On 10/20/2011 11:12 PM, meekerdb wrote:
On 10/20/2011 7:20 PM, nihil0 wrote:
I think most consequentialists, especially utilitarians, consider all
sentient beings to have moral status.

But *equal* moral status? I cannot believe anyone has ever even attempted to live by such an ethic.

Great question! It can be easily shown that postulating an equal moral status on beings does nothing to constrain the actions of those beings. An object has no moral value in itself, but a sentient being is, among other things, a chooser of value. Such equanimity theories, when applied to the Real world, always degenerate into a "might makes right" situation. It is no wonder all forms of socialism that have been attempted in the real world tend to degenerate into some form of tyranny. Witness the current difficulty with the Greek government in the EU.

Utilitarians say an action is
morally better to the extent that it produces more well-being in the

But measured over what time period?
And that is the rub! These theoreticians seem to neglect the limitations that the physical world imposes upon moral choices.

Anyway I would prefer to focus on whether act consequentialism implies
that all actions as morally equivalent, if the universe might be
canonically infinite.

There seems to an inconsistency at the heart of this. The multiverse is postulated to avoid wave-function collapse, so the world evolves strictly unitarily, which is to say deterministically. So you have no libertarian free will with which to make choices anyway.

Maybe that is the point that the moral theory is aimed at anyway. Once the concept of free will is banished, all notions of social responsibility vanish with it and all that it left is intellectual word games seeking to define some ruling elite's "right" to decide moral choices for the masses. How much fat can your food have, how much sugar.... What color can one's house be painted. How much water in the toilet's reservoir ... All of this nonsense could be demolished by the simple acknowledgement of the finite mind and will of the individual sentient being. With Rights come Responsibilities. And with Responsibilities, Rights.





On Oct 21, 2:50 am, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net>  wrote:
On 10/20/2011 6:37 PM, nihil0 wrote:

However, this class action argument assumes that the value-density
approach is an acceptable way to measure the value in a world. There
are a few problems with the value-density approach. First of all, it
seems to give up aggregationism (total consequentialism) in favor of
average consequentialism. Average consequentialism has the
counterintuitive implication that we should kill people who have below-
average utility and few friends or loved ones, such as some hermits
and homeless people. Secondly, the value-density approach "places
ethical significance on the spatiotemporal distribution of value."
This is at odds with consequentialism's commitment to impartiality
(the idea that equal amounts of value are equally good to promote, no
matter who or where the beneficiaries are).
But this kind of consequentialism is already unworkable. Who counts as a beneficiary? a fetus? someone not yet conceived? chimpanzees? dogs? spiders? In practice we value the well-being of some people a lot more than others and we do so for the simple reason that
it makes our life better.


Third, the value-density
approach fails to apply to inhomogeneous infinite worlds . . . because
value-density is undefined for such worlds." (16)

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