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Peter Singer and preference utiltarianism.

popculturepooka
Posts: 7,927
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6/6/2011 10:35:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Just thought this was interesting since he's a well known-defender of p-utilitarianism.

http://www.guardian.co.uk...

"Climate change is a challenge to utilitarianism on at least two accounts. First, the problem of reducing the carbon output of humanity is tied to the problem of rising human populations. The more people there are, the greater becomes the difficulty of tackling climate change. This fact sits uneasily for a preference utilitarian, who would be inclined to argue that the existence of more and more sentient beings enjoying their lives – realising their preferences – is a good thing. As Singer puts it in the new edition of his book, Practical Ethics: 'I have found myself unable to maintain with any confidence that the position I took in the previous edition – based solely on preference utilitarianism – offers a satisfactory answer to these quandaries.'"
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
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Puck
Posts: 6,457
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6/7/2011 2:02:35 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 1:55:22 AM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 6/7/2011 1:50:59 AM, Puck wrote:
The camel solution ...

>.<

http://www.climatechange.gov.au...

Lol, Singer is an animal rights activist, too, so I doubt he would approve ^_^

Yeah it's a weird disconnect given his reasoning on abortion.
popculturepooka
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6/7/2011 9:32:07 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 1:50:59 AM, Puck wrote:
The camel solution ...

>.<

http://www.climatechange.gov.au...

I'm assuming that the phrase "feral animal" is equivalent to sayng "wild animal"?
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,927
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6/7/2011 9:37:32 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 1:55:22 AM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 6/7/2011 1:50:59 AM, Puck wrote:
The camel solution ...

>.

Lol, Singer is an animal rights activist, too, so I doubt he would approve ^_^

Yeah...he has to add animal preferences into his utilitarian calculations, too. (-_-;)
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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6/7/2011 9:42:07 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I find find it somewhat annoying that Singer appears to be trying to fit the conclusions of PU around a preconceived idea of what constitutes an acceptable scenario. Isn't the whole point of a moral system to conclude with the right results, not start with the right results and fit your theory around it?
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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6/7/2011 11:03:12 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 9:32:07 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 6/7/2011 1:50:59 AM, Puck wrote:
The camel solution ...

>.<

http://www.climatechange.gov.au...

I'm assuming that the phrase "feral animal" is equivalent to sayng "wild animal"?

they use Feral to speak of domesticated animals that've been living in the wild.

a Tiger who's grown up in the wild is Wild...

a kitty cat who's grown up in the wild is Feral.

I'm guessing the Camels of Australia were of Domestic stock.. that got loose and bread.

also... Utilitarianism fails w/o climate change :P
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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6/7/2011 11:04:56 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 11:03:12 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
I'm guessing the Camels of Australia were of Domestic stock.. that got loose and bread.

http://www.marions-kochbuch.com...
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
belle
Posts: 4,113
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6/7/2011 12:32:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 9:42:07 AM, Kinesis wrote:
Isn't the whole point of a moral system to conclude with the right results, not start with the right results and fit your theory around it?

sure, but who actually does that? not kant, not mill... not rawls, not harris.. certainly not aristotle or rand... none of the divine command people as far as i am aware. none of the anarchists advocating the nonaggression principle, although they are probably the most likely to accept an absurd result if it can be shown to flow from the principle. singer's no different than anyone else talking about morality. i've kind of given up on the whole field lol. at this point i am more interested in the results of experiments designed to probe what people's moral intuitions actually are (i've heard talk of a theorized "universal moral grammar" for example). those are less likely to be influenced by bias, and can sometimes get at the unconscious "principles" we use to make moral distinctions.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Kinesis
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6/7/2011 2:01:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 12:32:39 PM, belle wrote:
Isn't the whole point of a moral system to conclude with the right results, not start with the right results and fit your theory around it?

sure, but who actually does that?

Yeah, no-one: and I think that's a huge problem with moral theory. The assumption is that we have an innate moral detector, which is only valid given theism.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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6/7/2011 3:16:23 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 2:01:30 PM, Kinesis wrote:
At 6/7/2011 12:32:39 PM, belle wrote:
Isn't the whole point of a moral system to conclude with the right results, not start with the right results and fit your theory around it?

sure, but who actually does that?

Yeah, no-one: and I think that's a huge problem with moral theory. The assumption is that we have an innate moral detector, which is only valid given theism.

not really... i think the idea is that we have the innate tendency to make certain judgments on the rightness or wrongness of actions, which is perfectly compatible with evolutionary theory. moral theories are an attempt to ground these intuitions rationally... and we haven't really succeeded at all... this may or may not say something about the nature of morality...
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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6/7/2011 9:04:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 2:01:30 PM, Kinesis wrote:
At 6/7/2011 12:32:39 PM, belle wrote:
Isn't the whole point of a moral system to conclude with the right results, not start with the right results and fit your theory around it?

sure, but who actually does that?

Yeah, no-one: and I think that's a huge problem with moral theory. The assumption is that we have an innate moral detector, which is only valid given theism.

It's a long tradition of analytic philosophy to weigh significance on intuitions, I agree with you that for a long time I've had suspicions of the epistemological validity of using this. I think that some credible grounds may be there for intuition - I had a professor who stated that some coherentist position may justify using intuitions to an extent.
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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6/8/2011 9:47:42 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 9:04:27 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
At 6/7/2011 2:01:30 PM, Kinesis wrote:
At 6/7/2011 12:32:39 PM, belle wrote:
Isn't the whole point of a moral system to conclude with the right results, not start with the right results and fit your theory around it?

sure, but who actually does that?

Yeah, no-one: and I think that's a huge problem with moral theory. The assumption is that we have an innate moral detector, which is only valid given theism.

It's a long tradition of analytic philosophy to weigh significance on intuitions, I agree with you that for a long time I've had suspicions of the epistemological validity of using this. I think that some credible grounds may be there for intuition - I had a professor who stated that some coherentist position may justify using intuitions to an extent.

some intuitions are better than others... and those which turn Your own personal preferences into things of Universal weight are pretty bad intuitions..

That This is what's happening becomes fairly clear when you deal with Many people with multiple perspectives.. and see how Your intuitions as to somethings Universal importance has no bearing whatsoever on some people/things... so... that should make you no longer Intuit that it's of universally weight...
Even if we're inclined to think of our ethical perspectives as being universally weighty.. there are plenty of stark examples which ought to serve to disillusion us very quickly.

If you're looking for a moral theory which Begins with the method.. and lands you with results..

Examine what you care about and how those things exist in the world..

work out plans of action of how to best work out how to get what you care for...

weigh the attainable things and sacrifices against each other.. and you'll figure out what you (given your cares and the nature of the world) Ought to do.

this is the sensible manner of evaluating what's best to do... of what you Ought to do
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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6/8/2011 12:06:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 2:01:30 PM, Kinesis wrote:
At 6/7/2011 12:32:39 PM, belle wrote:
Isn't the whole point of a moral system to conclude with the right results, not start with the right results and fit your theory around it?

sure, but who actually does that?

Yeah, no-one: and I think that's a huge problem with moral theory. The assumption is that we have an innate moral detector, which is only valid given theism.

Evolution?
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,927
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6/8/2011 12:50:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/7/2011 3:16:23 PM, belle wrote:

not really... i think the idea is that we have the innate tendency to make certain judgments on the rightness or wrongness of actions, which is perfectly compatible with evolutionary theory. moral theories are an attempt to ground these intuitions rationally... and we haven't really succeeded at all... this may or may not say something about the nature of morality...

I think he's talking about intuition in context of atheistic moral realism and evolutionary theory. They not easy to fit together (understatement of the year).
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
popculturepooka
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6/8/2011 12:58:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/8/2011 12:50:49 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 6/7/2011 3:16:23 PM, belle wrote:

not really... i think the idea is that we have the innate tendency to make certain judgments on the rightness or wrongness of actions, which is perfectly compatible with evolutionary theory. moral theories are an attempt to ground these intuitions rationally... and we haven't really succeeded at all... this may or may not say something about the nature of morality...

I think he's talking about intuition in context of atheistic moral realism and evolutionary theory. They're not easy to fit together (understatement of the year).

Fixed.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Ragnar_Rahl
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6/8/2011 3:05:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
What do you mean by results? The point of morality is to figure out, in the general case, how to achieve the right results-- that is, how to take right action. Figuring out what those results are is metaethics.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Kinesis
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6/10/2011 11:30:48 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 6/8/2011 3:05:35 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
What do you mean by results? The point of morality is to figure out, in the general case, how to achieve the right results-- that is, how to take right action. Figuring out what those results are is metaethics.

No, that's normative ethics. The hierarchy is:

1. Metaethics --> Normative ethics --> Applied ethics.

Where metaethics looks at the foundational meaning of ethics, normative ethics looks at a specific moral theory, applied ethics looks at applying that theory.