Total Posts:25|Showing Posts:1-25
Jump to topic:

Utilitarianism

TSH
Posts: 260
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/26/2013 2:32:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
After participating in an interesting debate with saar.cone (http://www.debate.org...), I have come to the conclusion that Utilitarianism might be fundamentally flawed. My argument is as follows:

A. Utilitarianism involves the maximization of utility.
B. The instrument is not responsible for the death; rather, it is the killer who makes a conscious decision to kill his victim.
C. Once the killer has made a conscious decision to kill his victim, the victim will die within a certain reasonable amount of time.
D. It follows that the killer ought legally be allowed to have his victim killed (after a reasonable amount of time) in exchange for his life and a monetary sum (which will probably be set equal to the net worth of the victim).

D provides an alternative to C that maximizes utility (relatively speaking). Indeed, if there is a killer in society and D is not passed, then there will necessarily be at least two deaths (that of his target and himself) and possibly more (that of innocent bystanders or other targets). If D is passed, on the other hand, then there will be only two deaths (that of the target and the killer) and revenue that can be utilized in a utilitarian manner. It follows that under Utilitarianism, D would be passed as a law. From a societal standpoint, I believe D to be an unpopular position; consequently, Utilitarianism may be considered to be fundamentally flawed (as it necessitates the espousal of a position as unpopular as D). To test this hypothesis, I ask DDO members to please reply with whether or not they agree with premise D.

I would be interesting in hearing any refutations of this argument or its conclusions. Also, I am not well versed in philosophy, so forgive me if this argument/fallacy has already been discovered or has a name.
~tsh
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/26/2013 3:31:50 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I disagree with D, not because of an emotional appeal to the aftermath but to a lack of an emotional appeal for deriving an ought from an is, which would be necessary to make such a statement.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
TSH
Posts: 260
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/26/2013 3:38:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 3:31:50 AM, FREEDO wrote:
I disagree with D, not because of an emotional appeal to the aftermath but to a lack of an emotional appeal for deriving an ought from an is, which would be necessary to make such a statement.

Doesn't utilitarianism provide a rational for deriving ought from is? Imo, utilitarianism suggests that utility ought be maximized.
~tsh
TSH
Posts: 260
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/26/2013 3:41:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 3:38:45 AM, TSH wrote:
At 2/26/2013 3:31:50 AM, FREEDO wrote:
I disagree with D, not because of an emotional appeal to the aftermath but to a lack of an emotional appeal for deriving an ought from an is, which would be necessary to make such a statement.

Doesn't utilitarianism provide a rational for deriving ought from is? Imo, utilitarianism postulates that utility ought be maximized.
~tsh
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/26/2013 3:53:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 3:38:45 AM, TSH wrote:
Doesn't utilitarianism provide a rational for deriving ought from is? Imo, utilitarianism suggests that utility ought be maximized.

Please do give me this rational.

It's obvious that it makes such a suggestion. But how is the connection literally drawn?
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
TSH
Posts: 260
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/26/2013 4:16:17 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 3:53:11 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 2/26/2013 3:38:45 AM, TSH wrote:
Doesn't utilitarianism provide a rational for deriving ought from is? Imo, utilitarianism suggests that utility ought be maximized.

Please do give me this rational.

It's obvious that it makes such a suggestion. But how is the connection literally drawn?

"Utilitarianism is a theory in normative ethics holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes utility" - http://en.wikipedia.org...

My interpretation was that the connection is postulated by utilitarianism instead of derived, meaning that you believe in utilitarianism if and only if you believe that utility ought be maximized.
~tsh
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/26/2013 4:53:41 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 4:16:17 AM, TSH wrote:
"Utilitarianism is a theory in normative ethics holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes utility" - http://en.wikipedia.org...

My interpretation was that the connection is postulated by utilitarianism instead of derived, meaning that you believe in utilitarianism if and only if you believe that utility ought be maximized.

Right, but that doesn't solve the issue, now does it?

Now, you could dismiss Utilitarianism as a code of ethics and simply call it a tool towards an arbitrary ends and that would be just dandy.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/26/2013 6:52:34 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 2:32:11 AM, TSH wrote:
After participating in an interesting debate with saar.cone (http://www.debate.org...), I have come to the conclusion that Utilitarianism might be fundamentally flawed. My argument is as follows:

A. Utilitarianism involves the maximization of utility.
B. The instrument is not responsible for the death; rather, it is the killer who makes a conscious decision to kill his victim.
C. Once the killer has made a conscious decision to kill his victim, the victim will die within a certain reasonable amount of time.
D. It follows that the killer ought legally be allowed to have his victim killed (after a reasonable amount of time) in exchange for his life and a monetary sum (which will probably be set equal to the net worth of the victim).

D provides an alternative to C that maximizes utility (relatively speaking). Indeed, if there is a killer in society and D is not passed, then there will necessarily be at least two deaths (that of his target and himself) and possibly more (that of innocent bystanders or other targets). If D is passed, on the other hand, then there will be only two deaths (that of the target and the killer) and revenue that can be utilized in a utilitarian manner. It follows that under Utilitarianism, D would be passed as a law. From a societal standpoint, I believe D to be an unpopular position; consequently, Utilitarianism may be considered to be fundamentally flawed (as it necessitates the espousal of a position as unpopular as D). To test this hypothesis, I ask DDO members to please reply with whether or not they agree with premise D.

I would be interesting in hearing any refutations of this argument or its conclusions. Also, I am not well versed in philosophy, so forgive me if this argument/fallacy has already been discovered or has a name.

I'm with freedo in that Utilitarianism is garbage...

but, if I were a Utilitarian... I'd point out that you didn't give any rationale for measuring the relative "Utility" of a person dying... (though I think any such proposed measures would be hogwash anyways)

and, also, there may be other factors which would be at play in what's, Overall, of most utility. Perhaps having such a system would have other costs... like a more tenuous, fearful, social atmosphere.. or something... and, Everything's utility has got to be accounted for :)

also, your premise C is not an Unquestionable alternative... For it may be of Utility to have a security apparatus in place which Might prevent such killings. (albeit, prevention is tough)
"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."
RyuuKyuzo
Posts: 3,074
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/26/2013 7:44:52 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Statistics show that 9 out of 10 people enjoy gang-rape. Talk about your net utility!
If you're reading this, you're awesome and you should feel awesome.
TSH
Posts: 260
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/26/2013 7:38:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 6:52:34 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 2/26/2013 2:32:11 AM, TSH wrote:
After participating in an interesting debate with saar.cone (http://www.debate.org...), I have come to the conclusion that Utilitarianism might be fundamentally flawed. My argument is as follows:

A. Utilitarianism involves the maximization of utility.
B. The instrument is not responsible for the death; rather, it is the killer who makes a conscious decision to kill his victim.
C. Once the killer has made a conscious decision to kill his victim, the victim will die within a certain reasonable amount of time.
D. It follows that the killer ought legally be allowed to have his victim killed (after a reasonable amount of time) in exchange for his life and a monetary sum (which will probably be set equal to the net worth of the victim).

D provides an alternative to C that maximizes utility (relatively speaking). Indeed, if there is a killer in society and D is not passed, then there will necessarily be at least two deaths (that of his target and himself) and possibly more (that of innocent bystanders or other targets). If D is passed, on the other hand, then there will be only two deaths (that of the target and the killer) and revenue that can be utilized in a utilitarian manner. It follows that under Utilitarianism, D would be passed as a law. From a societal standpoint, I believe D to be an unpopular position; consequently, Utilitarianism may be considered to be fundamentally flawed (as it necessitates the espousal of a position as unpopular as D). To test this hypothesis, I ask DDO members to please reply with whether or not they agree with premise D.

I would be interesting in hearing any refutations of this argument or its conclusions. Also, I am not well versed in philosophy, so forgive me if this argument/fallacy has already been discovered or has a name.

I'm with freedo in that Utilitarianism is garbage...

but, if I were a Utilitarian... I'd point out that you didn't give any rationale for measuring the relative "Utility" of a person dying... (though I think any such proposed measures would be hogwash anyways)

and, also, there may be other factors which would be at play in what's, Overall, of most utility. Perhaps having such a system would have other costs... like a more tenuous, fearful, social atmosphere.. or something... and, Everything's utility has got to be accounted for :)

also, your premise C is not an Unquestionable alternative... For it may be of Utility to have a security apparatus in place which Might prevent such killings. (albeit, prevention is tough)

Your reasoning appears to be circular: "a more tenuous, fearful, social atmosphere" -> this statement assumes that people are not utilitarian, for true utilitarians would feel safer with D than without. Utility cannot be based upon emotions or other equally esoteric concepts lest it be abused and used to twist Utilitarianism into Deontology. Thus, the argument is invalid because it presumes the existence of deontological preconceptions and holds up the violation of these preconceptions as a utilitarian harm.

"but, if I were a Utilitarian... I'd point out that you didn't give any rationale for measuring the relative "Utility" of a person dying"

My rational is that each death has associated with it negative utility. I am not presuming to know the magnitude of the utility (which depends upon who is being killed); my argument only requires the sign to be negative.

"also, your premise C is not an Unquestionable alternative... For it may be of Utility to have a security apparatus in place which Might prevent such killings. (albeit, prevention is tough)"

No such security apparatus can prevent one with infinite cash from having his target killed. In light of this fact, point D could be amended as follows:

D. It follows that the killer ought legally be allowed to have his victim killed (after a reasonable amount of time) in exchange for his life and a monetary sum (which will probably be set equal to an estimation of the money required for the killer to have his victim killed without the help of the law).

"Statistics show that 9 out of 10 people enjoy gang-rape. Talk about your net utility!" - RyuuKyuzo

Argumentum ad passiones? I take it you disagree with premise D.

"Now, you could dismiss Utilitarianism as a code of ethics and simply call it a tool towards an arbitrary ends and that would be just dandy." - FREEDO

Utility exists; other ethical codes do not. How do you measure morality (aka intent)? Answer: You cannot, otherwise, it is utility. How do you measure utility? Answer: By using Utilitarianism.
~tsh
wiploc
Posts: 1,485
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/27/2013 11:43:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 2:32:11 AM, TSH wrote:
D. It follows that the killer ought legally be allowed to have his victim killed (after a reasonable amount of time) in exchange for his life and a monetary sum (which will probably be set equal to the net worth of the victim).

I don't see that that follows from anything you said, but you weren't very lucid, so I don't know what you were trying to say.

So, let's look not at your reasoning but rather at the result if we made D into law. Then any nutcase with money could kill anybody. Politicians lives would be forfeit so long as one rich guy and one suicidal guy could get together and pick a victim. You know that would happen all the time. Saddam Husein used to make donations to suicide bomber's families. Under your system, he'd have to make the donation to the victim's families instead, or to the state, but you can't doubt that this system would bring a maelstrom of murder and political chaos.

People would be unhappy in a maelstrom of murder and political chaos.

Therefore, your system would reduce utility. Therefore, utilitarians will reject it.
TSH
Posts: 260
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/27/2013 6:47:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2013 11:43:20 AM, wiploc wrote:
At 2/26/2013 2:32:11 AM, TSH wrote:
D. It follows that the killer ought legally be allowed to have his victim killed (after a reasonable amount of time) in exchange for his life and a monetary sum (which will probably be set equal to the net worth of the victim).

I don't see that that follows from anything you said, but you weren't very lucid, so I don't know what you were trying to say.

So, let's look not at your reasoning but rather at the result if we made D into law. Then any nutcase with money could kill anybody. Politicians lives would be forfeit so long as one rich guy and one suicidal guy could get together and pick a victim. You know that would happen all the time. Saddam Husein used to make donations to suicide bomber's families. Under your system, he'd have to make the donation to the victim's families instead, or to the state, but you can't doubt that this system would bring a maelstrom of murder and political chaos.

People would be unhappy in a maelstrom of murder and political chaos.

Therefore, your system would reduce utility. Therefore, utilitarians will reject it.

"I don't see that that follows from anything you said, but you weren't very lucid, so I don't know what you were trying to say."

Which part is confusing, A, B, C, D, or the link between C and D?

Is the following justification of link between C and D more coherent?
B1. D only applies to killers that are willing and able to illegally kill victims.
B2. D enables one of these killers to legally have a victim killed in exchange for his own life and a monetary fee.
B3. Whether or not D is passed, the killer in B2 will have his victim die. If D is not passed, the killer may be able to kill multiple victims before dying.
B4. Thus, the passage of D is expected to reduce the number of innocent people killed.

"So, let's look not at your reasoning but rather at the result if we made D into law. Then any nutcase with money could kill anybody. Politicians lives would be forfeit so long as one rich guy and one suicidal guy could get together and pick a victim. You know that would happen all the time. Saddam Husein used to make donations to suicide bomber's families. Under your system, he'd have to make the donation to the victim's families instead, or to the state, but you can't doubt that this system would bring a maelstrom of murder and political chaos."

I agree with this. How is different from the current system? Saddam Hussein has had no problem using his money to sponsor terrorist attacks that killed Americans. Possible reasons why he has not targeted politicians include the fact that he might not have had enough money (the security for and net worth of American politicians is much greater than that of regular people).

"People would be unhappy in a maelstrom of murder and political chaos."

This is a deontological argument. Remember, utility cannot be based upon emotions or other equally esoteric concepts lest it be abused and used to twist Utilitarianism into Deontology (if anyone disagrees, I am willing to debate this point). What matters is that the murder and political chaos will decrease if D is passed.

"Therefore, your system would reduce utility. Therefore, utilitarians will reject it."

I don't see how. Please specify which of the following points you disagree with:
1. D reduces the number of people killed
2. Reducing the number of people killed increases utility
3. Therefore D increases utility

Also, as a side note, rich people can currently hire suicidal guys (assassins) to kill politicians (http://en.wikipedia.org...; http://en.wikipedia.org...). For example, Eifan Saadoun Al Issawim, a politician, was killed in a suicide bombing attack sponsored by rich people.
~tsh
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/27/2013 9:08:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 7:38:59 PM, TSH wrote:
Your reasoning appears to be circular: "a more tenuous, fearful, social atmosphere" -> this statement assumes that people are not utilitarian, for true utilitarians would feel safer with D than without. Utility cannot be based upon emotions or other equally esoteric concepts lest it be abused and used to twist Utilitarianism into Deontology. Thus, the argument is invalid because it presumes the existence of deontological preconceptions and holds up the violation of these preconceptions as a utilitarian harm.

Lol, so instead we should assume everyone has Utilitarian preconceptions???
none-the-less Your particular (shoddy/unexplained) utilitarian preconceptions...

Further, I never implied that people will be uncomfortable b/c of deontological preconceptions... i just said people might be less comfortable in such a world..
I don't know how you understood me as saying that was due to a deontological viewpoint, I know I might be less comfortable in a world where it was seen as AOK to the populace if someone were to trade their life for yours and a couple bucks.. and I'm far from a deontologist.
"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
Posts: 12,028
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/27/2013 9:09:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2013 6:47:57 PM, TSH wrote:
This is a deontological argument. Remember, utility cannot be based upon emotions or other equally esoteric concepts

what's it based on then?
"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."
TSH
Posts: 260
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/27/2013 9:12:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2013 9:09:48 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 2/27/2013 6:47:57 PM, TSH wrote:
This is a deontological argument. Remember, utility cannot be based upon emotions or other equally esoteric concepts

what's it based on then?

"In economics, utility is a representation of preferences over some set of goods and services" (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

It is based on goods and services.
~tsh
wiploc
Posts: 1,485
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/27/2013 9:36:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2013 6:47:57 PM, TSH wrote:
I don't see how. Please specify which of the following points you disagree with:
1. D reduces the number of people killed

Right now, murder is forbidden. Under your proposed law, it would be allowed, sanctioned by the government. This stamp of approval, this endorsement by public policy, would tend to encourage murder. Murders would tend to increase.

Some people would not comply with the law. They wouldn't be able to afford the financial payment, or they would disagree with the assessed worth of their intended victim's life. They would go ahead and murder the old way. But there would probably be more murders, because illegal murders wouldn't be thought of as so bad anymore. An illegal murder would be thought no worse than cheating on your taxes, because it's just the fee that you'd be avoiding. The killing itself is government approved.

Suppose you hated some senator, and he had such good security that you couldn't get to him to murder him. That's when you would take advantage of the new law, and have the government kill him for you because you have some political superpac pay the fee, and you find some poor person to give up her life because you promise to find an organ donor for her son. This is another instance of your proposed law actually increasing killings, because the senator's security would have otherwise protected him.
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/28/2013 6:24:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2013 9:12:39 PM, TSH wrote:
At 2/27/2013 9:09:48 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 2/27/2013 6:47:57 PM, TSH wrote:
This is a deontological argument. Remember, utility cannot be based upon emotions or other equally esoteric concepts

what's it based on then?

"In economics, utility is a representation of preferences over some set of goods and services" (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

It is based on goods and services.

and Emotions, and other such Feelings, are the reasons for people's Preferences of some goods and services...

And people's being uncomfortable/terrified of your proposed Government-backed killing service is the reason they'd Prefer that service to not be available..

So.... why should Utilitarianism not account for these people's feelings/preferences again?
"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."
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/28/2013 6:35:58 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/26/2013 7:44:52 AM, RyuuKyuzo wrote:
Statistics show that 9 out of 10 people enjoy gang-rape. Talk about your net utility!

You know, I find it ironic when 'counterexamples' to utilitarianism always have some poor b@stard taking a huge hit to their own utility. Utilitarianism doesn't say 'if the good outweighs the bad then do it'. It says 'maximise utility'. And I'm pretty sure encouraging people to go around gang raping won't end up maximising utility.
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/28/2013 6:51:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/28/2013 6:35:58 AM, Kinesis wrote:
At 2/26/2013 7:44:52 AM, RyuuKyuzo wrote:
Statistics show that 9 out of 10 people enjoy gang-rape. Talk about your net utility!

You know, I find it ironic when 'counterexamples' to utilitarianism always have some poor b@stard taking a huge hit to their own utility. Utilitarianism doesn't say 'if the good outweighs the bad then do it'. It says 'maximise utility'. And I'm pretty sure encouraging people to go around gang raping won't end up maximising utility.

yeah, but you don't even need to think up counter-examples to utilitarianism...

You've just got to show how it's completely baseless/without support.. and that's it.

you know, like how there's no reason to abandon what you naturally care about in order to try to fulfill what you think is wanted most "on average" by the totality of people/things who you may or may not give a flying fck about.
"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
Posts: 12,028
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/28/2013 7:10:37 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/28/2013 6:51:46 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 2/28/2013 6:35:58 AM, Kinesis wrote:
At 2/26/2013 7:44:52 AM, RyuuKyuzo wrote:
Statistics show that 9 out of 10 people enjoy gang-rape. Talk about your net utility!

You know, I find it ironic when 'counterexamples' to utilitarianism always have some poor b@stard taking a huge hit to their own utility. Utilitarianism doesn't say 'if the good outweighs the bad then do it'. It says 'maximise utility'. And I'm pretty sure encouraging people to go around gang raping won't end up maximising utility.

yeah, but you don't even need to think up counter-examples to utilitarianism...

You've just got to show how it's completely baseless/without support.. and that's it.

you know, like how there's no reason to abandon what you naturally care about in order to

try to fulfill what you think is wanted most "on average" by the totality of people/things who you may or may not give a flying fck about.

and may personally disagree with too.

...
Utilitarianism admits that we have intimate, personal, wants... and Admits that these things are naturally important to us, in fact that they're the BASIS of things being important..

but then makes another claim that the wants of ALL things should be equally valued by each valuer.

This other claim is wholly without support.
"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."
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/28/2013 7:18:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/28/2013 6:51:46 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
yeah, but you don't even need to think up counter-examples to utilitarianism...

You've just got to show how it's completely baseless/without support.. and that's it.

you know, like how there's no reason to abandon what you naturally care about in order to try to fulfill what you think is wanted most "on average" by the totality of people/things who you may or may not give a flying fck about.

Okay, so show that that's true then.
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/28/2013 8:04:27 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/28/2013 7:18:20 AM, Kinesis wrote:
At 2/28/2013 6:51:46 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
yeah, but you don't even need to think up counter-examples to utilitarianism...

You've just got to show how it's completely baseless/without support.. and that's it.

you know, like how there's no reason to abandon what you naturally care about in order to try to fulfill what you think is wanted most "on average" by the totality of people/things who you may or may not give a flying fck about.

Okay, so show that that's true then.

what you'd prefer, you'd prefer.

Acting in a manner which makes things as you'd prefer them inherently makes sense on the basis that that's how you'd prefer them to be.

This in no way changes by the fact that other people care about stuff too.. That is, unless you care about their caring (but then that falls under your personal preferences anyways..)

No utilitarian gives reason to seek to make things a way you wouldn't like them to be... They can't b/c it doesn't make sense.
If you'd like things to be a certain way, it makes sense to try to make them Be that way... It follows Directly and this connection cannot be broken.

As I suggested, for one who's empathetic or sypathetic... The cares of others might weigh upon his own cares, but this then changes what they themselves would prefer.

Utilitarianism appeals to a kind of "general good" for which their is no argument compelling individuals to seek over their own personally derived 'goods'.

here's mill's "argument":
In like manner, I apprehend, the sole evidence it is possible to produce that anything is desirable, is that people do actually desire it. If the end which the utilitarian doctrine proposes to itself were not, in theory and in practice,acknowledged to be an end, nothing could ever convince any person that it was so. No reason can be given why the general happiness is desirable, except that each person, so far as he believes it to be attainable, desires his own happiness. This, however, being a fact, we have not only all the proof which the case admits of, but all which it is possible to require, that happiness is a good: that each person"s happiness is a good to that person,and the general happiness, therefore, a good to the aggregate of all persons. Happiness has made out its title as one of the ends of conduct, and consequently one of the criteria of morality.
[Mill 1863, 61]
As to the sentence
["]
when I said the general happiness is a good to the aggregate of all persons I did not mean that every human being"s happiness is a good to every other human being,
["]
I merely meant in this particular sentence to argue that since A"s happiness is a good, B"s a good, C"s a good, etc., the sum of all these goods must be a good.
[Mill 2003, 270]

He admits that a given person's happiness isn't necessarily a good to others, but is a good to themselves.

then he suggests that the Aggregate of all these individual goods is a general good.

Starting with limited, Personal, goods based in (and only regarding) Particular individuals... he suggests that all these together is a general good...

Good to whom? o.O well Everyone, I suppose...
'Cept that he's admitted that for any given person the goods of other's aren't necessarily relevant at all..
'Cept that he's essentially admitted that his "General Good" doesn't necessarily have any leverage on what is "good" to individuals.

so, it's a general good that's not necessarily of force to anyone in particular... But, as naturally follows, only relevant in the degree to which that Individual's "goods" line up with it.
in truth it's just an irrelevant abstract idea of something that would be practically impossible for anyone to methodically develop and that no-one has good reason to pay any attention to anyways.

There's no real argument for how this General good applies to an individual who doesn't see anyone else's happiness as a good... He basically admit's that Only that individual's Own happiness would factor into his personal category of what is "good"..
His claimed general "Good" has absolutely Zero argument in support of it which can be of force to individuals..

and there is a similar absence still.

Perhaps you have an argument for it?
"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
Posts: 12,028
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/28/2013 8:21:26 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/28/2013 8:04:27 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
His claimed general "Good" has absolutely Zero argument in support of it which can be of force to individuals..

He suggests it is a good of the Aggregate.. but the aggregate doesn't act or decide, or Anything...

Particular people 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."