Debate Rounds (5)
I know there is some issues between Act-Utilitarianism and Rule-Utilitarianism, but it can simply be summed up as the world first being under Rule-U., but slowly progressing towards Act-U. as we advance farther in technology and knowledge in foresight.
I believe this first round is just for acceptance, so I won't justify my arguments. However, I would like to notify my opponent that I am planning to ground my position on the impracticality of this philosophy and its disregard for justice and for the human subjectivity. I would also like to ask my opponent if I should present another philosophy as a better alternative? So I can effectively refute the "best philosophy" statement.
Though yes, when looked upon in our modern times, Rule-Utilitarianism, let alone Act-Utilitarianism, in general is quite impractical. Too many variables to keep track of despite our modern tech. Yet, if we now start to take the baby steps towards Act-Utilitarianism by, for instance, Rule-Utilitarianism, it can be achievable.
These baby steps can include enforcing selflessness, education, environmental awareness, technological advancements, equal opportunity/judgment, and so on, common aspirations for many.
If you have another philosophy you'd think is more ideal, then feel free to present such.
We care about those that are close to us and we don't develop empathy towards people we don't know anything about. It's almost impossible to motivate our brains to protect the interests of people that we don't know, mainly if it is in sacrifice of those that we love.
Utilitarianism expects humans to be able to take in consideration all the results of their actions, deliberate upon these results and act according the greater good. Humans are simply incapable of such complex reasoning. You say that we could start slowly with Rule-Utilitarianism, with a set of basic rules to help people discern the complex, unpredictable results. I would like to see you try.. you would have limitless sub-rules with exceptions. But even if people managed to predict those results, or if you managed to write those rules, people would still lack the motivation to follow through. (not enough characters :p)
Yet, from what I understand of humans is this: We are both extremely selfish and extremely social. And this may be the answer to how we can make Utilitarianism practical. The Internet. From the deaths of celebrities, to the arm-breaks of those oddball YouTubers you found interesting, humans connect more with each other online than anything else in the real world. With this connection, we could perhaps bend our human nature to an advantage, as we expand our life profiles and followers and bring empathy to virtually everyone.
If we can instill an Internet-esque collective consciousness into people at an early age (maybe even a baby level), Utilitarianism could be possible.
(I kept the characters low in order for us to keep to the point and not make a laundry list of responses.)
Changing the world starts at home and in your community, with simple loving and caring actions. You don't need to wonder and deliberate much about the results in the big picture. Just put yourself in the other's shoes and be kind.
In regard of Utilitarianism, another big flaw is its blindness towards justice. If I am a father of 5 children and I have a really important job and I kill a lonely homeless, according to Utilitarianism I would be probably released.. or maybe not, but it simply makes things even more complicated. Other flaw is its disregard towards human subjectivity. What is happiness for me, may not be happiness for you..
As for Subjectivity: For the vast majority of the human being, it can be influenced by many things, variables, numbers. Starting even before conception, the upbringing of a human will perform dramatic effect and their subjectiveness and personality. Now, this may take many decades, but in time, we could influence these numbers to produce an ideal personality range that does not cause conflict of interests.
This could sound quite invasive towards freedom, but remember:
We use freedom as a *means* to happiness, not that freedom *is* happiness.
As you said, your upbringing and genetics influence greatly who you become as an adult, which makes life unfair by default. If we add Utilitarianism to the equation, the poor and disadvantage layers of the society are going to be crushed in the courts, while the rich, influential people, will become even more immune to the system.
Even though I agree that freedom is a path to happiness, I don't believe that programming humans into selfless, uniform, coordinated entities is a good solution, and I hope you don't believe in it either.
But if happiness is all you want, let's just mass produce ecstasy and hand it out it to the populations.
It is not immunity for the rich, rather, it is their power regulated by the government. And this depends of the economy in which Utilitarianism will be applied in.
And it isn't "programming" that's being applied to humans, rather, it is eugenics and manipulated upbringing that stops physical disorders, retardation, insanity, violent outlooks on life, and so on. It isn't "programming" and is simply forming a somewhat different human nature overall, one that better benefits the majority and oneself.
It may seem very romanticized and impractical, but there is a chance that Utilitarianism can be applied, and used to make almost everyone happy. Will it take time? Oh yes. But, just like the invention of the light bulb, it can be done. Some efforts may fail, some may get close, and one will succeed if we let it happen. It is all a matter of time, persuasion, and dedication for a better tomorrow.
One of the biggest problems with political philosophy is its thrive for perfection and its ideological character. Totalitarianism, Democracy, Communism, Capitalism.. all these systems had failed because their premises, though theoretically valid, never took in much consideration the flaws and limitations of the human nature.
If you have a flock of sheep, you won't try to win a horse race with them, the same way you shouldn't consider to genetic manipulate them to make them faster! ;)
We have to be pragmatic and "down-to-earth". We have to acknowledged the limitations of our world and ourselves and set a political system that embraces our flaws and tries to overcome them with realistic, "followable" guidelines.
Living in a global village, we simply need to care for our neighbors to achieve the better world you're looking for.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 8 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: this was a difficult debate for con to win since utilitarianism is one of the closest philosophies to define morality, but her suggestions that people's different subjective viewpoints may clash together worked out in the end. Pro's point that "It is all a matter of time, persuasion, and dedication" was never asserted and thus con wins. Very tough debate.
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