Author's Note: I do not own the Evangelion franchise. I don't expect all that many to actually get or care about this, but if you have sufficient familiarity with philosophy, then you might appreciate - or hate - this.
Rei's Take on Utilitarianism
The old sensei came to work every day, and each class was the same. He took roll call and began to teach the youth who would be in charge of the world's future - provided, of course, that the world didn't end before they could get out there and take charge. Sensei taught them many things. He taught them what life was like before Second Impact, and how it had changed things. He drew from his own personal life experience in dealing with the tragedy of Second Impact. He told them about the first few years after Second Impact, which, while they may have been alive at the time, they certainly couldn't have remembered, and their parents might not have been telling them thoroughly enough what it was like. He told them of how the price of soba noodles rose to ridiculous heights, how the coffee rations were doled out only once a week, and how he once helped prevent one girl, who at the time had been about their age, from resorting to enjo kosai to keep her family fed and the PlayStation 2 running.
But most of all, sensei wanted the students to know what life was like in the good old days, before Second Impact. He wanted them to know what life was like before the internet and personal computers, how he met his wife, and how cheap booze used to be. He taught them what could be achieved if only the whole world cooperated, how no one else in Japan really understood how a democracy was supposed to work nearly so well as he did, and how poorly teachers were paid. And most importantly, he taught them his philosophy. Assuming, of course, that they were listening.
The old sensei's eyes narrowed as he noticed that one of his students was talking to someone else. Normally the old sensei never noticed when this happened; he never noticed when his students used instant messenger to converse. But when one of them started yelling about the relative awesomeness of one helicopter manufacturer against another, and sensei just happened to be staring directly at said student, it was difficult for sensei not to notice. "Kensuke!" sensei barked. "What's the meaning of 'utilitarianism'?"
Kensuke snapped his eyes to the front of the class, all conversation suddenly halted. Everyone knew that when sensei actually started paying attention to his students, you had to be careful. Nonetheless, now that Kensuke actually had the teacher's attention, he felt compelled to ask a question that had been eating at him for several years now. "Uh... sensei, isn't this supposed to be a math class?"
Indeed, all the homework and required reading was math-related. Everyone even had math equations on their computer screens, assuming the screen wasn't mostly obscured by personal chat windows and porn. Sensei was a math teacher, but that didn't mean he didn't have other varieties of wisdom to impart. The sensei continued to glare at Kensuke and said, "So what you're saying is, you haven't been listening to a word I've said."
"Ah, no! No, um..." Kensuke tried to remember what sensei had said about utilitarianism before - he'd been giving the same lectures year after year, so Kensuke knew the information was somewhere in his brain. "Uh, utilitarianism is the philosophy where one tries to do the action that will cause the greatest good for the greatest number of people."
"Exactly," sensei said, seeming a little pacified. "And what is 'the good' defined as?"
"'Pleasure,'" Kensuke said. "'The greatest pleasure for the greatest number.'"
"Right," sensei said. "I guess you have been paying attention. That's good. It pleases me."
Amused snorts could be heard among the other boys.
"And as I was saying -" and as the sensei turned to look towards the other side of the class, he saw a pair of eyes he had never seen gaze in his direction before. "Eh... Ayanami? Do you have something to say?" Not that he had reason to believe she wanted to say anything, but the idea that she should suddenly take an interest in his lectures seemed odd to him.
Rei asked, "What is the ideal society, according to utilitarianism?"
"An interesting question, Ayanami," the sensei said, most pleased to have a student interested in learning in his class. He couldn't remember the last time he'd ever had one - which was somewhat pathetic, considering he was teaching in a Japanese high school. (Had he been teaching in a Japanese college or an American high school, then it was only to be expected.) "Many philosophers have debated that very question."
Rei nodded slightly.
"Do you have any thoughts on what such a society would be like?" Sensei wasn't certain that she ever had any thoughts, but for all he knew, perhaps she thought all the time. He suddenly wanted to know which was true.
Rei said, "If the definition of good is 'pleasure,' and the idea of utilitarianism is to maximize pleasure occurring in the greatest number of people, then I would imagine that such a society would only minimally focus on it's industries - clothing, food production, and medicine - creating only what was necessary, except the entertainment industry, which would be of utmost concern. People would only take jobs they enjoyed doing, and if one couldn't or didn't like working, their pressure to work should be only enough to keep society going.
"But more than anything," Rei continued, "I would think the purpose of such a society would be to encourage people to have as much sex as possible, for as long as possible, and with as many people as possible." Halfway through the sentence boys started laughing and girls starting saying "Oh my God!" and "Can you believe her?" There was also lots of giggling, blushing, and "That's disgusting!"
"Rei," sensei said, "I don't find that amusing."
"But wouldn't it be true?" Rei asked. "Sex is generally considered the most pleasurable of human activities - certainly the most intense. And it can last for extended periods of time. By this philosophy, people ought to be encouraged to excel in sex as much as possible. The relevant institutions and authorities ought to sanction an on-going public orgy. Perhaps some especially talented individuals could be employed by the state to help -"
"I'm sure if we simply had sex all the time we'd get bored, Ayanami."
Rei asked, "Sensei, would I be amiss in supposing you lost your virginity many years ago?"
"Not at all."
"And you have had many sexual encounters since then?"
"Not enough," he said.
"So may I presume you have not lost interest in sex?"
"I haven't, but my wife has!"
The class responded to this with a little laughter and lots of gagging.
Rei resumed her usual silent staring out the window while the sensei and class representative tried to bring order back among the students. And Rei wondered to herself, Why should anyone tire of having sex? How could that happen? Certainly utilitarianism demands that society should try to weed out the causes of such an affliction...