In my experience, @BrimstoneSalad and, probably because of him/her, many other people on this forum, they are convinced that the only true philosophies are the Bentham's utilitarianism to be applied to ethics and the Auguste Comte's positivism to be applied to epistemology and to political philosophy, and that other philosophical positions are irrational and not worth listening to.
What makes you say that they believe other philosophical positions are irrational and not worth listening to?
Now, where exactly veganism fits there, I don't quite understand (unless you are going to appeal to the false and simplistic notions that the hunger in the world would be solved if everybody went vegan). Utilitarianism should be against animal rights, since utilitarianism values intellectual pleasures more than physical pleasures, and most of the people would accept animals can't enjoy intellectual pleasures like humans can.
John Stuart Mill's interpretation of utilitarianism valued intellectual pleasures more than physical pleasures. However, utilitarianism does not necessarily have to conform to this. Even if it did, it wouldn't mean that meat eating is moral as killing animals for food isn't sacrificing the physical pleasures of an animal for the intellectual pleasures of a human. It's sacrificing the physical pleasures of an animal for the physical pleasures of a human.
I understand the appeal of the Bentham's philosophy, it apparently formalizes ethics in a way that's easy to understand and in a way that seems intuitive. But it falls apart rather quickly when scrutinized. First of all, it's obviously inapplicable to any real or even imaginary ethical issue, because you just can't estimate what numbers you should put into those Bentham's formulas in a reasonable amount of time. And if that seems to miss the point, then the simple truth is, according to utilitarianism, it should be ethical to kill homeless (and therefore unproductive) people and harvest their organs to save many more sick people who need them.
Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, but it seems that what you say there is somewhat contradictory. First you say that it isn't applicable to any ethical issue, and then you say then when applied, it means it is ethical to kill the homeless. How can it be applied to killing homeless if it is inapplicable to any ethical issues?
Aside from that, it can be difficult to apply utilitarianism as it is difficult to know what the consequences of our actions will be. However, that doesn't change the fact that whenever we do things, it is best to think of what the consequences would be. We do this every day when we try to maximise pleasure and minimise pain for ourselves. If somebody offered me to play in a game of Russian roulette, I would probably refuse, due to the consequences of what would happen if I lost, however, there are still consequences that I can't predict. I could get hit by a bus on the way home and die as a result of that and I wouldn't have even had the fun of playing Russian roulette.
As for killing homeless people, there's a whole bunch of answers utilitarianism can lead to in this case. However, I don't agree that homeless people are therefore unproductive.
Deontological ethics, I agree, sounds irrational at first because it seems that he rules must be arbitrary. But they don't actually have to be, the Non-agression Principle, for instance, can be derived right from the First Principles. And it makes it easy to explain why animal lives matter and why you shouldn't kill homeless to harvest their organs.
Not necessarily. You may need to initiate force to defend animal rights or homeless people.
As for the Comte's epistemology, one of its core ideas is the Hierarchy or Sciences. As I explained in the other thread, that idea appears to be self-contradictory (since studying the Hierarchy of Sciences would obviously be by far the "softest" science and therefore having no credibility). Perhaps it made sense to say something like that in the early 1800s, but now it's just an arrogant and baseless and perhaps even anti-scientific assertion ("I know enough of all the fields in all the sciences to tell how credible they are relative to each other!").
I'd probably need to read the thread first, but what makes you say that the softest science would have no credibility?
As for the Comte's political philosophy, it seems to me it's at best just a useless tautology, and at worst quite a dangerous idea. For example, Karl Marx was obsessed with the term "scientific", he is often said to have manipulated the data to support his theories, and his ideas had, I hope you agree, devastating consequences.
Pure Marxism may be said to have devastating consequences although I do think that this has been exaggerated for political purposes. More reformist ideas of Marxism, such as Eduard Bernstein's evolutionary socialism (what would now be considered democratic socialism) have not.
Red wrote: ↑
Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:05 am
Utilitarianism has well-known flaws (most obvious, the Utility Monster), though it is a much more coherent and productive moral system than, say, Deontology.
The Utility Monster applies to some forms of utilitarianism much more than others. For instance, it doesn't really apply to negative utilitarianism. I suppose it can be adapted for negative utilitarianism in that the monster might feel a great amount of pain if he doesn't consume the resources, however, in this scenario, I would be enthusiastically supportive of letting the monster consume the resources so that he does not have to experience the pain.
teo123 wrote: ↑
Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:05 pm
What, the discussion of the Croatian toponyms was entertaining? Well, maybe slightly.
I haven't paid very much attention to what you and Carnap have said and done on this forum, but I think that most people here don't enjoy either of your presences. My impression is that Jebus meant to convey his amusement that the pair of you would be having a discussion. It might have seemed to him like Avengers: Infinity War
seemed to me. He'd have to confirm this though.
Kant called his ethical theory deontological, but it's actually something in between of consequentialism and deontological ethics. It also suffers from the calculation problem, but to a somewhat lesser degree than utilitarianism (it's usually a lot easier to tell what would happen if everyone acted in a certain manner than if only you acted in a certain manner and you don't know how other people will react). At least it doesn't suffer from that harvesting-the-homeless issue.
Well it kind of does. If somebody knocks on your door and asks you where the nearest homeless shelter is because they want to kill homeless people and harvest their organs to sell on the black market, Kant would say that you can't lie about where the homeless shelter is because lying is always wrong. Now, you could simply say "I'm not going to tell you where it is" and that wouldn't be a lie. However, do you really want to get on the bad side of somebody who kills people to sell their organs on the black market?
But according to the Kant's ethics, communism would be moral simply because communists want everybody else to be communist, because it's hard to tell what the consequences of everyone being a communist would be.
It would not be moral as communism treats people as the means to an end of creating a stateless propertyless society.
But pure deontological ethics, such as the Non-Agression-Principle, don't appear to suffer from any of those issues. OK, there is a calculation problem in some situations where you are forced to do harm and trying to minimize it,
Can you give an example of a situation where this could happen?
but the consequentialist ethical theories appear to suffer from that issue whenever you are trying to make any sort of ethical decision.
Well you're right in that you can't always tell what the consequences of your action will be. In Philippa Foot's trolley problem, if you divert the trolley so that it kills one person instead of five, you may have killed somebody with a cure for cancer and spared five nazi paedophiles. However, if you don't divert the trolley, you could just have done the opposite, killing five people with a cure for cancer and sparing one nazi paedophile. All you know in the moment when you are by the lever is that you have a choice between sparing five lives or one. However, this does not mean that you should not divert the trolley as the way we have to decide things when it comes to morality is through majoritarian systems, and so we have to help the majority. The non-aggression principle would say you should not divert the trolley as that would mean exerting force.
It's also quite unambiguous about, for example, communism being wrong, while the Kant's ethics, yet alone Utilitarianism, just aren't.
Utilitarianism would oppose communism as it has been shown not to maximise happiness or minimise pain.