> No. First, I don't agree that the real question is what the utility
> function is or should be. The real question is whether the measure, M, is
> conserved or whether it decreases. It's just that a lot of people don't
> understand what that means.
I agree that a lot of people don't understand what that means, and I
certainly appreciate your effort to educate them. But it seems to me that
once someone does understand that issue, it's not assured that they'll fall
into the U=M*Q camp automatically.
> The next point is that while U=M*Q is perfectly well defined, U=Q is not,
> and I don't know what you mean by it.
> OK, you might ask "huh?" when I say that. What I mean is that M*Q is just
> a caricature of a utility function but should obviously be generalized to
> the case of multiple types of observations by using Sum_i M_i Q_i.
U=Q would be generalized to (Sum_i M_i Q_i) / (Sum_i M_i). This seems just
as well defined as Sum_i M_i Q_i. You objected that "personal identity is
not well-defined" but don't you need to define personal identity to compute
Sum_i M_i Q_i as well, in order to determine which i to sum over?
BTW, I note that there seems to be a parallel between this debate, and the
one between average and total utilitarianism.
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