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Deontology v. Consequentialism

DetectableNinja
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9/17/2011 1:44:16 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Which school of thought do you tend to subscribe to?

To explain the two schools to anyone who doesn't know what they are, here's a (over)simplified scenario:

By some bizarre turn of events, to end world hunger, you must kill an entire family of a man, his wife, and their two children.

Generally...

The deontologist would refuse, for he says that we all have a duty, or deont, to follow, morally (the ends do not justify the means).

The consequentialist would kill the family, stating that it is a fair price to pay for the good of humanity (the ends justify the means).

So, I'll restate the question--which do you tend to follow?
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
Wnope
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9/17/2011 2:16:42 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/17/2011 1:44:16 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
Which school of thought do you tend to subscribe to?

To explain the two schools to anyone who doesn't know what they are, here's a (over)simplified scenario:

By some bizarre turn of events, to end world hunger, you must kill an entire family of a man, his wife, and their two children.

Generally...

The deontologist would refuse, for he says that we all have a duty, or deont, to follow, morally (the ends do not justify the means).

The consequentialist would kill the family, stating that it is a fair price to pay for the good of humanity (the ends justify the means).

So, I'll restate the question--which do you tend to follow?

Your example fails because a consequentialist is not necessarily just of the utilitarian sort.

For instance, you could be a consequentialist who aims for results that best benefit yourself or best benefit group X.

Deontological rules almost always collapse when applied to real life, multiple-factor situations where a hierarchy of "sins" is needed. Consequentialism admits to the subjective calculation needed after the fact while Deontologists pretend they are reigning with some ultimate, hidden formula.
DetectableNinja
Posts: 6,043
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9/17/2011 2:19:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/17/2011 2:16:42 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/17/2011 1:44:16 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
Which school of thought do you tend to subscribe to?

To explain the two schools to anyone who doesn't know what they are, here's a (over)simplified scenario:

By some bizarre turn of events, to end world hunger, you must kill an entire family of a man, his wife, and their two children.

Generally...

The deontologist would refuse, for he says that we all have a duty, or deont, to follow, morally (the ends do not justify the means).

The consequentialist would kill the family, stating that it is a fair price to pay for the good of humanity (the ends justify the means).

So, I'll restate the question--which do you tend to follow?

Your example fails because a consequentialist is not necessarily just of the utilitarian sort.

For instance, you could be a consequentialist who aims for results that best benefit yourself or best benefit group X.

Deontological rules almost always collapse when applied to real life, multiple-factor situations where a hierarchy of "sins" is needed. Consequentialism admits to the subjective calculation needed after the fact while Deontologists pretend they are reigning with some ultimate, hidden formula.

'Tis true that my example wasn't the best--I was originally just going to post the question, but wanted to make up something on the fly to sort of "explain."
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
BlackVoid
Posts: 9,170
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9/17/2011 2:47:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
You have to go for a combination of them. Obviously, there's situations where deontology sounds ridiculous, and situations where Consequentialism sounds ridiculous too.
socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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9/17/2011 3:40:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Deontoloy, specifically argumentation ethics. There are things that one can never justify without resulting in a performative contradiction. Anything violating self ownership or the NAP cannot be logically justified.
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
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: I disagree.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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9/17/2011 4:11:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
consequentialism FTW.

Deontology is a very inflexible doctrine and justifies many atrocities in the name of rules. At one point, I was somewhat interested in the Non-Aggression Principle. However, the doctrine is so inflexible that it can lead to massive social and economic ills. I still subscribe to a mainly libertarian perspective, however that is due the many benefits social and economic freedom have as opposed to government or mob control.
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
belle
Posts: 4,113
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9/19/2011 11:37:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
a serious consequentialist (probably not a utilitarian) would argue that certain conditions, such as the expectation that one will not be made a sacrificial victim to benefit "society as a whole" will lead to the best consequences overall, so such sacrifices should be forbidden. except in extreme situations. theres a really good philosophy bites podcast on this with philip pettit, where i think he explains the idea very coherently... much more coherently than i can. i urge you all to listen to it...

http://philosophybites.com...

i haven't had the chance to look into this further, but it seems like the best attempt at amalgamating deontology and consequentialism i've ever encountered. on the other hand, its also essentially little more than a complex justification for the moral intuitions that most people have, so i am not sure people will find it as satisfying as a theory that attempts to derive ethical rules from first principles.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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9/20/2011 12:54:50 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/19/2011 11:37:00 PM, belle wrote:
a serious consequentialist (probably not a utilitarian) would argue that certain conditions, such as the expectation that one will not be made a sacrificial victim to benefit "society as a whole" will lead to the best consequences overall, so such sacrifices should be forbidden. except in extreme situations. theres a really good philosophy bites podcast on this with philip pettit, where i think he explains the idea very coherently... much more coherently than i can. i urge you all to listen to it...

http://philosophybites.com...

i haven't had the chance to look into this further, but it seems like the best attempt at amalgamating deontology and consequentialism i've ever encountered. on the other hand, its also essentially little more than a complex justification for the moral intuitions that most people have, so i am not sure people will find it as satisfying as a theory that attempts to derive ethical rules from first principles.

This is basically rooting consequentialism in a set of deontological statements. It's modern Rawl's-esque stuff. But not really pure consequentialism. You could just as easily justify deontology by adding a consequentialist element to prevent the repulsive examples from occuring.
belle
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9/20/2011 1:04:02 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/20/2011 12:54:50 AM, Wnope wrote:
This is basically rooting consequentialism in a set of deontological statements. It's modern Rawl's-esque stuff. But not really pure consequentialism. You could just as easily justify deontology by adding a consequentialist element to prevent the repulsive examples from occuring.

i wouldn't say its actually *rooting* consequentialism in deontology, so much as taking the points of deontology into account, while still having consequences as the ultimate measure of the rightness of an action. thats why i called it an amalgamation. i actually also think that a lot of deontological reasoning depends on consequentialism to make sense, at least in a way. for example, kant... according to him certain actions are wrong "in themselves" because engaging in them essentially defeats their own purpose... well right there you have an appeal to what happens if you do x.... the consequences of x if you will. but anyways thats a sidebar...
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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9/20/2011 4:00:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/20/2011 1:04:02 AM, belle wrote:
At 9/20/2011 12:54:50 AM, Wnope wrote:
This is basically rooting consequentialism in a set of deontological statements. It's modern Rawl's-esque stuff. But not really pure consequentialism. You could just as easily justify deontology by adding a consequentialist element to prevent the repulsive examples from occuring.

i wouldn't say its actually *rooting* consequentialism in deontology, so much as taking the points of deontology into account, while still having consequences as the ultimate measure of the rightness of an action. thats why i called it an amalgamation. i actually also think that a lot of deontological reasoning depends on consequentialism to make sense, at least in a way. for example, kant... according to him certain actions are wrong "in themselves" because engaging in them essentially defeats their own purpose... well right there you have an appeal to what happens if you do x.... the consequences of x if you will. but anyways thats a sidebar...

Personally, I think there may be a case to saying at some level most if not all deontological systems have some appeal to a consequentialist method.

If we were to use the podcast's reasoning, we could add to the categorical imperative that "when a red alarm goes off, we revert to a consequentialist reasoning."
Lasagna
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9/22/2011 8:41:49 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Deontology is the superior system, but if you don't KNOW the right rules to follow, then of course you aren't going to believe in it. If you didn't know any scientific principles and somebody tried hinting that there was a system of rules that could allow one to build a space-ship to reach the moon, you'd be saying some of these same things.
Rob
Wnope
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9/25/2011 2:31:46 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/22/2011 8:41:49 AM, Lasagna wrote:
Deontology is the superior system, but if you don't KNOW the right rules to follow, then of course you aren't going to believe in it. If you didn't know any scientific principles and somebody tried hinting that there was a system of rules that could allow one to build a space-ship to reach the moon, you'd be saying some of these same things.

What's an example of a deontological moral statement? We can consider moral systems as "closed sets" of moral statements which must be internally consistent.

Without applying consequentialism, I believe you will find deontology lacking when it comes to creating a satisfactory moral theory. To give a simple, borderline strawman example, there could be a moral system composed of one "ought." You ought not lie. You are presented with a scenario where failing to lie leads to mass murder. You would probably find this moral system to be unsatisfactory.

A good example is comparing Act and Rule Utilitarianism.
"Rule utilitarianism has been criticized for advocating general rules that, in some specific circumstances, clearly decrease happiness if followed. Never to kill another human being may seem to be a good rule, but it could make self-defense against malevolent aggressors very difficult. Rule utilitarians add, however, that there are general exception rules that allow the breaking of other rules if such rule-breaking increases happiness, one example being self-defense. Critics argue that this reduces rule utilitarianism to act utilitarianism and makes rules meaningless. "
http://en.wikipedia.org...

This problem can be generalized to all deontological versus consequentialist critiques.
sadolite
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9/28/2011 12:18:39 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/17/2011 1:44:16 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
Which school of thought do you tend to subscribe to?

To explain the two schools to anyone who doesn't know what they are, here's a (over)simplified scenario:

By some bizarre turn of events, to end world hunger, you must kill an entire family of a man, his wife, and their two children.

Generally...

The deontologist would refuse, for he says that we all have a duty, or deont, to follow, morally (the ends do not justify the means).

The consequentialist would kill the family, stating that it is a fair price to pay for the good of humanity (the ends justify the means).

So, I'll restate the question--which do you tend to follow?

The consequentialist. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Do I get to choose which family? It would make it alot easier. I know a few families that would never be missed, as a matter of fact it would be doing society a favor.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
Lasagna
Posts: 2,440
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9/30/2011 10:19:55 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/25/2011 2:31:46 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/22/2011 8:41:49 AM, Lasagna wrote:
Deontology is the superior system, but if you don't KNOW the right rules to follow, then of course you aren't going to believe in it. If you didn't know any scientific principles and somebody tried hinting that there was a system of rules that could allow one to build a space-ship to reach the moon, you'd be saying some of these same things.

What's an example of a deontological moral statement? We can consider moral systems as "closed sets" of moral statements which must be internally consistent.

Without applying consequentialism, I believe you will find deontology lacking when it comes to creating a satisfactory moral theory. To give a simple, borderline strawman example, there could be a moral system composed of one "ought." You ought not lie. You are presented with a scenario where failing to lie leads to mass murder. You would probably find this moral system to be unsatisfactory.

A good example is comparing Act and Rule Utilitarianism.
"Rule utilitarianism has been criticized for advocating general rules that, in some specific circumstances, clearly decrease happiness if followed. Never to kill another human being may seem to be a good rule, but it could make self-defense against malevolent aggressors very difficult. Rule utilitarians add, however, that there are general exception rules that allow the breaking of other rules if such rule-breaking increases happiness, one example being self-defense. Critics argue that this reduces rule utilitarianism to act utilitarianism and makes rules meaningless. "
http://en.wikipedia.org...

This problem can be generalized to all deontological versus consequentialist critiques.

Sorry I don't check DDO very often.

Lying and killing are obviously not always wrong, which is a good reason why many of these theories fail. However acting out of greed, anger, or pride is always wrong, and is a perfect deontological truth.

Let's take lying and killing. If I said lying or killing is wrong, it would be a nonsequitor because we haven't established why we are lying and killing. Lying and killing are completely amoral until the intent is determined. If I establish the intent of lying is to comfort ("you look beautiful tonight") or that the intent behind killing is anger, then we have ourselves our moral answers for these actions (the lying was moral, the killing was not).

To further emphasize my point, take an act that isn't so controversial, like doing laundry. Is doing laundry immoral? One would be inclined to say "no, that's a ridiculous question." But even such an inocuous act is still subject to deontological intent. Let's say I do my laundry out of anger; is that possible? It's not likely, but it could be. For instance, maybe you are my roommate and I know you have to have your clothes ready for work tomorrow, and I am pissed at you so I put my clothes in the cycle just so you don't have time to get yours done.

Actions are really quite meaningless in the moral sense. All that matters is intent, and intent is otherwise amoral as long as it isn't one of the seven cardinal vices. Only the 7 carry moral weight. There is no positive morality, only negative morality (the 7) and our strength at resisting it.
Rob
Wnope
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9/30/2011 8:14:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/30/2011 10:19:55 AM, Lasagna wrote:
At 9/25/2011 2:31:46 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/22/2011 8:41:49 AM, Lasagna wrote:
Deontology is the superior system, but if you don't KNOW the right rules to follow, then of course you aren't going to believe in it. If you didn't know any scientific principles and somebody tried hinting that there was a system of rules that could allow one to build a space-ship to reach the moon, you'd be saying some of these same things.

What's an example of a deontological moral statement? We can consider moral systems as "closed sets" of moral statements which must be internally consistent.

Without applying consequentialism, I believe you will find deontology lacking when it comes to creating a satisfactory moral theory. To give a simple, borderline strawman example, there could be a moral system composed of one "ought." You ought not lie. You are presented with a scenario where failing to lie leads to mass murder. You would probably find this moral system to be unsatisfactory.

A good example is comparing Act and Rule Utilitarianism.
"Rule utilitarianism has been criticized for advocating general rules that, in some specific circumstances, clearly decrease happiness if followed. Never to kill another human being may seem to be a good rule, but it could make self-defense against malevolent aggressors very difficult. Rule utilitarians add, however, that there are general exception rules that allow the breaking of other rules if such rule-breaking increases happiness, one example being self-defense. Critics argue that this reduces rule utilitarianism to act utilitarianism and makes rules meaningless. "
http://en.wikipedia.org...

This problem can be generalized to all deontological versus consequentialist critiques.

Sorry I don't check DDO very often.

Lying and killing are obviously not always wrong, which is a good reason why many of these theories fail. However acting out of greed, anger, or pride is always wrong, and is a perfect deontological truth.

Let's take lying and killing. If I said lying or killing is wrong, it would be a nonsequitor because we haven't established why we are lying and killing. Lying and killing are completely amoral until the intent is determined. If I establish the intent of lying is to comfort ("you look beautiful tonight") or that the intent behind killing is anger, then we have ourselves our moral answers for these actions (the lying was moral, the killing was not).

To further emphasize my point, take an act that isn't so controversial, like doing laundry. Is doing laundry immoral? One would be inclined to say "no, that's a ridiculous question." But even such an inocuous act is still subject to deontological intent. Let's say I do my laundry out of anger; is that possible? It's not likely, but it could be. For instance, maybe you are my roommate and I know you have to have your clothes ready for work tomorrow, and I am pissed at you so I put my clothes in the cycle just so you don't have time to get yours done.

Actions are really quite meaningless in the moral sense. All that matters is intent, and intent is otherwise amoral as long as it isn't one of the seven cardinal vices. Only the 7 carry moral weight. There is no positive morality, only negative morality (the 7) and our strength at resisting it.

For a moment, imagination that Hitler actually believed his own propoganda, that his actions would save more life than it took and that it would lead to generations of peace since Aryan domination is what would be best for the world. Yes, he likes being in charge, but his actions once in charge have the intent of "what is best for the german people/aryan race/individual."

Would this excuse his action?
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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9/30/2011 8:17:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/30/2011 8:14:36 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/30/2011 10:19:55 AM, Lasagna wrote:
At 9/25/2011 2:31:46 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/22/2011 8:41:49 AM, Lasagna wrote:
Deontology is the superior system, but if you don't KNOW the right rules to follow, then of course you aren't going to believe in it. If you didn't know any scientific principles and somebody tried hinting that there was a system of rules that could allow one to build a space-ship to reach the moon, you'd be saying some of these same things.

What's an example of a deontological moral statement? We can consider moral systems as "closed sets" of moral statements which must be internally consistent.

Without applying consequentialism, I believe you will find deontology lacking when it comes to creating a satisfactory moral theory. To give a simple, borderline strawman example, there could be a moral system composed of one "ought." You ought not lie. You are presented with a scenario where failing to lie leads to mass murder. You would probably find this moral system to be unsatisfactory.

A good example is comparing Act and Rule Utilitarianism.
"Rule utilitarianism has been criticized for advocating general rules that, in some specific circumstances, clearly decrease happiness if followed. Never to kill another human being may seem to be a good rule, but it could make self-defense against malevolent aggressors very difficult. Rule utilitarians add, however, that there are general exception rules that allow the breaking of other rules if such rule-breaking increases happiness, one example being self-defense. Critics argue that this reduces rule utilitarianism to act utilitarianism and makes rules meaningless. "
http://en.wikipedia.org...

This problem can be generalized to all deontological versus consequentialist critiques.

Sorry I don't check DDO very often.

Lying and killing are obviously not always wrong, which is a good reason why many of these theories fail. However acting out of greed, anger, or pride is always wrong, and is a perfect deontological truth.

Let's take lying and killing. If I said lying or killing is wrong, it would be a nonsequitor because we haven't established why we are lying and killing. Lying and killing are completely amoral until the intent is determined. If I establish the intent of lying is to comfort ("you look beautiful tonight") or that the intent behind killing is anger, then we have ourselves our moral answers for these actions (the lying was moral, the killing was not).

To further emphasize my point, take an act that isn't so controversial, like doing laundry. Is doing laundry immoral? One would be inclined to say "no, that's a ridiculous question." But even such an inocuous act is still subject to deontological intent. Let's say I do my laundry out of anger; is that possible? It's not likely, but it could be. For instance, maybe you are my roommate and I know you have to have your clothes ready for work tomorrow, and I am pissed at you so I put my clothes in the cycle just so you don't have time to get yours done.

Actions are really quite meaningless in the moral sense. All that matters is intent, and intent is otherwise amoral as long as it isn't one of the seven cardinal vices. Only the 7 carry moral weight. There is no positive morality, only negative morality (the 7) and our strength at resisting it.

For a moment, imagination that Hitler actually believed his own propoganda, that his actions would save more life than it took and that it would lead to generations of peace since Aryan domination is what would be best for the world. Yes, he likes being in charge, but his actions once in charge have the intent of "what is best for the german people/aryan race/individual."

Would this excuse his action?

You might think this is a straw man, but when you get into the banality of evil and the culture of individuals involved in assisting mass atrocities, it can become the are convinced (by rationalization or otherwise) that they are doing what is morally right.

Cognitive dissonance theory would suggest that regardless of what we do, we rationalize it in order to say that we are "good people." When forced to repeat negative or even neutral moral action, they are usually rationalized into self-perceived goodness. A great example is the brainwashing of American soldiers in Vietnamese prison camps.
Lasagna
Posts: 2,440
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9/30/2011 8:29:42 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/30/2011 8:14:36 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/30/2011 10:19:55 AM, Lasagna wrote:
At 9/25/2011 2:31:46 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/22/2011 8:41:49 AM, Lasagna wrote:
Deontology is the superior system, but if you don't KNOW the right rules to follow, then of course you aren't going to believe in it. If you didn't know any scientific principles and somebody tried hinting that there was a system of rules that could allow one to build a space-ship to reach the moon, you'd be saying some of these same things.

What's an example of a deontological moral statement? We can consider moral systems as "closed sets" of moral statements which must be internally consistent.

Without applying consequentialism, I believe you will find deontology lacking when it comes to creating a satisfactory moral theory. To give a simple, borderline strawman example, there could be a moral system composed of one "ought." You ought not lie. You are presented with a scenario where failing to lie leads to mass murder. You would probably find this moral system to be unsatisfactory.

A good example is comparing Act and Rule Utilitarianism.
"Rule utilitarianism has been criticized for advocating general rules that, in some specific circumstances, clearly decrease happiness if followed. Never to kill another human being may seem to be a good rule, but it could make self-defense against malevolent aggressors very difficult. Rule utilitarians add, however, that there are general exception rules that allow the breaking of other rules if such rule-breaking increases happiness, one example being self-defense. Critics argue that this reduces rule utilitarianism to act utilitarianism and makes rules meaningless. "
http://en.wikipedia.org...

This problem can be generalized to all deontological versus consequentialist critiques.

Sorry I don't check DDO very often.

Lying and killing are obviously not always wrong, which is a good reason why many of these theories fail. However acting out of greed, anger, or pride is always wrong, and is a perfect deontological truth.

Let's take lying and killing. If I said lying or killing is wrong, it would be a nonsequitor because we haven't established why we are lying and killing. Lying and killing are completely amoral until the intent is determined. If I establish the intent of lying is to comfort ("you look beautiful tonight") or that the intent behind killing is anger, then we have ourselves our moral answers for these actions (the lying was moral, the killing was not).

To further emphasize my point, take an act that isn't so controversial, like doing laundry. Is doing laundry immoral? One would be inclined to say "no, that's a ridiculous question." But even such an inocuous act is still subject to deontological intent. Let's say I do my laundry out of anger; is that possible? It's not likely, but it could be. For instance, maybe you are my roommate and I know you have to have your clothes ready for work tomorrow, and I am pissed at you so I put my clothes in the cycle just so you don't have time to get yours done.

Actions are really quite meaningless in the moral sense. All that matters is intent, and intent is otherwise amoral as long as it isn't one of the seven cardinal vices. Only the 7 carry moral weight. There is no positive morality, only negative morality (the 7) and our strength at resisting it.

For a moment, imagination that Hitler actually believed his own propoganda, that his actions would save more life than it took and that it would lead to generations of peace since Aryan domination is what would be best for the world. Yes, he likes being in charge, but his actions once in charge have the intent of "what is best for the german people/aryan race/individual."

Would this excuse his action?

Putting aside the utilitarian flavor of that, all that I care about is whether his intentions were aimed at satisfying his personal appetite for the 7. Considering pride is a feeling of self-superiority, it's not hard to see how the holocaust's creators were being immoral.
Rob
Lasagna
Posts: 2,440
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9/30/2011 8:34:28 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/30/2011 8:17:46 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/30/2011 8:14:36 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/30/2011 10:19:55 AM, Lasagna wrote:
At 9/25/2011 2:31:46 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/22/2011 8:41:49 AM, Lasagna wrote:
Deontology is the superior system, but if you don't KNOW the right rules to follow, then of course you aren't going to believe in it. If you didn't know any scientific principles and somebody tried hinting that there was a system of rules that could allow one to build a space-ship to reach the moon, you'd be saying some of these same things.

What's an example of a deontological moral statement? We can consider moral systems as "closed sets" of moral statements which must be internally consistent.

Without applying consequentialism, I believe you will find deontology lacking when it comes to creating a satisfactory moral theory. To give a simple, borderline strawman example, there could be a moral system composed of one "ought." You ought not lie. You are presented with a scenario where failing to lie leads to mass murder. You would probably find this moral system to be unsatisfactory.

A good example is comparing Act and Rule Utilitarianism.
"Rule utilitarianism has been criticized for advocating general rules that, in some specific circumstances, clearly decrease happiness if followed. Never to kill another human being may seem to be a good rule, but it could make self-defense against malevolent aggressors very difficult. Rule utilitarians add, however, that there are general exception rules that allow the breaking of other rules if such rule-breaking increases happiness, one example being self-defense. Critics argue that this reduces rule utilitarianism to act utilitarianism and makes rules meaningless. "
http://en.wikipedia.org...

This problem can be generalized to all deontological versus consequentialist critiques.

Sorry I don't check DDO very often.

Lying and killing are obviously not always wrong, which is a good reason why many of these theories fail. However acting out of greed, anger, or pride is always wrong, and is a perfect deontological truth.

Let's take lying and killing. If I said lying or killing is wrong, it would be a nonsequitor because we haven't established why we are lying and killing. Lying and killing are completely amoral until the intent is determined. If I establish the intent of lying is to comfort ("you look beautiful tonight") or that the intent behind killing is anger, then we have ourselves our moral answers for these actions (the lying was moral, the killing was not).

To further emphasize my point, take an act that isn't so controversial, like doing laundry. Is doing laundry immoral? One would be inclined to say "no, that's a ridiculous question." But even such an inocuous act is still subject to deontological intent. Let's say I do my laundry out of anger; is that possible? It's not likely, but it could be. For instance, maybe you are my roommate and I know you have to have your clothes ready for work tomorrow, and I am pissed at you so I put my clothes in the cycle just so you don't have time to get yours done.

Actions are really quite meaningless in the moral sense. All that matters is intent, and intent is otherwise amoral as long as it isn't one of the seven cardinal vices. Only the 7 carry moral weight. There is no positive morality, only negative morality (the 7) and our strength at resisting it.

For a moment, imagination that Hitler actually believed his own propoganda, that his actions would save more life than it took and that it would lead to generations of peace since Aryan domination is what would be best for the world. Yes, he likes being in charge, but his actions once in charge have the intent of "what is best for the german people/aryan race/individual."

Would this excuse his action?

You might think this is a straw man, but when you get into the banality of evil and the culture of individuals involved in assisting mass atrocities, it can become the are convinced (by rationalization or otherwise) that they are doing what is morally right.

Cognitive dissonance theory would suggest that regardless of what we do, we rationalize it in order to say that we are "good people." When forced to repeat negative or even neutral moral action, they are usually rationalized into self-perceived goodness. A great example is the brainwashing of American soldiers in Vietnamese prison camps.

Again, I will stand firm in my principles. If you are implying that brain-washed soldiers can have their humanity removed from them and therefore act without moral consequence (as an attempt to show how my theory fails) then I will embrace that example. If someone's humanity is removed, then they have no capability to act immorally. I would defend children and psychopaths in the same way. Privilege and responsibility are intimately entangled; it is both a privilege and responsibility to have intelligence past a certain benchmark.
Rob
Mestari
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9/30/2011 9:02:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Metaethically, I have never found a person who could convince me that Consequentialism (or Utilitarianism) is more logically-sound than Deontology. However, I myself have come to the conclusion that an objective morality either doesn't exist, or is indeterminable. Either way it becomes useless.
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Wnope
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9/30/2011 9:54:25 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/30/2011 8:34:28 PM, Lasagna wrote:
At 9/30/2011 8:17:46 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/30/2011 8:14:36 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/30/2011 10:19:55 AM, Lasagna wrote:
At 9/25/2011 2:31:46 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 9/22/2011 8:41:49 AM, Lasagna wrote:
Deontology is the superior system, but if you don't KNOW the right rules to follow, then of course you aren't going to believe in it. If you didn't know any scientific principles and somebody tried hinting that there was a system of rules that could allow one to build a space-ship to reach the moon, you'd be saying some of these same things.

What's an example of a deontological moral statement? We can consider moral systems as "closed sets" of moral statements which must be internally consistent.

Without applying consequentialism, I believe you will find deontology lacking when it comes to creating a satisfactory moral theory. To give a simple, borderline strawman example, there could be a moral system composed of one "ought." You ought not lie. You are presented with a scenario where failing to lie leads to mass murder. You would probably find this moral system to be unsatisfactory.

A good example is comparing Act and Rule Utilitarianism.
"Rule utilitarianism has been criticized for advocating general rules that, in some specific circumstances, clearly decrease happiness if followed. Never to kill another human being may seem to be a good rule, but it could make self-defense against malevolent aggressors very difficult. Rule utilitarians add, however, that there are general exception rules that allow the breaking of other rules if such rule-breaking increases happiness, one example being self-defense. Critics argue that this reduces rule utilitarianism to act utilitarianism and makes rules meaningless. "
http://en.wikipedia.org...

This problem can be generalized to all deontological versus consequentialist critiques.

Sorry I don't check DDO very often.

Lying and killing are obviously not always wrong, which is a good reason why many of these theories fail. However acting out of greed, anger, or pride is always wrong, and is a perfect deontological truth.

Let's take lying and killing. If I said lying or killing is wrong, it would be a nonsequitor because we haven't established why we are lying and killing. Lying and killing are completely amoral until the intent is determined. If I establish the intent of lying is to comfort ("you look beautiful tonight") or that the intent behind killing is anger, then we have ourselves our moral answers for these actions (the lying was moral, the killing was not).

To further emphasize my point, take an act that isn't so controversial, like doing laundry. Is doing laundry immoral? One would be inclined to say "no, that's a ridiculous question." But even such an inocuous act is still subject to deontological intent. Let's say I do my laundry out of anger; is that possible? It's not likely, but it could be. For instance, maybe you are my roommate and I know you have to have your clothes ready for work tomorrow, and I am pissed at you so I put my clothes in the cycle just so you don't have time to get yours done.

Actions are really quite meaningless in the moral sense. All that matters is intent, and intent is otherwise amoral as long as it isn't one of the seven cardinal vices. Only the 7 carry moral weight. There is no positive morality, only negative morality (the 7) and our strength at resisting it.

For a moment, imagination that Hitler actually believed his own propoganda, that his actions would save more life than it took and that it would lead to generations of peace since Aryan domination is what would be best for the world. Yes, he likes being in charge, but his actions once in charge have the intent of "what is best for the german people/aryan race/individual."

Would this excuse his action?

You might think this is a straw man, but when you get into the banality of evil and the culture of individuals involved in assisting mass atrocities, it can become the are convinced (by rationalization or otherwise) that they are doing what is morally right.

Cognitive dissonance theory would suggest that regardless of what we do, we rationalize it in order to say that we are "good people." When forced to repeat negative or even neutral moral action, they are usually rationalized into self-perceived goodness. A great example is the brainwashing of American soldiers in Vietnamese prison camps.

Again, I will stand firm in my principles. If you are implying that brain-washed soldiers can have their humanity removed from them and therefore act without moral consequence (as an attempt to show how my theory fails) then I will embrace that example. If someone's humanity is removed, then they have no capability to act immorally. I would defend children and psychopaths in the same way. Privilege and responsibility are intimately entangled; it is both a privilege and responsibility to have intelligence past a certain benchmark.

You can ignore the part on cognitive dissonance.

Just focus on the hitler example. Does Hitler's good intent excuse his actions?
Lasagna
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9/30/2011 10:09:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/30/2011 9:02:35 PM, Mestari wrote:
Metaethically, I have never found a person who could convince me that Consequentialism (or Utilitarianism) is more logically-sound than Deontology. However, I myself have come to the conclusion that an objective morality either doesn't exist, or is indeterminable.

That's because you haven't talked with me yet.
Rob
Lasagna
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9/30/2011 10:21:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Just focus on the hitler example. Does Hitler's good intent excuse his actions?

That depends. First off, I'd like to point out that the REAL Hitler thought that Aryans were superior to Jews (for whatever reason). This is pride (self-superiority). Therefore, Hitler's policies were based on pride - an open-and-shut ethical case.

Now if we are going to try and test my theories limits, and you want to try saying that Hitler truly believed that killing Jews was saving the planet or what have you, then that doesn't change anything I'm saying. For one thing, this utilitarian argument (killing Jews = more good for world) does not apply to my deontological theory, so I need not address it. Of course you are only worried about intent; for which my reply is that Hitler need not make a value-judgment to act on pride. If you kill a Jewish family and let your own family live because they are Jews and your family isn't, then you are still acting out pride (of course this really has to do with the policy-makers, not the soldiers, but we can talk about them when the time comes). Your intentions might be rosy, but that's the beauty of my system - it is specific as to which emotional intents are bad and which aren't. There isn't any room for positive emotion or utilitarianism to infiltrate your intent and change the moral truth behind it; pride is wrong no matter what you couple it with, or how you flip it and bounce it.

Now I said "that depends" because there is nothing in my moral system that says mass-killings are immoral. If the Jews decided to become cannibals and the Nazis were acting out of self-defense (i.e., there was no need for anyone to express pride, anger, or greed when they killed a Jew) then this would be justified. If the policy-makers or soldiers were psychopathic or brain-washed, then there would be no capability for immorality. If Hitler was truly insane, then he is not acting immorally because he has not the capacity for moral reason.
Rob
Lasagna
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9/30/2011 10:24:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Oh and excuse me if I'm not staying within your expected technical limits of the conversation, as I'm not a philosophy major and I may need to be educated on how exactly I need to answer.
Rob
Wnope
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9/30/2011 10:54:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/30/2011 10:21:46 PM, Lasagna wrote:
Just focus on the hitler example. Does Hitler's good intent excuse his actions?

That depends. First off, I'd like to point out that the REAL Hitler thought that Aryans were superior to Jews (for whatever reason). This is pride (self-superiority). Therefore, Hitler's policies were based on pride - an open-and-shut ethical case.

Now if we are going to try and test my theories limits, and you want to try saying that Hitler truly believed that killing Jews was saving the planet or what have you, then that doesn't change anything I'm saying. For one thing, this utilitarian argument (killing Jews = more good for world) does not apply to my deontological theory, so I need not address it. Of course you are only worried about intent; for which my reply is that Hitler need not make a value-judgment to act on pride. If you kill a Jewish family and let your own family live because they are Jews and your family isn't, then you are still acting out pride (of course this really has to do with the policy-makers, not the soldiers, but we can talk about them when the time comes). Your intentions might be rosy, but that's the beauty of my system - it is specific as to which emotional intents are bad and which aren't. There isn't any room for positive emotion or utilitarianism to infiltrate your intent and change the moral truth behind it; pride is wrong no matter what you couple it with, or how you flip it and bounce it.

Now I said "that depends" because there is nothing in my moral system that says mass-killings are immoral. If the Jews decided to become cannibals and the Nazis were acting out of self-defense (i.e., there was no need for anyone to express pride, anger, or greed when they killed a Jew) then this would be justified. If the policy-makers or soldiers were psychopathic or brain-washed, then there would be no capability for immorality. If Hitler was truly insane, then he is not acting immorally because he has not the capacity for moral reason.

I am talking about cases of perceived self-defense. When you look behind many of the participants in genocides and atrocities, they honestly believed their group was at risk of extermination if the other side won.

How is it pride to want to defend those close to you?
Lasagna
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9/30/2011 11:57:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I am talking about cases of perceived self-defense. When you look behind many of the participants in genocides and atrocities, they honestly believed their group was at risk of extermination if the other side won.

How is it pride to want to defend those close to you?

Using WWII as an example, which I admittedly am not very knowledgable of, we would have perhaps 3 main groups of actors: administration, soldiers, and citizenry (as making up the Nazis). The administration would bear the moral brunt of the holocaust, since they are the ones exercising the power. These individuals are behind the propaganda and are not likely truly convinced, as you would have me believe, that the Jews are responsible for an imminent threat to their very existence. Therefore I would reject the notion that Hitler was merely "defending his country" on the grounds that he is a power-hungry dictator who exhibits the traits of vice in many ways and to say that these decision were made independent of said vice is entirely unrealistic.

Soldiers, however, are more conditional because they are following orders. Some are highly intelligent and know that they are committing acts of immorality in their hearts, and their moral consequences will haunt their dreams until they are lucky enough to die and be rid of them - they are morally culpable. Less intelligent soldiers may be duped into believing the propaganda, and would genuinely believe they are acting out of self-defense. In this way they would be morally exempt. However, this isn't a one-size-fits-all analysis; each moment of each day would be a test of their moral resolve. The nature of their actions would breed pride and anger (constantly having to deal with Jews the way they would) and these traits would bring them moral culpability at every turn. A soldier who is not intelligent enough to understand that they are not in real danger, but also has the fortitude to resist the temptation of anger and pride while going about his business is in moral harmony in my eyes. However, you might note that this soldier probably doesn't exist in reality, so in practice (not in theory) every Nazi soldier was morally culpable even though they were just "defending their country."
Rob
darkkermit
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10/2/2011 12:46:57 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Anger, pride, and greed aren't inherently negative quality.

For example, let's say I'm greedy, so I decide to make a huge profit through curing cancer. My actions were motivated by greed, but my results are that I save millions of lives.

Many of our emotional systems are designed for survival, including qualities that are perceived as "wrong". How am I to know If I'm being taken advantage or been wronged unless I get angry?
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