He also left a large estate, which was used to finance the newly-

established University College, London (for those individuals excluded from university

education—that is, non-conformists, Catholics and Jews), and his cadaver, per his instructions,

was dissected, embalmed, dressed, and placed in a chair, and to this day resides in a cabinet in a

corridor of the main building of University College. The Bentham Project, set up in the early

1960s at University College, has as its aim the publishing of a definitive, scholarly edition of

Bentham’s works and correspondence.35

2.2 Works

The researcher will only present one work of Bentham that is related to his topic. He will

not include those works that are not related to the topic.

Here is a work of Bentham: (Some of the contents of this work that are related with

Utilitarianism are included.)


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An Introduction to the principles of Morals and Legislation36

About the Book:

Chapter I – Of the Principle of Utility

Chapter II – Of Principles Adverse to that of Utility

Chapter III – Of the Four Sanctions or Sources of Pain and Pleasure

Chapter IV – Value of a Lot of Pleasure or Pain, How to be Measured

Chapter V – Pleasures and Pains, Their Kinds

Chapter VI – Of Circumstances Influencing Sensibility

Chapter VII – Of Human Actions in General

Chapter VIII – Of Intentionality

Chapter IX – Of Consciousness

Chapter X – Of Motives

Chapter XI – Of Human Dispositions in General

Chapter XII – Of the Consequences of a Mischievous Act

Chapter XIII – Cases Unmeet for Punishment

Chapter XIV – Of the Proportion between Punishments and Offences

Jeremy Bentham, An Introduction to the principles of Morals and Legislation (Oxford: Clarendon Press,

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3.1 The History of Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism is a type of consequentialist ethics developed during the Age of Reason,

most foundationally by Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) and John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), which

states that moral worth is dependent on the end result of an individual’s actions. This end, or

“utility,” is known as the “greatest happiness principle,” which is often defined as the greatest

amount of good provided for the greatest number of individuals. Utilitarianism at its simplest is

an ethical hedonism: pleasure and pain, respectively, are the sole indicators of “good” and


Prior to Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, several English theorists, including

Richard Cumberland (1631-1718), George Berkeley (1685-1773), John Gay (1699-1775), and

David Hume (1711-1776) laid the groundwork for an early Utilitarianism.38

Gay argued with a form of virtue ethics from a Utilitarian perspective, declaring that the

individual attains happiness, here meaning eternal happiness arising from one’s personal

salvation, only by acting in accordance with the will of God. This theological premise is now no

longer a requisite part of Utilitarian theory, and in fact, any vestige of Gay’s distinctly Christian

virtue ethics is unlikely to be found in modern Utilitarianism. Adding a secular moral dimension
Michael Bayer, A Summary of Utilitarian Ethical Theory, p. 1.
Ibid, pp. 1-2.

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to the theory was Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury (1671-1713), whose

refutations of Thomas Hobbes’ egoistic philosophy and emphasis on the individual’s

responsibility to the general welfare qualify him as a Utilitarian, albeit one who rejects its first

hedonistic principles.39

Hume introduced many of the basic concepts of utilitarian theory and he believed that

morals are guided by human behavior. Hume’s basic beliefs included a perception that humans

are naturally kind. According to Quinton, a second belief proposed by Hume was that humans

sympathize with others and seek common ground.40

Jeremy Bentham followed Hume and was the first to formally write down ideas about

utilitarian theory. Bentham’s original views were influenced by his background in economics

and government. Several key assumptions are characteristic of Bentham’s views. First, he

believed that pleasure and pain are influenced by human behavior and human decision-making.

Consequently, what is good or bad is related to what is pleasurable or painful, the hedonist

principle. His simple view of ethics was that good or bad is a function of differences in the

amount of pleasure or pain between courses of action for all individuals involved. Second,

Bentham believed that good or pleasure as an outcome for all affected by a circumstance could

be quantified. Specific amounts of pleasure could be attached to an action for an individual

affected by the decision, and a total amount of pleasure could be calculated by summing values

attached to everyone affected. Bentham proposed the principle of utility, which states that

Ibid, p. 2.
Rick Houser, Felicia L. Wilczenski, and MarryAnna Domokos-Cheng Ham, Culturally Relevant Ethical
Decision-Making in Counseling (USA: Sage Publications, Inc., 2006), p. 25.

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whenever there is a choice between several options the ethical choice is the one that has the best

overall outcome for all involved.41

John Stuart Mill studied Bentham’s views. Mill received only informal training at home

but studied Greek and Latin. He additionally studied logic and read Bentham’s work at an early

age. Mill wrote in the same vein as Bentham on such topics as government, economics, and


3.2 The Concept of Utilitarianism

There are many sources that define utilitarianism. The researcher will only present the

explanation that can be understood easily by the readers.

Utilitarianism considers what one’s best self-interest is, but it does not stop at the self, it

includes the whole community in its discernment of what is the greatest good for the greatest

number of people. The primary criterion for Utilitarianism is “the greatest net happiness for all. 43

Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism44 like ethical egoism: right action is understood

entirely in terms of consequences produced,45 whether it results in happiness or suffering. The

difference between the two is that utilitarianism considers the “greatest number”, while ethical

egoism is individualistic. What is common between the two is that they are both Universalist.
Ibid, pp. 25-26.
Ibid, p. 26.
Villarojo, p. 12.
“The History of Utilitarianism,” retrieved 02 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:

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Happiness is a universal motivation for human action. Yet, one cannot just seek one’s personal

happiness; one must also consider what is pleasurable to other people. In other words, what gives

happiness to other people must also be considered. It is made possible when an action can make

the greatest number of people happy to the greatest degree that the same is considered moral.

Utilitarians make happiness concrete through pleasure. Pleasure is what makes people happy,

and so the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain are the primary values of


3.3 The Nature of Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism is an effort to provide an answer to the practical question “What ought a

man to do?” Its answer is that he ought to act so as to produce the best consequences possible.47

3.4 Bentham’s Utilitarianism

Bentham calls himself a non-theist. He, like his friend James Mill, rejects the term

atheist, as it is impossible for any human being to know whether God exists or not. As a

non-theist, Bentham rejects morality based on divine authority. 48 Actually, based on the

researcher’s evaluation, the concept of non-theist or atheist is the same. It is only a matter of

Villarojo, loc.cit.
“Utilitarianism,” retrieved 02 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:
“Utilitarianism,” retrieved 06 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:, p. 84.

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terms. He believes that there is one single basis for ethics and that is nature. Nature replaces God

as the sole higher authority to which human beings must turn in order to understand

themselves, the world and moral life. Bentham, however, never attempts to explain what he

means by nature. He assumes that no explanation is required. 49 This theory of Bentham is neither

Pantheism nor Panentheism but the researcher believes that this theory of Bentham is closer to

Pantheism. Bentham replaces God to nature. Perhaps, he believes that Nature is God or God and

Nature are one. Bentham develops from this view the idea that morality is the maximization of

pleasure in society. He wrote:

Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and


Since pain and pleasure are already part of nature, trying to escape from these two

sovereign masters is futile. The better thing to do for man is to maximize one of the two. Clearly,

pleasure should be maximized because it gives happiness to man. In this case, pleasure is viewed

as happiness. Pain should be minimized because it can sometimes cause misery to man. Thus,

pleasure must be sought and pain must be avoided.

Bentham believes that not only is humanity under these twin masters, but that every

human should prefer pleasure to pain. Bentham gives no reason for this preference. He argues

that it is fundamental and it needs no evidence. However, he does explain that pleasures and

pains are not just physical sensations; they are also the psychological state that comes from


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feeling pain or pleasure.51 Bentham’s view on pleasure and pain are somewhat general. Well, it is

very much possible. Pleasure and pain refer to actions and things. It might be argued that some

people prefer pain, whether physical or psychological. The answer to this point is that such

people do not see pain as pain but rather as pleasure. Thus a hermit might suffer hardship by

living in a cave all his life, but he regards suffering as a stepping-stone to the pleasure of a

heavenly reward. For the recluse, the physical pain is a psychological pleasure. Bentham calls

this the principle of ascetics, which he rejects. He believes that the religious person deceives

himself by suffering in the hope of an uncertain destiny. The Christian God is not a benevolent

deity who maximizes human happiness. Christians say that God is all-good and all-loving,

Bentham argues, yet they live in constant fear of the Last Judgment and eternal damnation.52

Bentham follows up his view that human beings are under the mastery of pain and

pleasure by arguing that what is good for the individual, is right for human society and for all

sentient creatures. Three points should be noted:

1. The principle of utility has a universal application. Actions should therefore be

calculated on the basis of what is good for the world and not what maximizes the

happiness of a particular locality or class.

2. Every human being counts and all are equal. This is an egalitarian message.

3. Sentient animals are equally under the same law of pain and pleasure and

have to be taken into account when actions “to maximize pleasure” are examined.53

Ibid, p. 85.

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Utilitarian theory is not enough for Bentham. He believes that theories are worthless

unless they have practical application. This is one of the many reasons why he has rejected the

views of Immanuel Kant.54 Kant presents many theories but he has no practical application of his

theories. It is also the main reason for his rejection of what he terms the principle of sympathy.

A person who is sympathetic towards, for example, the difficulty of the homeless is not a good

person since sympathy will not provide homes for these people. Being moral is not being

sympathetic. Morality demands the maximization of good by action to get the homeless off the

streets, which will be beneficial to the whole community.55

Bentham’s application of his moral theory leads to the construction of a method. All

actions are to be calculated in terms of the maximization of happiness and the minimization of

pain. This method is known as the hedonic calculus or felicific calculus. Bentham states that

there are seven basic tests for calculating whether an action will maximize pleasure and

minimize pain. They are the following:

1. Purity of the sensation – meaning that it is not followed by sensations of pain.

2. Remoteness or nearness of the sensation.

3. Intensity of the sensation.

4. Certainty of the sensation.

5. Extent of the sensation, meaning the number of people affected.

6. Duration of the sensation.


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7. Fecundity of the sensation, meaning the chance it will produce other pleasurable


Bentham uses the word sensation instead of experience or action. What he means by this

is that pain and pleasure are products of the senses: sight, hearing, feeling, taste and smell. It is

for each person to sit down and calculate whether a particular action will maximize pleasure, not

only for the individual involved but also for society. Thus the hedonic calculus is the litmus test

for all practical decisions.57

3.5 Critique on Bentham’s Utilitarianism

Bentham’s theory is not individualist but universalist. It considers what is best for the

community, not only for one individual. What is wrong with Bentham’s concept of

Utilitarianism is that it reduces morality into mathematical calculations. Mathematical

calculations ultimately fail, for good and evil cannot be reduced into a mathematical formula. 58

Another great mistake of Bentham is his concept of morality. He says that there is morality when

pleasure is maximized for the greatest number of people. Majority opinion is not always the

moral option.59 Majority is not the basis of morality. Sometimes, the majority can cause


Ibid, p. 86.
Villarojo, p. 13.

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Utilitarianism per se is not a good guide in resolving moral dilemmas because it relies on

consequences, and consequences are never certain unless the action itself has been committed.60

Producing the greatest good for the greatest number is fine as long as you are not hurting

someone you really love in the process. For instance, Allen Walker would rather kill 5 people on

the main track than killing his own mother on the spur track. Utilitarianism runs into problems

when sentiment is involved.61

Bentham’s theory could mean that if 10 people would be happy watching a man being

eaten by wild dogs, it would be a morally good thing for the 10 men to kidnap someone

(especially someone whose death would not cause grief to many others, like an orphan, a

notorious criminal, a homeless man or a convict) and throw the man into a cage of wild, hungry

dogs. With the hedonistic calculus, we subtract one pain from 10 pleasures and conclude it

should be morally acceptable.

If Lenalee has to bring the greatest happiness to the greatest number, not putting her own

happiness above others, that may lead to a dilemma. She lives in a neighborhood where 90% of

her neighbors use drugs. She could make them most happy by supplying them with cheap drugs,

but she feels uncomfortable doing that. What should Lenalee do if she is a utilitarian? Lenalee

would either supply drugs to her neighbors who are drug dependent because she follows her

principles and philosophy as a utilitarian or she would not supply drugs to her neighbors because

she follows her conscience as a person.

“Most Common Criticisms of Utilitarianism,” retrieved 17 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:

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In the case of some technologies, the researcher encourages the people to utilize some

technologies because the happiness that it gives is different from the happiness of the examples

above, which is a distorted or evil form of happiness (torturing someone and pleasure in drugs).

Some technologies can provide the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people. These

technologies do not cause evil to the people; instead, it brings good (convenience in

communication, transportation, education, and in many aspects of life) to them.

Here are some criticisms on Bentham’s Utilitarianism:62

1. Impossibility – the first most common criticism of utilitarianism is that it

is impossible to apply - that happiness cannot be quantified or measured; that
there is no way of calculating a trade-off between intensity and extent, or
intensity and probability (etc), or comparing happiness to suffering.

2. Impracticality – the second most common criticism is that it is too

difficult to apply - that we cannot calculate all the effects for all the
individuals (either because of the large number of individuals involved or
because of uncertainty). The principle of utility is essentially a description of
what makes something right or wrong; so, in order for it to fail, someone must
give an example of something which is useful but obviously wrong.
(Example: In the movie G.I. Joe, the nanomites are useful because it can
destroy the viruses inside the body. Nanomites are wrong because it can
annihilate an object or a city instantly.) The principle does not imply that we
can calculate what is right or wrong – completely, accurately, in advance, or at


4.1 The History of Technology


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Due to lack of sources about technology, especially its history and developments, the

researcher resorts to use a minor source which is the World Wide Web. He is asking for an

apology because of the limitations of his research.

4.1.1 Early Materials or Tools used by Ancient People

Olduvai stone technology (Olduwan) was used 2.5 million years ago (scrapers; to

slaughter dead animals). Acheulean stone technology was used 1.6 million years ago (hand

axe). Fire creation and manipulation was used since the Paleolithic, possibly by Homo erectus

as early as 1.5 Million years ago.63

Clothing was possibly made and used 170,000 years ago. Stone tools were possibly

utilized by Homo floresiensis around 100,000 years ago. The history of ceramics can be traced

back to about c. 25,000 B.C. The domestication of animals was practiced around c. 15,000 B.C.

Bow, sling, and microliths was probably invented in c. 9th millennium B.C. Agriculture and

plough were used around c. 8000 B.C. It was the means of livelihood of the people during this

time. Gnomon was invented and used in c. 4000 B.C.64 It consisted of a vertical stick or pillar;

the length of the shadow it cast gave an indication of the time of day.65

“History of Technology,” retrieved 07 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:
“Sundial History,” retrieved 03 March 2011 from the World Wide Web:

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Wheel (ca. 3800-3600 B.C.) – Based on diagrams on ancient clay tablets, the earliest

known use of this essential invention was a potter’s wheel that was used at Ur in Mesopotamia

(part of modern day Iraq) as early as 3500 B.C. 66 The writing systems were probably discovered

around c. 3500 B.C.

It is generally believed that the first manufactured glass was in the form of a glaze on

ceramic vessels, about 3000 B.C.67 Abacus (3000 B.C.) – In 3000 B.C., an early form of abacus

originated in the Orient. In 1000 B.C., Chinese started using counting boards. In 500 B.C., the

Romans and Greeks used counting boards. In 300 B.C., Abacus was widely used as a counting

device in China.68

Chariots seemed to have originated in Mesopotamia in c. 2000 B.C. The sundial was

used during the Egyptian Period around 1500 B.C. It is believed that the first catapults were

invented by the Chinese in the 3rd or 4th century B.C.69

Most of the records of history said that the stirrup originated in China around 300 A.D.70

4.1.2 Early Technologies (Years before Christ and 100 years after his death)

Beth Rowen, ed., TIME For Kids ALMANAC 2008 (New York: TIME For Kids Books, 2007), p. 132.
“History of Glass,” retrieved 04 March 2011 from the World Wide Web:
“History of Technology,” retrieved 07 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:

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In the earliest known example of ceramics (c. 23, 000 years ago), humans at Dolni

Vestonice modeled figures in burnt clay. Needles of bone or ivory (c. 15, 000 years ago) were

fine enough to take a thread as thin as horse hair.71

The spindle (c. 8000 B.C.) developed naturally in the process of twisting fibers into

thread by hand. Neolithic communities in eastern Anatolia make equipments of hammered

copper (c. 7000 B.C.) – the first tentative step out of the Stone Age. Fragments of cloth, woven

(c. 5800 B.C.) in Catal Huyuk, survived because they were carbonized in a fire. The first

evidence of a loom (c. 4400 B.C.) came from this period in Egypt but some simple method of

holding the warp must be as old as weaving. In Mesopotamia and on the grass steppes of

southern Russia, oxen were used to pull heavy loads on sledges (c. 4000 B.C.). A simple hand-

held plough (c. 4000 B.C.) was in use in Egypt and Mesopotamia, at least 1000 years before a

heavier version was pulled by oxen. Copper (c. 3800 B.C.) was extracted from ore by smelting

at various sites in Iran. An easily portable writing surface (c. 3000 B.C.) was developed from

the papyrus plant of the Nile. The lever (c. 3000 B.C.) was in use in both Mesopotamia and

Egypt. Potters (c. 3000 B.C.) in Mesopotamia turned their pots on wheels. The Chinese

discovered that the cocoon of a certain worm can be unwound, spun as thread and then woven,

thus creating silk (c. 2850 B.C.). Objects were cast in bronze (c. 2800 B.C.) at Ur in

Mesopotamia, introducing what was later called the Bronze Age. Yarns of spun cotton (c. 2500

B.C.) survived at Mohenjo-Daro, one of the two great cities of the Indus civilization. The Hittites

in Anatolia were the first people to work iron (c. 1500 B.C.) introducing what was later called

the Iron Age. The clepsydra or water clock (c. 1400 B.C.) was developed in Egypt. Iron
“Technology Timeline,” retrieved 07 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:

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reheated with carbon (c. 1000 B.C.) was found to be much harder, being transformed into


The technique of glazing pottery (c. 850 B.C.) was discovered in Mesopotamia, though

it was only used at this stage for decorative purposes. The Assyrian army took advantage of the

new technology by which iron can be hardened into steel suitable for weapons (c. 800 B.C.). The

Persian emperor Darius I constructed a canal linking the Nile to the Red Sea (c. 515 B.C.). The

Chinese became the first people to cast iron after developing a furnace which can reach a very

high temperature (513 B.C.). The great network of roads built by Darius I had at its centre, the

2000-mile royal road from Susa to Sardis (c. 500 B.C.). The earliest description of a pulley (c.

350 B.C.) appeared in a Greek text. The first Roman road (c. 312 B.C.), the Via Appia, linked

Rome with Capua. To help the king of Syracuse extract water from the hold of a ship (so the

story goes), Archimedes invented the screw (c. 250 B.C.), now known from his name. Cement

(c. 200 B.C.) was in use for the construction in Asia Minor. It was possibly developed first in

Pergamum. Parchment (c. 170 B.C.) was invented by Eumenes II, king of Pergamum,

according to traditional accounts.73

The Phoenicians discovered that a blob of molten glass can be puffed out to form a

hollow vessel (c. 50 B.C.). Roman legions built the Fosse Way (c. 47 B.C.), a raised road with a

ditch or channel on each side stretching from Lincoln to Devon. Hero, a Greek scientist in

Alexandria, worked out various forms of steam engine (c. 75 B.C.). The dioptra (c. 75 B.C.),

developed by Hero of Alexandria for surveying land, was an early form of theodolite.74


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Medieval and Modern Technologies

Medieval Europe

European technology in the Middle Ages may be best described as a symbiosis of

traditio et innovatio. Genuine medieval contributions include for example mechanical clocks,

spectacles and vertical windmills. Medieval ingenuity was also displayed in the invention of

seemingly not noticeable items like the watermark or the functional button. In navigation, the

foundation to the subsequent age of exploration was laid by the introduction of pintle-and-

gudgeon rudders, lateen sails, the dry compass, the horseshoe and the astrolabe.75

Significant advances were also made in military technology with the development of

plate armor, steel crossbows, counterweight trebuchets and cannon. Perhaps, the Middle Ages

are best known for their architectural heritage. The invention of the rib vault and pointed arch

gave rise to the high rising Gothic style; the ever-present medieval fortifications gave the era the

almost recognizable title of the 'age of castles'.76

Paper (ca. A.D. 100) – Paper making was one of the inventions of the Chinese. 100 A.D.

was often cited as the year in which papermaking was invented. In that year, historical records

“History of Technology,” retrieved 07 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:

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showed that the invention of paper was reported to the Eastern Han Emperor Ho-di by Ts'ai Lun,

an official of the Imperial Court.77


The era was marked by such profound technical advancements. The examples of artist-

engineers in this period were Taccola and Leonardo da Vinci. They gave a deep insight about the

mechanical technology. Architects and engineers were inspired by the structures of Ancient

Rome. Men like Brunelleschi started the idea of the large dome of Florence Cathedral. Military

technology developed rapidly with the widespread use of the cross-bow and ever more powerful

artillery, as the city-states of Italy were usually in conflict with one another. Powerful families

like the Medici were strong patrons of the arts and sciences. Renaissance science gave rise to

Scientific Revolution; science and technology began a cycle of mutual advancement.78

The invention of the moveable type printing press lead to a tremendous increase in the

number of books and the number of titles published.79

a) Industrial Revolution

The British Industrial Revolution is characterized by developments in the areas of textile

manufacturing, mining, metallurgy and transport driven by the development of the steam engine.

Rowen, p. 132.
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Above all else, the revolution was driven by cheap energy in the form of coal, produced in ever-

increasing amounts from the abundant resources of Britain. Coal converted to coke gave the blast

furnace and cast iron in much larger amounts than before, and a range of structures could be

created, such as The Iron Bridge. Cheap coal meant that industry was no longer constrained by

water resources driving the mills, although it continued as a valuable source of power. The steam

engine helped drain the mines, so more coal reserves could be accessed, and the output of coal

increased. The development of the high-pressure steam engine made locomotives possible, and a

transport revolution followed.80

4.1.3 Great Inventions on the 17th Century

Telescope (1608) – The very first telescopes were believed to have began to appear

around the year 1608 and were credited to opticians, Hans Lippershey and Zacharias Janssen, as

a type of spyglass.81


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Mechanical Calculator (1623) – The adding machine of Wilhelm Shickard, math

professor at the University of Tubingen in 1623, was the first mechanical calculator.82

4.1.4 Great Inventions on the 18th Century

Piano (1709) – In 1709, the “pianoforte” was first revealed as the invention of an Italian

harpsichord maker named Bartolomeo Cristofori.83

Lightning Rod (1752) – The Lightning Rod was discovered by Benjamin Franklin.84

Hot-air Balloon (1753) - It is not specified in the history the person who discovered the

Hot-air Balloons.85

Steamship (1783) – Like the Hot-air Balloon, the person who discovered steamship is not

mentioned in the history.86

4.1.5 Great Inventions on the 19th Century


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Braille (1829) – Louis Braille published the first Braille book in 1829. In 1837, he added

symbols for math and music. Although Louis Braille went on to become a beloved and respected

teacher, he was encouraged in his research and continued to believe in the value of his work. His

system of reading and writing with raised dots was nevertheless not very widely accepted in his

own time.87

Lawn Mower (1831) – The first patent for a mechanical lawn mower described as a

"Machine for mowing lawns, etc." was granted on August 31, 1831 to Engineer Edwin Beard

Budding (1795-1846) from Stroud, Gloucestershire, England.88

Matches (1827-1832) – The development of matches began with the discovery of the

element phosphorous in 1669. The inventor of the first friction match is not known with

certainty, but the credit for making the first phosphorous friction match around 1816 was granted

to Francois Derosne of France. In 1827, chemist John Walker from England packaged matches

in cardboard (similar to book matches) and later developed the cardboard box with a piece of

striking material on the side.89

Rubber (1839) – It is one of the most important products to come out of the rainforest.

Though native rainforest dwellers of South America have been using rubber for generations, it

was not until 1839 that rubber had its first practical application in the industrial world. In that

year, Charles Goodyear accidentally dropped rubber and sulfur on a hot stovetop, causing it to

burn like leather yet remain plastic and elastic.90


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Refrigerator (1850) – It was developed in 1850 by Edmund Carre, with a machine which

had to be replenished frequently with fresh acid, owing to continual dilution of the acid by


Dynamite (1866) – Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist and engineer, invented dynamite.92

Typewriter (1868) – In 1868, Christopher Latham Sholes used a telegraph instrument as

the basis for the first typewriter.93

Vacuum Cleaner (1869) – On June 8, 1869, Chicago inventor, Ives McGaffey, patented a

"sweeping machine". This was the first patent for a device that cleaned rugs; however, it was not

a motorized vacuum cleaner. McGaffey called his machine the Whirlwind and it was the first

hand-pumped vacuum cleaner in the United States, a wood and canvas device.94

Chewing Gum (1871) – In 1871, Thomas Adams of New York opened the world’s first

chewing gum factory.95

Telephone (1876) – On June 2, 1875, Alexander Graham Bell, while experimenting with

his technique called "harmonic telegraph", discovered that he could hear a sound over a wire.

The sound was that of a twanging clock spring. Bell's greatest success was achieved on March


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10, 1876, marked not only the birth of the telephone but the death of the multiple telegraph as


Phonograph “Record Player” (1877) – In 1877, the first phonograph was invented by

Thomas Edison. The phonograph was the first method of recording and playing back sound. This

was Edison's first great invention.97

Bicycle (1885) – The bicycle that was introduced in the year 1885, known as Starley's

1885 Rover, is considered to be the prototype of the modern bicycle.98

Ballpoint Pen (1888) – The story began in 1888 when John Loud, an American leather

tanner, patented a roller-ball-tip marking pen. Loud’s invention featured a reservoir of ink and a

roller ball that applied the thick ink to leather hides.99

Handheld Camera (1889) – In 1889, George Eastman created the flexible roll film.100

Zipper (1891) – An engineer named Whitcomb Judson invented the zipper in 1891.

Judson's version consisted of hooks and eyes joined by a moving slide.101


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Motion Pictures “Movies” (1893) – Edison built a film studio on the grounds of his

laboratories in New Jersey to produce films for his kinetoscope machines. The studio is called

"The Black Maria", a slang term for a police patrol wagon that the studio is said to resemble.102

X-ray (1895) – On November 8, 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen accidentally discovered

an image cast from his cathode ray generator, projected far beyond the possible range of the

cathode rays (now known as an electron beam). A week after his discovery, Rontgen took an X-

ray photograph of his wife's hand which clearly revealed her wedding ring and her bones.

Rontgen named the new form of radiation X-radiation (X standing for "Unknown"). Hence, the

term X-rays (also referred as Rontgen rays, though this term is unusual outside of Germany).103

Tape Recorder (1899) – In 1899, Valdemar Poulsen invented the magnetic tape recorder

in Denmark and was granted a patent. It was called the “telegraphone” and the tape was actually

a wire that moved at a constant speed past a recording head.104

4.1.6 Great Inventions on the 20th Century

There were many great inventions on the 20th century. These are some of the great

inventions of the 20th century: First Transatlantic Radio Signals and Electric Washing Machine

(1901), First Motorized Plane and Windshield Wipers (1903), Light Bulbs (1906), Plastic (1907),

Ford Model T Car (1908), Toaster (1909), Air Conditioning (1911), Moving Assembly Line


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(1913), Television (1927), Penicillin and Animated Sound Cartoons (1928), Scotch Tape and Car

Radio (1929), Pre-sliced Bread (1930), FM Radio (1933), Helicopter (1938), Jet Airplane

(1939), Automatic Dishwasher (1940), Microwave Oven (1945), Electronic Computer (1946),

Silly Putty (1949), Disposable Diaper (1950), Long-distance Dialing in the U.S. (1951), Polio

Vaccine (1955), Sputnik Satellite (1957), Home Video Recorder and Push-button Telephone

(1963), Internet (1969), Floppy Disk (1970), Pocket Calculator (1971), Compact Disk (1972),

Desktop Computer (1975), Sonny Walkman (1979), Roller Blades and Post-it Notes (1980),

Space Shuttle (1981), Cellular Telephones (1983), Fax Machine (1988), World Wide Web

(1991), Digital Camera (1994), DVD (Digital Video Disk (1995), and Dolly the sheep – the first

animal made by cloning adult cells (1997).105

4.2 Some technologies that are commonly used by the people and provides happiness to the

greatest number of people.

a) Cell phones – It offers the ability to communicate with someone even in faraway places.

If a person cannot talk directly to another person, he/she may leave a voice, text, or email

message. Letters become obsolete because of the arrival of this technology.

b) Computer/s – It serves as efficient data storage systems and excellent information

processors. It can store, organize, and manage huge amounts of data. In addition, they

operate with incomparable speed. It can really save time and effort of the people to the

highest possible degree. It offers the ability to perform the same tasks as a cell phone. It
Ibid, pp. 132-133.

40 | P a g e
includes communication, printing, scanning and faxing documents and graphics, etc.

Laptops belong to the category of computers but it is more convenient because it is


c) Internet – The use of the internet is rising rapidly. The World Wide Web literally

connects millions of people around the world. Due to the advent of the Internet, an

individual can gain knowledge about any topic at any time in his life and anywhere in the

world. It has improvised the ways to fulfill our needs and to meet our expectations. This

innovation of technology can solve problems urgently.

These are the countries with the most Internet users as of 2008:106


1. U.S. 197, 800, 000

2. China 119, 500, 000
3. Japan 86, 300, 000
4. India 50, 600, 000
5. Germany 46, 300, 000
6. United Kingdom 35, 800, 000
7. South Korea 33, 900, 000
8. Italy 28, 800, 000
9. France 28, 800, 000
10. Brazil 25, 900, 000

d) Vehicles such as Car/s, Train/s, Boat/s, and Airplane/s – These technologies are very

useful because they are the means of transportation. They can bring or lead a person to

his/her destination for a short period of time. They end the burden of a person to walk for

a long distance in order to arrive at his/ her destination.

Rowen, p. 33.

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4.3 Benefits of Technology to the Society

In this part, the researcher will present the benefits of technology to the society using

Utilitarianism’s point of view or principle, the greatest pleasure for the greatest number of

people. He will only present those benefits to which the principle, the greatest pleasure for the

greatest number of people, is applied. These are the following benefits:

1. Technology has led to increase production and reduce labor.

Through technology, people have achieved a great increase in the production of goods

and services. In the past, for example, farmers and animals were the main source of production in

farms. Farmers had to work from dawn to early evening, yet one farmer could produce food

enough only for a family or two.

Then, the tractors and other farm machines powered by diesel fuel or electricity come.

Today, most of the works in the farm are done by machines. As a result of the advent of these

machineries and advanced agricultural technology like the use of fertilizers, one farmer can now

produce food for a hundred people or even more. This assures the people of a continuous supply

of food, particularly rice, corn, and sugar canes.

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The introduction of machines has not only increased production but has also reduced the

amount of work needed to produce goods and services. As a result, most workers are required to

work eight hours a day, five days a week only.

2. Technology has brought us higher living standards.

Higher living standard is a result of the increased production of goods and services. We

are now better fed, better clothed and housed, and we enjoy a healthier, more comfortable life

than the people in the past. Technology has changed the way we live our life. Because of

technology, the development of cars and other vehicles have changed the lives of people. People

can now afford to work in places far from home. They can also spend their leisure time at home

with their family because of some products of technology like videoke, T.V. stereo, play station,

and DVD/VCD player.

3. It has made leisure and play better and more enjoyable.

Under the influence of modern technology, many forms of recreation or game have been

transformed. An example is the team game, particularly basketball that is watched by thousands

of viewers. New sports like skateboarding, motor/car racing, parachuting, mountain climbing,

seas surfing, etc. can now be seen by many audiences as a result of new inventions.

43 | P a g e
Music can also be shared with many people through various means, either through

cassettes and CDs, through concerts and television, or through the Internet and other forms of


4. It has provided us options and access to variety.

Technology has provided us with more choices on what food to eat, what clothes to wear,

what programs to watch, etc.

5. Convenience: Provides a great deal of convenience in advancing personal and business

transactions like shopping, banking, or simply paying bills.

6. Speed: Sending gifts to making payments can be done in few clicks.

7. Communication: The world is a smaller place and technology allows everyone to keep

in touch with their families and friends at a more affordable cost.

8. Accuracy: Technology has reduced errors in mundane tasks, saving time and cost.

9. Development: Technology has brought about development in many fields such as

medicine, government, business, education, etc.

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Technology has evolved and transformed our lives and society. Overall, it has brought

about tremendous growth and benefit to mankind.

Technology increases mastery of vocational and work force skills and helps prepare

students for work when emphasized as a problem-solving tool. 107 Eight out of ten of the fastest-

growing occupations are computer-related.108

4.3.1 Benefits of Technology in Business

In this aspect, some benefits of technology in business will be presented in view of the

principle of Utilitarianism.

Today, technology is an integral part of any business right from the purchase of

computers and software to the implementation of network and security tools. This helps

businesses to: remain up-to-date, drive business forward, and sustain and survive competition.109

Companies have become more profitable with the help of various advanced machines and

equipment, and this has led to a rise in the standard of living of the people. The national income

of countries has also expanded as a result of this.110

J. Cradler, Summary of research and evaluation findings relating to technology in education (San Mateo,
CA: Basic Books, 1994), p. 10.
“Benefits of Technology in Business,” retrieved 03 March 2011 from the World Wide Web:
“Benefits of Technology in Business,” retrieved 04 March 2011 from the World Wide Web:

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1. Research and development has become far more advanced than ever, and this

leads to the invention of ground breaking technology.111

2. Company accounts and customer records can be easily stored and accessed, and

this increases the market penetration of the business.112

3. It has become easier to fight competition, and this has led to more choice for the


4.3.2 Benefits of Technology in Communication

The benefits of technology in communication will be enumerated below in order for the

readers to have a glimpse on how the principle, the greatest pleasure for the greatest number of

people, is applied to technology.

From hand-held computers to touch phones, technological developments in the field of

communication are endless. The means and the modes of communication are unlimited. Some of

the benefits of technological advancements in the field of communication are:


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1. Proximity – technological advancements have made the world a smaller place to

live in.

2. The speed of talking to one another is instantaneous.

3. The mode (method or means) of talking has become more personalized and can

be done anywhere.

4. The clarity of communication has also improved with improvements in audio

quality and video quality.

5. Information and news broadcasting has become more personalized as well.

Moreover, it can reach more people at a faster speed, and people's response can also

be felt immediately.114

4.3.3 Benefits of Technology in Education

The researcher will give some benefits of technology in education below. These benefits

are still based on the principle of Utilitarianism.

Technological advancements in the field of education are fast evolving. Some of the

benefits of technology in this field are:

“Benefits of Technology,” retrieved 04 March 2011 from the World Wide Web:

47 | P a g e
1. Personalized learning experience: Learners are able to take control and manage

their own learning. They set their own goals, manage the process and content of

learning, and communicate with peers.115

2. Greater access: Technological advancements have opened education to learners

with learning disabilities and in remote locations. The increased use of technology in

education has brought popularity to the concept of distance learning. It is now one of

the most preferred methods of learning and teaching all over the world.116 A student

can gather any information anytime and anywhere as long as he/she has the needed

technology like laptop, smart bro, globe tattoo, etc. In other words, a student can learn

something anytime and anywhere.

3. Technology enhances the potentials of the students. Students with extensive

access to technology learn how to organize complex information, recognize patterns,

make good conclusions, and communicate findings.117 The use of technology in

education today has made a huge wealth of knowledge accessible to students. With

the use of technology, information can be presented in many ways; thus, it gives

learning to different types of people. Any kind of learner, whether intelligent or

disabled, can find appropriate study materials (handheld dictionaries, textbooks, etc.)

that can be used for enhancing knowledge.

4. The use of technology in the classroom improves students’ motivation and

Barbara Means, ed., Technology and Education Reform: The Reality Behind the Promise (San Francisco,
CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1994), p. 67.

48 | P a g e
attitudes about themselves and about learning. Technology-rich schools report higher

attendance and lower dropout rates than in the past.118

5. Students who regularly use technology also take more pride in their work, have

greater confidence in their abilities, and develop higher levels of self-esteem.119

6. The use of technology in education has made the teaching-learning process an

enjoyable and beneficial experience for the instructors and the learners.

Technological advancement in the field of education is not only limited to education

itself. It becomes vast and it includes the development of technology in the classroom setting.

Benefits of technology in the classroom will be enumerated by the researcher. These benefits are

still in relation with the principle of Utilitarianism.

Innovations of technology like netbooks, iPhones, Twitter and Facebook become part in

modern culture. Most educators are looking for methods of using them in meaningful methods in

class. Some of the benefits that can be realized through the use of technology in the classroom

are shown below.

1. Effective preparation for specific careers

David Dwyer, Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow: What We’ve Learned, p. 4.
“Benefits of Technology Facts,” retrieved 04 March 2011 from the World Wide Web:

49 | P a g e
Technology can also be used to prepare learners for specific career paths. This includes

simple things like computer literacy or keyboard training for learners who are looking to do

administrative or secretarial office work. Furthermore, learners who are making use of large sets

of data can use Excel for managing and manipulating statistics.120

2. Communication benefits

Various technology tools like e-mails, chat rooms, and forums enable students to

communicate with other students across the world. Students can easily exchange ideas as well as

other informations, leading to the creation of a large community of students all working to

accomplish similar goals.121

3. Provides easy access to information

In the past, students had to go through lots of books in the library to locate information.

However, with the help of technology, students can now gather information instantly. Teachers

can also teach a lot more during their lessons since the internet enables students to get

information more quickly.122

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4.3.4 Benefits of Technology in Healthcare

In the field of healthcare, there are also technological advancements which can give

benefits to the society. The researcher is very much positive that these benefits can help the

readers understand well on how the principle of Utilitarianism is applied to technology.

The union between medicine and technology has reshaped healthcare and revolutionized

the medical profession. Some of the major benefits are:

1. Secure environment: Technology allows physicians and patients to interact in a

secure and comfortable environment to discuss sensitive issues.123 In other words, the

communication between patients and doctors has become easier, more personal, more

flexible and more sensitive.

2. Flexibility: Physicians can answer routine and less critical inquiries at a

convenient time.124

3. Personal records of patients are maintained, which makes it easier to study

symptoms and carry out diagnosis of previously unexplainable conditions.

4. Medical devices: Medical aids allow patients to continue recovery at home

reducing their hospital stay.125

“Benefits of Technology in Healthcare,” retrieved 04 March 2011 from the World Wide Web:

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5. Technology saves many people from the hands of death. It provides medicines

and machines that can heal grave sickness or diseases.126 New medicines have led to

the end of many illnesses and diseases.

6. Medical research has become supremely advanced, and every ailment seemingly

has a cure, or at least prevention.

All of these benefits of technology are presented in order for everyone to see the beauty

and importance of technology. Even though there are certain repercussions and a negative impact

of technology, nobody can say that technology has not aided society as a whole. Thanks to

technology; the world has become a better place to live in. Thanks to these advancements; the

future looks much brighter.

4.4 The Researcher’s View on Technology

Human beings want convenience in living, convenience in labor, and security in life.

Sometimes, these “wants” do not even suffice since humans always want for more – more

convenience in living, more expediency in labor, and more security in life. This want for “more”

has always been a major struggle in life ever since. There is no end to the dissatisfaction of man.

The primitive people, who used to live in caves, break the walls of separation or timidity. They

cross vast valleys and mountains and build houses that are conducive for living. They have

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portrayed that the means for survival is not only limited to hunting. Sooner, planting is practiced.

Much sooner, machines are invented and laws are imposed. All of these come to be because of

man’s endless want for more. Today, as we can see, people enjoy the benefits of transportation

and communication, the convenience of living, and the security in life.

Technology is, indeed, conceived as grace for it brings progress in the society, gives

convenience to majority of the people, and opens new dimensions in life or changes the lives of

the people for good. Technology is essential; without it, humans might not have conquered the

impediments of civilization. Technology is conceived as “grace”, i.e., as “good”, it is also the

same time a disgrace. It negates itself. Whenever it produces “good”, it also brings evil effects on

man and society. There is no escape to the fact that a thing has always its advantage (good thing)

and disadvantage (bad thing). Hence, technology, as a mode of production, changes the social

relationships among individuals. Certainly, technology, as an instrument for control and

domination, promotes chaos rather than harmony, confusion rather than understanding.

While technology promotes abundance in life and progress in society, one cannot deny

the fact that it also destroys life.

Technology is an improved route to an unimproved destination. Meaning, technology can

make the impossible possible, not absolutely speaking. Technology can be used as an instrument

to achieve our dreams or goal in life (unimproved destination). Technology is associated with

innovation. It involves the transformation of ideas into something useful. Technologies can make

ideas into something real (tangible). The researcher strongly believes that new scientific

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inventions begin with a single vague idea. Innovation is not limited to creative people and

organizations, but it also involves the availability of technological and scientific talent.

Technology has changed the lives of the people for the better.

With the advent of technology, people are building bridges to decrease the distances in

their mind. The Internet is a concrete example of this “bridge”. People can easily get any

information anytime and anywhere if they have questions or confusions of something. The

ignorance of the people can easily be cured with the help of this technology, the Internet.

If one would look back in time, he/she realizes or sees the great improvements in his/her

life due to the fruits of technology. It has provided the people with less consumption of time and

resources. Some technologies can make work easy and it can even provide a good outcome of

the work.

Here is a paragraph that states about how technology affects the lives of the people:

Technologies have been changing the world for a long time, at an increasing pace,
with ever expanding scope and unprecedented impact. They profoundly affect
human life and are radically modifying not only how we interact with, shape, and
make sense of our world, but also how we look at ourselves and understand our
position and responsibilities in the universe. Technologies have brought enormous
benefits and opportunities, but they have also raised new and pressing challenges,
whose complexity and global dimensions are rapidly expanding and evolving.127


“Philosophy and Technology,” retrieved 16 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:

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Utilitarianism would say that “the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people”

principle is the basis of morality. In other words, there is morality when a person or a group of

people experiences or attains pleasure. This is very defective because no matter what the

“means” is, morality can still be achieved as long as the “end” (of the action) is pleasure. This

principle, the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people, would lead to the formulation

of an idea that goes, “the end justifies the means”.

“The end justifies the means” can be applicable to technology in utilitarian view. The

researcher will give few examples of situations to which this principle can be applied.

In Japan, a 19-year-old student was arrested in a case that has become a

media sensation, producing all sorts of editorials on the subject. If convicted, he
faces up three years in prison and a fine of $6, 000.128

What was his crime? He was cheating in college entrance exams.129

The kid was caught using his cell phone to access the Internet to get
answers to questions mainly involving Math problems and translating passages
from Japanese to English. Someone saw the postings, noted that the dates
coincided with the exam days, and notified the university, triggering an
investigation. The kid readily confessed to the wrongdoing.130

The student really benefits something from two technologies (Cell phone and Internet).

The “end” is that the student attains pleasure because he is able to pass the entrance exams. The

“means” is “cheating”. Perhaps, for utilitarians, the action can be considered as something good

because pleasure is attained by the agent at the end of the action, but if it were to be evaluated, it

Conrado de Quiros, “That is Culture,” Philippine Daily INQUIRER, 10 March 2011, Vol. 26, p. A13.

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is obviously wrong because cheating is an immoral act. Cheating does not only violate morality

but also to some laws of the society.

Here is another example:

At 2:45 in the morning of August 6, 1945, an American B-29 bomber flew north from

Tinian Island in the Marianas toward Japan. Three and a half hours later, over the city of

Hiroshima, the Enola Gay dropped an 8,900-pound atomic weapon from its specially modified

bomb bay. Two thousand feet above the ground, the bomb named "Little Boy" by its makers was

detonated, levelling almost 90% of the city.131

On August 9, another B-29, Bockscar, set out for the Kokura Arsenal on the southwest

Japanese island of Kyushu. Foul weather, however, persuaded the pilot to proceed instead toward

Nagasaki, the home of a Mitsubishi torpedo factory. Over this secondary target, Bockscar

dropped a larger device, code-named "Fat Man." Local geography spared Nagasaki from the near

total devastation suffered by Hiroshima; only one third of the city was destroyed.132

U.S. military officials believed that such a massive demonstration of U.S. military power

was the only reasonable way to force an unconditional Japanese surrender. Though the islands'

supply lines had been cut, the Japanese air force was a mess and Tokyo was nearly in ruins; it

was still widely believed that no conventional military action short of an invasion could make

Ben Snowden, “The Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945,” retrieved 10
March 2011 from the World Wide Web:

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Japan surrender. In her entire history, Japan had never been invaded or defeated. Even after the

destruction of Hiroshima, she refused to surrender.133

The decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki—the first and last use of atomic weapons

in combat—remains one of the most controversial in military history. Altogether, the two

bombings killed an estimated 110,000 Japanese citizens and injured another 130,000. By 1950,

230,000 Japanese had died from injuries or radiation. Though the two cities were nominally

military targets, the overwhelming majority of the casualties were civilian.134

The end of the bombing in Nagasaki and Hiroshima was that the U.S. attained peace in

their country and the threat of the Japanese ended. Utilitarians would possibly say that the use of

“Fat Man” and “Little Boy” can be accepted or justified because the principle the greatest

pleasure for the greatest number of people is attained through the peace in the U.S. and the end

of the Japanese threat. It is like saying that the end “peace in the U.S. and the end of the Japanese

threat” can justify the means “bombing” as long as pleasure is attained.

For the researcher, the use of “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” cannot be justified because the

action “bombing” is not morally good. It killed many people in Japan. Peace in the U.S. and the

end of the Japanese threat cannot be used as a justification for the use of Nuclear Weapons. The

attainment of pleasure is not the basis of the goodness of an act.


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Lastly, in the movie Death Race, the vehicles are misused. In the movie, vehicles are

used as an instrument to kill people in order to attain freedom. A question can be raised: Does it

mean to say that using vehicles as an instrument for killing is right as long as freedom is

achieved? The end justifies the means is still not applicable to this situation. Attaining freedom is

not enough a reason to justify the “means” which is killing. Vehicles are made for transportation

purposes not as an instrument for domination or causing war.

The principle, the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people, which can result

to an idea, the end justifies the means, cannot be justified. The concept of Jeremy Bentham,

nature replaces God, is totally wrong. This would mean to say that it is right to watch

pornography on the Internet because it gives pleasure. Why? For Bentham, it is part of man’s

nature to seek pleasure. “Following what nature requires” is the reason why it is wrong but not

absolutely speaking. Morality is reduced to pleasure or to the amount of pleasure that is being

experienced. There are instances when “following what nature requires” is right. For example: A

seminarian uses the telephone booth at 11:00 p.m. without asking for permission from any of the

priest-formators. He calls his mother because he is gravely ill and he wants to be admitted to the

hospital. Good enough, the seminarian is immediately admitted to the hospital and he is cured

from his severe illness. In this situation, the use of technology (telephone) is right and

permissible. This does not mean that the end justifies the means can be justified. This situation is

only an exemption, not a justification of the end justifies the means. The “means” is still wrong

literally speaking because it is a violation, but it is lesser evil or not evil at all because it is an


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Thus, the end justifies the means is impossible. If pleasure is the end of the action, it does

not necessarily mean that the “means” of the action is good. There may be exemptions but only

in rare cases.

The researcher affirms to the fact that technology is used for good in most cases and most

of the people take pleasure in it. The greatest pleasure for the greatest number of people may be

accepted if both the “means” and the “end” of the action are good.

Technology does not do anything to threaten the society; it is the misuse of it that

threatens society. It is human beings who use technology that threatens society, the fault lies at

the user of the technology, not on the technology itself.

The researcher hopes that this chapter can shed light the readers about the utilitarian view

on technology.


The use of technology in this modern time is very necessary because it makes life easy, it

saves ample amount of time, it provides knowledge of different things, etc. It even gives

convenience (makes communication, transportation, and education easy) and happiness to

majority of the people but it may lead to immorality and negligence of duties as a person. Too

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much pleasure of technology does not necessarily mean that there is morality. Morality is not

measured by how much pleasure a thing serves. It is still futile when man experiences greatness

or easiness in life but he does not find true happiness. True happiness can be experienced when

man lives a virtuous life (doing what is due to others and doing the responsibilities). Perhaps, the

best thing to do is to enjoy and take pleasure of technologies without taking for granted the

duties and responsibilities in life; without violating the rights of others through the use


It is not illicit to use technologies as long as it is intended for good not for evil.

Technologies should not be used as a tool for domination, devastation, chaos, and malice to the

people and the world; instead, it must be used to aid the people and the world in their quest for

survival; it must also be used for the improvement of something, for the progress of a work or

business, etc. as long as it does not cause harm to others. Technology can never be blamed when

it causes evil. Obviously, it is not rational. It is dependent to the user. Technology is intended for

good. It is only the user, who uses it in a wrong way, which makes it evil.

Some people say that technology is neutral – it is neither good nor evil. They say:

Those who believe that technology is neutral argue that “guns don’t kill
people, people do”, or that a knife can be used to “cook, kill, or cure.” Those who
believe in the opposite side counter it with evidence that technology cannot be
evaluated in a vacuum and that there are traits common to all technological

1. Technological objects are unique; they are designed to function in a

particular and limited way, and

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2. Technological objects are intertwined with their environment; they interact
in unique ways with the rest of reality.135

Based on Jeremy Bentham’s Utilitarianism, technology can really provide happiness to

majority of the people. Certainly, it is not a distorted kind of happiness. It depends on the people

whether they will use it for good or evil. It is only the intention or the action of the people that

makes technology evil, not technology itself that is the evil. Technology is more of an advantage

(good) rather than a disadvantage (evil) to the people and the world. Seminary formators cannot

deny the fact that they also use some convenient technologies like cell phones, personal

computers or laptops, DVD players, television, air conditioner, cars, etc. Perhaps, they can be

good examples of good users of technology because they never forget to do their duties and

responsibilities as a formator or as a priest. They never make technology a hindrance to their

duties and responsibilities.

In the context of seminary formation, some technologies such as cell phone,

Mp3/Mp4/iPod, PSP, Nintendo DS, etc. are prohibited by the formators even if these

technologies could give the greatest happiness (or beyond, if these is such a thing) to the


What are some reasons to this prohibition?

1. The seminarians are under formation (formation over entertainment).

“Is Technology Good, Evil, or Neutral?” retrieved 16 February 2011 from the World Wide Web:

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2. The seminarians are not responsible and mature enough.

3. The seminarians are prone to do/commit abuses of the privileges.

The happiness of the seminarians can be considered as a distorted or evil form of


Perhaps, these prohibited technologies will be allowed by the formators someday if the

seminarians would develop their sense of responsibility and maturity – they are able to manage

their time wisely and follow the schedules of the seminary faithfully.


Primary Sources:

Mill, John Stuart and Bentham, Jeremy. Utilitarianism and Other Essays. ed. Alan Ryan.
London: Penguin Books, 1987.

Bentham, Jeremy. An Introduction to the principles of Morals and Legislation. Oxford:

Clarendon Press, 1907.

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Houser, Rick, Wilczenski, Felicia L., and Ham, MarryAnna Domokos-Cheng. Culturally
Relevant Ethical Decision-Making in Counseling. USA: Sage Publications, Inc., 2006.

Villarojo, Dennis. Notes on General Ethics.

Bentham, Jeremy. Notes on Political Philosophy.

Bayer, Michael. A Summary of Utilitarian Ethical Theory.

Ed. Rowen, Beth. TIME For Kids ALMANAC 2008. New York: TIME For Kids Books, 2007.

Secondary Sources:

Cradler, J. Summary of research and evaluation findings relating to technology in education. San
Mateo, CA: Basic Books, 1994.

Ed. Means, Barbara. Technology and Education Reform: The Reality Behind the Promise. San
Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1994.

Dwyer, David. Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow: What We’ve Learned.

Bittle, Celestine N. Reality and the Mind. Milwauke: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1936.

Goldwag, Arthur. Isms and Ologies. United States: Madison Park Press, 2007.


De Quiros, Conrado. “That is Culture.” Philippine Daily INQUIRER, 10 March 2011, Vol. 26.

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