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Why I am a utilitarianism.

Kinesis
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1/28/2013 5:55:24 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think I'll do some debates at some point defending utilitarianism, but in the meantime I came across this clip from Star Trek that I think expresses pretty well why I was attracted to it as a moral code in the first place. Thoughts?
Kinesis
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1/28/2013 7:01:05 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/28/2013 6:22:44 AM, drafterman wrote:
Haven't seen the clip yet, but I can only assume it's because you love searching for lifeforms.



That isn't the particular reason I had in mind.
GarretKadeDupre
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1/28/2013 9:36:49 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'd like to hand you over to a fanatical Islamic terrorist group as a sacrifice for compensation to Allah for all the evil in America. When Allah is happy, the terrorists are happy, and less Americans will be vaporized.
Is that ok?
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Kinesis
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1/28/2013 9:49:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/28/2013 9:36:49 AM, GarretKadeDupre wrote:
I'd like to hand you over to a fanatical Islamic terrorist group as a sacrifice for compensation to Allah for all the evil in America. When Allah is happy, the terrorists are happy, and less Americans will be vaporized.
Is that ok?

No. No it is not.
GarretKadeDupre
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1/28/2013 10:33:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
But's it's utilizing one life to the benefit of many lives! Isn't that what utilitarianism is all about?
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YYW
Posts: 36,256
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1/28/2013 10:46:49 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/28/2013 5:55:24 AM, Kinesis wrote:
I think I'll do some debates at some point defending utilitarianism, but in the meantime I came across this clip from Star Trek that I think expresses pretty well why I was attracted to it as a moral code in the first place. Thoughts?



Youz be an "ism."

Lulz
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Kinesis
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1/28/2013 11:11:47 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/28/2013 9:36:49 AM, GarretKadeDupre wrote:
I'd like to hand you over to a fanatical Islamic terrorist group as a sacrifice for compensation to Allah for all the evil in America. When Allah is happy, the terrorists are happy, and less Americans will be vaporized.
Is that ok?

Okay, here are the problems with your suggestion, from a utilitarian perspective:

-you should sacrifice yourself, not me - kidnapping and forcibly handing me over is less likely to work that giving yourself up.
-giving in to terrorist demands encourages them in the future - see the US government's zero negotiation rule.
-in the long run, utility is likely to be maximised by eliminating or reeducating people with such screwed up priorities, or their ideologies, rather than indulging them.
-Apart from me, I have friends and family who love me and would strongly prefer that I stay alive - much more, I suspect, than any terrorist would like to see me dead.
-generally, rules against kidnapping and human sacrifice and the like promote the general welfare because calculating the results of any one situation is extremely difficult. Only exceptional clear cut cases of majority benefit justify such things - like dvanced aliens threatening to destroy the planet lest we sacrifice Kinesis to them. This is not such a case.
MouthWash
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1/28/2013 11:12:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/28/2013 5:55:24 AM, Kinesis wrote:
I think I'll do some debates at some point defending utilitarianism, but in the meantime I came across this clip from Star Trek that I think expresses pretty well why I was attracted to it as a moral code in the first place. Thoughts?



Bad point. Valuing friends over people we don't know is a subjective preference. We are incapable of valuing strangers the way we do our friends and family.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
Kinesis
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1/28/2013 11:12:38 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/28/2013 10:46:49 AM, YYW wrote:
Youz be an "ism."

Lulz

Since so far as I know there's no way to edit forum titles, this grammar mistake shall forever be a monument to my shame.
YYW
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1/28/2013 11:16:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/28/2013 11:12:38 AM, Kinesis wrote:
At 1/28/2013 10:46:49 AM, YYW wrote:
Youz be an "ism."

Lulz

Since so far as I know there's no way to edit forum titles, this grammar mistake shall forever be a monument to my shame.

No worries, I just thought it was funny.
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Kinesis
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1/28/2013 11:16:47 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/28/2013 11:12:32 AM, MouthWash wrote:
Bad point. Valuing friends over people we don't know is a subjective preference. We are incapable of valuing strangers the way we do our friends and family.

But it could be an ideal we strive towards, even if impossible. Recall, Riker never says humans are capable of valuing strangers and family the same - he just wonders if human history would have been as bloody if we did.
YYW
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1/28/2013 11:17:15 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/28/2013 5:55:24 AM, Kinesis wrote:
I think I'll do some debates at some point defending utilitarianism, but in the meantime I came across this clip from Star Trek that I think expresses pretty well why I was attracted to it as a moral code in the first place. Thoughts?



Star Trek is pretty cool, but have you ever seen/read Watchmen? (The comic bedrock of my moral code)
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Kinesis
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1/28/2013 11:19:39 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/28/2013 11:16:47 AM, Kinesis wrote:
At 1/28/2013 11:12:32 AM, MouthWash wrote:
Bad point. Valuing friends over people we don't know is a subjective preference. We are incapable of valuing strangers the way we do our friends and family.

But it could be an ideal we strive towards, even if impossible. Recall, Riker never says humans are capable of valuing strangers and family the same - he just wonders if human history would have been as bloody if we did.

I suppose there's an important distinction here. Utilitarianism doesn't say we should value people the same, it says that utility is utility, no matter who it comes from and that all utility is equal. If unequal valuing leads to higher total utility utilitarianism would say do that.
Kinesis
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1/28/2013 11:20:26 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/28/2013 11:17:15 AM, YYW wrote:
Star Trek is pretty cool, but have you ever seen/read Watchmen? (The comic bedrock of my moral code)

Nah, I saw the movie though. It was pretty cool but I've heard the comic is much better.
YYW
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1/28/2013 11:32:35 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/28/2013 11:20:26 AM, Kinesis wrote:
At 1/28/2013 11:17:15 AM, YYW wrote:
Star Trek is pretty cool, but have you ever seen/read Watchmen? (The comic bedrock of my moral code)

Nah, I saw the movie though. It was pretty cool but I've heard the comic is much better.

I'd recommend it. It's a great tool to teach moral philosophy; and illustrates the salience of consequentialism measured by utilitarian moral calculi.
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Franz_Reynard
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1/28/2013 11:35:50 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
My opinion is that you're misinterpreting the excerpt, Kinesis.

Egalitarianism is not utilitarian. It is practically the opposite.

Surely, you realize that some of humanity's greatest advancements have derived from war or wartime innovation. That doesn't make it right, but it surely makes it utilitarian.

The rest of human advancement derives from unequal allocation of resources. Once again, not morally sound, but utilitarian nonetheless.

I consider utilitarianism narcissistic in nature. Not everything is at human disposal to utilize to their whimsical ends. Humans should learn some humility.

Consider that many parents have considered infanticide (and I mean post-birth) a perfect utility for whatever ends struck their interest.
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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1/28/2013 11:37:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/28/2013 11:32:35 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/28/2013 11:20:26 AM, Kinesis wrote:
At 1/28/2013 11:17:15 AM, YYW wrote:
Star Trek is pretty cool, but have you ever seen/read Watchmen? (The comic bedrock of my moral code)

Nah, I saw the movie though. It was pretty cool but I've heard the comic is much better.

I'd recommend it. It's a great tool to teach moral philosophy; and illustrates the salience of consequentialism measured by utilitarian moral calculi.

Wait, THAT'S the comic bedrock of your moral code?!

I dunno; to a deontologist like me, that's pretty rough.
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Noumena
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1/28/2013 11:40:26 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
What kind of arguments do you plan on using?
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
Franz_Reynard
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1/28/2013 11:41:53 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/28/2013 11:37:09 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 1/28/2013 11:32:35 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/28/2013 11:20:26 AM, Kinesis wrote:
At 1/28/2013 11:17:15 AM, YYW wrote:
Star Trek is pretty cool, but have you ever seen/read Watchmen? (The comic bedrock of my moral code)

Nah, I saw the movie though. It was pretty cool but I've heard the comic is much better.

I'd recommend it. It's a great tool to teach moral philosophy; and illustrates the salience of consequentialism measured by utilitarian moral calculi.

Wait, THAT'S the comic bedrock of your moral code?!

I dunno; to a deontologist like me, that's pretty rough.

Well, Roark was pretty rough, whether in that comic, or in the books by Rand, from where the character originally derived.

I'm curious how YYW came to that conclusion... if there was anything salient about Watchmen aside the utilitarian slant of all its characters, it's that there didn't seem to be any actual protagonists, but rather, those that worked against a perceptively catastrophic imbalance of power. Indeed, even the most powerful practically discarded humanity altogether.
YYW
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1/28/2013 11:51:24 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/28/2013 11:37:09 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 1/28/2013 11:32:35 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/28/2013 11:20:26 AM, Kinesis wrote:
At 1/28/2013 11:17:15 AM, YYW wrote:
Star Trek is pretty cool, but have you ever seen/read Watchmen? (The comic bedrock of my moral code)

Nah, I saw the movie though. It was pretty cool but I've heard the comic is much better.

I'd recommend it. It's a great tool to teach moral philosophy; and illustrates the salience of consequentialism measured by utilitarian moral calculi.

Wait, THAT'S the comic bedrock of your moral code?!

I dunno; to a deontologist like me, that's pretty rough.

That was a joke, but I am a consequentialist.

Deontology isn't something that I wholeheartedly reject, but I evaluate moral duty in a considerably different way then say... philosophical absolutists like Kant. What I mean by that is simple: the results pursued, where the end result is both foreseeably good in and of itself insomuch as it is reverent to one's moral duty and achieves good ends, justify whatever means necessary to that end, so long as the net harm of the means is not greater than the end pursued (both being and good and doing good). Conversely, if however results actually achieved are not both good themselves and do not achieve good, I would contend that the act itself cannot properly be described as good.

That's lesson 1 of moral philosophy with YYW... lol.

(That's how I make sense of the ending of Watchmen, btw.)
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YYW
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1/28/2013 11:52:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/28/2013 11:51:24 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/28/2013 11:37:09 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 1/28/2013 11:32:35 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/28/2013 11:20:26 AM, Kinesis wrote:
At 1/28/2013 11:17:15 AM, YYW wrote:
Star Trek is pretty cool, but have you ever seen/read Watchmen? (The comic bedrock of my moral code)

Nah, I saw the movie though. It was pretty cool but I've heard the comic is much better.

I'd recommend it. It's a great tool to teach moral philosophy; and illustrates the salience of consequentialism measured by utilitarian moral calculi.

Wait, THAT'S the comic bedrock of your moral code?!

I dunno; to a deontologist like me, that's pretty rough.

That was a joke, but I am a consequentialist.

Deontology isn't something that I wholeheartedly reject, but I evaluate moral duty in a considerably different way then say... philosophical absolutists like Kant. What I mean by that is simple: the results pursued, where the end result is both foreseeably good in and of itself insomuch as it is reverent to one's moral duty and achieves good ends, justify whatever means necessary to that end, so long as the net harm of the means is not greater than the end pursued (both being and good and doing good). Conversely, if however results actually achieved are not both good themselves and do not achieve good, I would contend that the act itself cannot properly be described as good.

That's lesson 1 of moral philosophy with YYW... lol.

(That's how I make sense of the ending of Watchmen, btw.)

That is also my answer to Soderini's problem of necessity in Machiavelli's The Prince.
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bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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1/28/2013 12:02:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Well, Roark was pretty rough, whether in that comic, or in the books by Rand, from where the character originally derived.

I'm curious how YYW came to that conclusion... if there was anything salient about Watchmen aside the utilitarian slant of all its characters, it's that there didn't seem to be any actual protagonists, but rather, those that worked against a perceptively catastrophic imbalance of power. Indeed, even the most powerful practically discarded humanity altogether.

Just a point of order: Do you mean "Rorschach"?
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YYW
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1/28/2013 12:04:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/28/2013 12:02:10 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
Well, Roark was pretty rough, whether in that comic, or in the books by Rand, from where the character originally derived.

I'm curious how YYW came to that conclusion... if there was anything salient about Watchmen aside the utilitarian slant of all its characters, it's that there didn't seem to be any actual protagonists, but rather, those that worked against a perceptively catastrophic imbalance of power. Indeed, even the most powerful practically discarded humanity altogether.

Just a point of order: Do you mean "Rorschach"?

He does. Lol
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bladerunner060
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1/28/2013 12:04:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/28/2013 11:51:24 AM, YYW wrote:
That was a joke, but I am a consequentialist.

Deontology isn't something that I wholeheartedly reject, but I evaluate moral duty in a considerably different way then say... philosophical absolutists like Kant. What I mean by that is simple: the results pursued, where the end result is both foreseeably good in and of itself insomuch as it is reverent to one's moral duty and achieves good ends, justify whatever means necessary to that end, so long as the net harm of the means is not greater than the end pursued (both being and good and doing good). Conversely, if however results actually achieved are not both good themselves and do not achieve good, I would contend that the act itself cannot properly be described as good.

That's lesson 1 of moral philosophy with YYW... lol.

(That's how I make sense of the ending of Watchmen, btw.)

See, I see as morally bad those things which one ought not to do.

From a consequentialist standpoint, a banker who forecloses on a family is a morally bad jerk, particularly if we remove the bank solvency from the equation. But while I agree that NOT foreclosing is a nice thing to do, I also say that the banker has no moral obligation to do avoid foreclosure.
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Franz_Reynard
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1/28/2013 12:07:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/28/2013 12:04:10 PM, YYW wrote:
At 1/28/2013 12:02:10 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
Well, Roark was pretty rough, whether in that comic, or in the books by Rand, from where the character originally derived.

I'm curious how YYW came to that conclusion... if there was anything salient about Watchmen aside the utilitarian slant of all its characters, it's that there didn't seem to be any actual protagonists, but rather, those that worked against a perceptively catastrophic imbalance of power. Indeed, even the most powerful practically discarded humanity altogether.

Just a point of order: Do you mean "Rorschach"?

He does. Lol

Hahaha, I do.
GarretKadeDupre
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1/28/2013 12:34:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
What if there was an island with the last oil supply on earth, but it was a small island inhabited by a culture of people who do not allow the oil to be shared?

Is it o.k. to forcibly take the oil from them? What if they fight back? Is it o.k. to kill them?
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bossyburrito
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1/28/2013 12:44:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/28/2013 9:36:49 AM, GarretKadeDupre wrote:
I'd like to hand you over to a fanatical Islamic terrorist group as a sacrifice for compensation to Allah for all the evil in America. When Allah is happy, the terrorists are happy, and less Americans will be vaporized.
Is that ok?

If he's cool with it, sure.
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