Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Utilitarianism in Crime and Punishment Essay -- Crime Punishment Essay

Utilitarianism in Crime and Punishment      Ã‚  Ã‚   Raskolnikov's mathematical evaluation of the moral dilemma presented to him in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment exemplifies the empirical view of utilitarianism.   Utilitarianism attempts to distinguish between right and wrong by measuring a decision based on its calculated worth.   Raskolnikov appears to employ the fundamentals of utilitarianism by pitting the negative consequences of murdering his old landlady against the positive benefits that her money would bestow onto society.   However, a true follower of utilitarianism would be outraged at Raskolnikov's claim that murdering the old woman can be considered morally right. Raskolnikov arbitrarily leaves out some necessary considerations in his moral "equation" that do not adhere to utilitarianism.   A utilitarian would argue that Raskolnikov has not reached an acceptable solution because he has not accurately solved the problem.   On the other hand, a non-utilitarian would reject even the notion of deliberating about the act of murder in such a mathematical manner.   He might contend that Raskolnikov's reasoning, and the entire theory of utilitarianism, cannot be used to judge morality because it rejects individual rights and contains no moral absolutes.      Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   A utilitarian bases his belief upon two principles:   the theory of right actions and the theory of value.   These two principles work together and serve as criteria for whether or not a utilitarian can deem an action morally right. First, the theory of right action argues that the morally right decision is the one whose consequences are at least as good as any other availa... ...    Gibson, A Boyce. The Religion of Dostoyevsky. Philadelphia: Westmenster Press, 1973. Monas, Sidney, trans. Crime and Punishment. By Fyodor Dostoyevsky. New York: Penguin, 1968.    Morsm, Gary Saul. "How to Read. Crime and Punishment." Commentary 1992 June, 93 (6):  Ã‚   49-53.    Rosenshield, Gary "The Realization of the Collective Self: The Birth of Religious Autobiography in Dostoevski's Zapiski iz Mertvogo Doma." Slavic Review 1991 Summer 50 (2): 317-27.    Panichas, George A. "The World of Dostoyevsky." Modern Age 22: 346-57    Mann, Robert. "Elijah the Prophet in Crime and Punishment." Canadian Slavonic Papers 1981 Sept 23 (3): 261-72.    Yancey, Phillip. "Be Ye Perfect, More or Less: Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and the impossible Sermon on the Mount." Christianity Today 17 July 1991: 38-41.

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