Utilitarianism vs Deontological Morality

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Kaz_1983
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Re: Utilitarianism vs Deontological Morality

Post by Kaz_1983 » July 26th, 2019, 7:17 pm

Pantagruel wrote:
July 25th, 2019, 8:36 am
Kaz_1983 wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 11:24 pm

Yeah when it comes to utilitarianism holding on to the lever is immoral, right? Because the action of holding onto the lever doesn't maximizes the happiness, for the majority.... i.e. the people on the train..

Yes it's a dilemma.

What about this, is it moral for a 18 year old girl to be forced into prositution if it maximizes the happiness, for the greatest number of people... i.e. 100+ men.. I mean it maximizes the happiness of the majority.. if your a utilitarian, is forcing a 18 year old girl into prositution moral?
Actually John Stuart Mill was a very important proponent of Utilitarianism but his variety includes critical concepts of "duty" and "obligations of perfect" justice which would tend to balance cases such as these...
I'm gonna look "duty" "utilitarianism" "obligations"

Kaz_1983
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Re: Utilitarianism vs Deontological Morality

Post by Kaz_1983 » July 28th, 2019, 4:14 am

Ok I didn't realise there was so many different types of utilitarianism ethical systems.

https://owlcation.com/humanities/Differ ... itarianism

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h_k_s
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Re: Utilitarianism vs Deontological Morality

Post by h_k_s » July 29th, 2019, 3:50 pm

Kaz_1983 wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 11:24 pm
h_k_s wrote:
July 21st, 2019, 9:11 am
The classic conundrum that I have always heard about the train switching engineer is that he is holding the lever to divert a train when his little child wanders onto the tracks. If he lets go of the lever everyone on the train dies. If he holds onto the lever his child gets run over by the train.
Yeah when it comes to utilitarianism holding on to the lever is immoral, right? Because the action of holding onto the lever doesn't maximizes the happiness, for the majority.... i.e. the people on the train..

Yes it's a dilemma.

What about this, is it moral for a 18 year old girl to be forced into prositution if it maximizes the happiness, for the greatest number of people... i.e. 100+ men.. I mean it maximizes the happiness of the majority.. if your a utilitarian, is forcing a 18 year old girl into prositution moral?
While Aristotle condoned slavery, I doubt today that he would condone white slavery. Maybe and maybe not.

The Imperial Japanese Army condoned and practiced white slavery of Korean girls during WW2. And at the same time in the European theatre plenty of French, Jewish, Russian and also finally German girls were used as sex slaves by the invading Nazi, Russian, British, French, and American armies.

So it does happen.

Probably better to be born ugly than beautiful.

For the train switch operator whose little child wandered onto the tracks, he was duty bound to save the train. This is a matter of moral duty.

You cannot let an entire trainload of people die just because your wife or sitter was negligent.

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h_k_s
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Re: Utilitarianism vs Deontological Morality

Post by h_k_s » July 29th, 2019, 3:54 pm

Kaz_1983 wrote:
July 28th, 2019, 4:14 am
Ok I didn't realise there was so many different types of utilitarianism ethical systems.

https://owlcation.com/humanities/Differ ... itarianism
Thanks @Kaz_1983 for the update.

I guess I am a sentient. I believe in animal rights.

My father taught me never to waste meat -- because an animal had to die for us to be able to eat it and that we should be grateful. I was 6 years old at that time.

He also taught me never to kill any animal that I did not plan to eat.

Sentient.

Kaz_1983
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Re: Utilitarianism vs Deontological Morality

Post by Kaz_1983 » October 9th, 2019, 11:49 pm

Can boiling 50,000 babies (alive) to death, ever be good?
"Utilitarianism is a family of consequentialist ethical theories that promotes actions that maximize happiness and well-being for the majority of a population."
I mean it's gonna prevent 2 million people from starving to death. So the consequences are really good.

So yeah, would it morally be the right thing to do?

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Sheldrake
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Re: Utilitarianism vs Deontological Morality

Post by Sheldrake » March 24th, 2020, 3:28 pm

I am not a philosopher, but a military historian. I really want to post a topic, but this thread seems to have a significant overlap.

The trolley problem is not an abstract thought experiment, but a fair approximation to the kind of decisions that are made daily by military commanders and repeated with the surviving players. Who gets picked to carry out a dangerous task. Is it always the person most likely to succeed or is there any element of taking turns? There is more to this than morality, but there seems to be a moral component along the utilitarianism v deontological split of this topic. E.g. there are taboos among most armed forces about targeting a mixture of friend and foe. Do subjective estimates of probability play a part?

I am particularly interested in the extent to which morality and, or psychology of the trolley problem may help to understand historic events where a decision to avoid the risks of friendly fire (killing the one) resulted in heavy casualties from enemy fire (killing the five).

Are there any articles covering this topic?

Kaz_1983
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Re: Utilitarianism vs Deontological Morality

Post by Kaz_1983 » April 7th, 2020, 6:28 am

Sheldrake wrote:
March 24th, 2020, 3:28 pm
I am not a philosopher, but a military historian. I really want to post a topic, but this thread seems to have a significant overlap.

The trolley problem is not an abstract thought experiment, but a fair approximation to the kind of decisions that are made daily by military commanders and repeated with the surviving players. Who gets picked to carry out a dangerous task. Is it always the person most likely to succeed or is there any element of taking turns? There is more to this than morality, but there seems to be a moral component along the utilitarianism v deontological split of this topic. E.g. there are taboos among most armed forces about targeting a mixture of friend and foe. Do subjective estimates of probability play a part?

I am particularly interested in the extent to which morality and, or psychology of the trolley problem may help to understand historic events where a decision to avoid the risks of friendly fire (killing the one) resulted in heavy casualties from enemy fire (killing the five).

Are there any articles covering this topic?
It's like how most people would pull the lever and kill the one person and save the five people but if you had bridge over the tracks and the train passed under you - now let's say there is some super fat dude that could stop the train, he's that fat! But seriously, most people find that pushing that fat dude off the bridge is wrong.

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Hereandnow
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Re: Utilitarianism vs Deontological Morality

Post by Hereandnow » April 7th, 2020, 1:09 pm

Sheldrake
I am not a philosopher, but a military historian. I really want to post a topic, but this thread seems to have a significant overlap.

The trolley problem is not an abstract thought experiment, but a fair approximation to the kind of decisions that are made daily by military commanders and repeated with the surviving players. Who gets picked to carry out a dangerous task. Is it always the person most likely to succeed or is there any element of taking turns? There is more to this than morality, but there seems to be a moral component along the utilitarianism v deontological split of this topic. E.g. there are taboos among most armed forces about targeting a mixture of friend and foe. Do subjective estimates of probability play a part?

I am particularly interested in the extent to which morality and, or psychology of the trolley problem may help to understand historic events where a decision to avoid the risks of friendly fire (killing the one) resulted in heavy casualties from enemy fire (killing the five).

Are there any articles covering this topic?
You might try Nonsuicidal Society by Andrew Oldenquist. I don't agree with him essentially, but he does give an exposition of the basic ideas in play. He argues that ethical obligations vary as the become more distant personally. In other words, I have a greater obligation to my daughter objectively than I do the daughter of someone else, especially if this other is from another country. You see? The less the "distance" and this would be the quality of the relationship, the more meaningful a relation is to me, the more my objective obligation grows. Oldenquist takes this to justify "collateral damage" in war, or in making Germany, I mean America, great again. Where he gets this defacto to a dejure is the big question, for it is morally arbitrary that she is MY daughter, isn't it? The value of someone's well being is not measured by the arbitrary proximity to a given other person.

Just and Unjust Wars, by Michael Walzer is good. Just go online and look up this book and add essays. Lots of commentary. He presents a good discussion of justification, combatants and noncombatants, and so on, as I recall.

The ethical issue of what to do in our entanglements in the world is so hard to understand and the best you can do is to do your best. It is not an elusively utilitarian matter, for this kind of thinking can condone the best treatment for the worst people. iti s also terribly question begging: is one kind of happiness on the hedonic calculator better than another? How so? How are consequences measured against each other? The number of people, animals, the quality of the their lives, their age? I mean, measuring consequences is, unless blatantly obvious, impossible. There is that nagging part about on the one hand knowing where the greatest utility lies, yet not being able to establish why those who are the beneficiaries deserve it. They may be very good people, but why are they so? From whence came the gift of being good, well liked, an so on? Our gifts are handed out at the birth and on in life arbitrarily and rewards for good behavior are therefore grounded in morally arbitrary conditions.

You will NEVER get to the bottom of this, as if there actually were some magical way to describe and determine ethical rectitude. But there are ways to see more clearly. For example, there are actions on the one hand and agents on the other. They are very different things, and an action may be wrong, but the agent was right. Kant looked to the "good will" to determine right agency, but his prescription for action, the most famous part of his moral thinking, is iffy. check it out: Metaphysic of Morals by Kant. Probably online for free.

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LuckyR
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Re: Utilitarianism vs Deontological Morality

Post by LuckyR » April 13th, 2020, 6:35 pm

The way the Trolley problem is described involves certainties (one vs five), whereas Real Life revolves around probabilities, that may or may not end up being accurate. Thus as mentioned, everyday people make decisions of this second type routinely and quite well while the Trolley problem baffles those who deal with theoretical issues ie Philosophers.
"As usual... it depends."

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