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everyone is a utilitarian

Posted: Mon May 12, 2014 5:56 am
by Kayla
well almost everyone at some point

ask a normal person if its ok to kill one person for their organs to save multiple people, and they will be horrified

ask them about throwing a fat guy in the path of a moving trolley thereby saving five people - and they will be similarly horrified

then find out a bit about their politics

maybe they see nothing wrong with the american campaign of using drones on "terrorists"

maybe they are crazed muslims or leftist college students and are in favor of use of suicide bombings by palestinians

or maybe they are crazed jews or college fraternity douchebags and are in favor of bombing the shit out of gaza in response to ineffectual home made rocket attacks


ask them about 'collateral damage' - about innocent people being killed as a result of actions they support - and their justification will show them to be classical utilitarians

the same people who were horrified by involuntary organ donations just a few minutes ago will be waxing utilitarian about killing of women and children



is this of any philosophical significance?

or is this pure a psychological issue

Re: everyone is a utilitarian

Posted: Mon May 12, 2014 8:38 am
by uwot
Kayla wrote:is this of any philosophical significance?
I think it makes the point that any claim of moral absolutes should be treated with suspicion, if not outright contempt.

Re: everyone is a utilitarian

Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 9:00 pm
by SpheresOfBalance
Kayla wrote:well almost everyone at some point

ask a normal person if its ok to kill one person for their organs to save multiple people, and they will be horrified

ask them about throwing a fat guy in the path of a moving trolley thereby saving five people - and they will be similarly horrified

then find out a bit about their politics

maybe they see nothing wrong with the american campaign of using drones on "terrorists"

maybe they are crazed muslims or leftist college students and are in favor of use of suicide bombings by palestinians

or maybe they are crazed jews or college fraternity douchebags and are in favor of bombing the shit out of gaza in response to ineffectual home made rocket attacks


ask them about 'collateral damage' - about innocent people being killed as a result of actions they support - and their justification will show them to be classical utilitarians

the same people who were horrified by involuntary organ donations just a few minutes ago will be waxing utilitarian about killing of women and children



is this of any philosophical significance?

or is this pure a psychological issue
You're an American, and you raised the question/stated the observation, so I'm thinking you disagree, based on your wording. If so, I'm the same, no utilitarian here, at least not when it comes to ending a life other than ones own. To me, killing another human is cowardly, unless in self defense. Those that want to prove their bravery to me, as to death, have got to end their life instead of another's. I could give a fuck about oil!