• Mugdha Joshi

Moving away from utilitarianism in the search of peace

Mugdha, a new writer from India, explores utilitarianism and moving away from it to connect with others and prevent international conflict.


Language is a beautiful thing. To be able to communicate one’s emotions to another, to be able to connect with one’s soul is wonderful. It’s amazing that being human brings us so many forms of language. Honestly, I'm grateful to be human.


Literature is essentially putting emotions into language, to convey feelings through carefully woven stories. Since I live in India and have lived here for the past few years, I’ve had multiple opportunities to explore Indian society's opinions. Unfortunately, a great portion of these opinions leans towards the feeling that the utilitarianism of what you learn is the most important and only thing to consider when you are learning.

"Personally, I don’t really like the word ‘utilitarian’. It suggests that its counterpart, the non-utilitarian, is unnecessary."

In India's context, utilitarianism refers to things without which it would be physically impossible to live without. For example, investigating the application of physics in electricity that we use every day would be a utilitarian exploration.


However, lately, people have been exploring non-utilitarian fields, such as that of literature. Personally, I don’t really like the word ‘utilitarian’. It suggests that its counterpart, the non-utilitarian, is unnecessary.


What we fail to understand is that the so-called non-utilitarian field is what we need now. To be able to convey our emotions, to be able to show others how we think, how we feel, is something that innately helps us connect with our own souls and others. It’s an ethereal concept. Unfortunately, since most of us lean more towards utilitarianism, we are unable to connect to ourselves and hence, cannot connect with others. When we can’t connect with others, we cannot empathize.


I'd also like to take this concept to the present day and the conflict in Ukraine. What’s happening between Ukraine and Russia is so sad. It disgusts me that instead of putting finances forward to solve real problems, we are out here creating more. In fact, there was a lyric from Tupac Shakur’s ‘Keep Ya Head Up’ song that truly resonated with me: “They got money for wars, but can't feed the poor.”


It’s simple to say that peace is the way forward, but how can we make peace if we simply can’t empathize with what others are going through? It’s very theoretical to say that we should be putting non-utilitarianism at the helm and taking a step back to reassess where we are as sympathetic beings. If

we can’t find the power to spread goodness and live and let live, then what really makes us human anymore?


Again, we can only connect with others when we are connected with our own souls. To love is a beautiful thing, so let's gradually move away from utilitarianism and connect with the more human sides of ourselves. At least, this is an easy step to take to prevent and end conflicts like the one in Ukraine.