Lesson Thirteen: Uses of Utilitarianism

The demon Slubgrip's previous adventures were gathered and recorded in Fr. Longenecker's Lent Book, The Gargoyle Code. Written in Screwtapian style, Slubgrip instructs his protégé Dogwart, while trying to keep tabs on his own 'patient'—all while the tempters tumble through Lent to Easter Day.

Worms, before we begin I must share with you the most amusing event, which occurred over the weekend. You will remember how your amateurish colleague Snort attempted to double cross me—all the time buttering me up while he was making accusations against me to Chancellor Borstal. Happily, I had the chance to butter him up. Literally. I had arranged for the Flancks to take him to the training chambers, but once class was dismissed here I arranged a little meeting with Chancellor Borstal myself.

What poor sniveling Snort didn't realize was that Chancellor Borstal and I go back a long way. Borstal saw that Snort needed something a bit more severe than a few screws and stretches in the training chambers and so he sent him a dinner invitation. As it happened, this was the weekend of the annual dinner for educators and administrators, and Borstal had finagled an invitation. I wasn't, myself, invited to dine, but I have a certain reputation down below for organizing the entertainment at such dinners, and my old friend Crasston, the Undersecretary for Enquiries asked me to fix things as a favor to him. So I arranged for Snort to be my assistant, and gave him the task of melting down the fat from a nice collection of gluttons, so that I could use it to baste the rotisserie of scolds.

What he didn't know dear worms, was that the melted fat wasn't for basting anything. It was for lambasting him. We made a great ceremony of wheeling out the vat of scalding oil, and as it was the banquet for educators we got Snort all dressed up in a schoolboy's uniform—shorts, tie, and little hat. We told him to stir the vat from a platform on top. Then at an arranged signal, in front of the assembled guests we set off a few little fizz pops and the platform collapsed, dropping Snort into the fat. There was a delightful puff of smoke, and his screams were hilarious. Brought the house down.

Then we scooped him out and he proved to be a nice crunchy treat for the appetizer. Very tasty dipped into a sweet and sour sauce of melted down flatterers. That'll teach him to butter me up!

Now my dear annelids and nematodes, if it isn't too much trouble I really do need you to engage those minuscule organs you call brains. We're still on foundations and philosophy today. Glimwort, be a sport will you my lad, and trot on down to the canteen and bring me a cup of lava? I wouldn't mind a couple of those sweet rolls—you know the ones, made up of layers of flesh from sentimentalists.

We're still thinking about different ways to infiltrate the basic belief of relativism into every aspect of popular culture. Here is a long word for you, slugs: utilitarianism. This is the belief that what works is good. If it is efficient and cost-effective it is good. The hairless bipeds want to bring order out of chaos. They want their world to be clean and efficient and smooth and cost-effective. This sort of neurotic human obsessiveness is something I personally find obnoxious. It's boring, worms. Give me the rough and tumble of chaos. Give me the unexpected and exciting world where anything can happen.

However, we're willing to give a little and lose a battle, if it will win us the war.

Here's how it works: we allow them to make their world as clean and tidy and efficient and cost-effective as possible, and at the same time, through other complicated means, we have destroyed their belief in any such thing as truth. Because they are so enamored with the enemy's lie called "truth" they will cling to any little "good" as a new "truth" to live by.

Without any kind of metaphysical truth they will cling to a physical truth. In this case, they will exalt efficiency and cleanliness and order and cost effectiveness at the highest truth and ideal. Haven given up good works they choose to believe that what works is good.

This is one of the basic assumptions you need to work on my dear worms. Those of you who are a bit brainier may end up working with college professors. With them your utilitarianism can be a formal philosophy, but for most of the population the philosophy will be woven into the underlying presuppositions that support a multitude of newspaper articles, opinion pieces, television programs, films, books, and novels. The assumption is that the only real good is what is efficient and clean and positive and cost-effective for the greatest number of people.

4/7/2011 4:00:00 AM
  • Catholic
  • Father Dwight Longenecker
  • Abortion
  • Devils
  • Lent
  • Relativism
  • Temptation
  • Utilitarianism
  • Christianity
  • Roman Catholicism
  • Dwight Longenecker
    About Dwight Longenecker
    Fr. Dwight Longenecker is the Parish Priest of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, South Carolina. His latest book is Catholicism Pure and Simple.