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How Utilitarian Are You?
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Huey Offline
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Post: #1
How Utilitarian Are You?
Researchers at Oxford recently published a paper to measure how people's moral views match up to that of classical utilitarianism. Thought this would be a fun and interesting quiz for the forum to engage in. You can read more about it here.

http://www.jimaceverett.com/test/oxford-...ism-scale/

Quote:According to classical utilitarianism, we should always act in the way that would maximize aggregate well-being. This means that the only thing that determines whether an act is morally right is whether, out of the available options, it is the act that would lead to the most happiness and the least suffering in the world, taking into account the welfare of all sentient beings, whether human or animal. An act that doesn’t maximize welfare in this way is morally wrong. On this moral view, no one counts for more than anyone else: our own interests and needs, and the interests and needs of our family and friends, never count for more than the interests and needs of any other person, however distant from us. According to utilitarianism, the only thing that matters is how our actions affect the amount of happiness in the world. It is always morally right to break a rule or principle if doing so would lead to the better outcome. The higher you score on the scale, the closer your own views fit with what classical utilitarianism says. If you are familiar with ethical theories, we could say that if you are an unqualified act utilitarian then you should score very highly this scale. If you are more of a rule utilitarian or a consequentialist whose axiology includes more than welfare then you are somewhat less utilitarian – but still high. Moving further away from the top end of the scale, the more a person thinks of morality in partial terms, and the more (and the stronger the) deontological constraints they accept, the lower scores you should have. If you are attracted to W. D. Ross’s pluralist deontological theory you would rank low on this scale. If you hold an absolutist Kantian theory which gives limited weight to consequences, or a highly traditional moral view, then you should rank at the very bottom of the scale.

I got an overall score of 33 out of 63, which makes me a consequentialist it seems. I suspect most people who take this test will get similar results unless you're a hardcore utilitarian (à la Peter Singer).

I also scored 17 out of 35 on the Impartial Beneficence scale and 16 out of 28 on the Instrumental Harm scale.
02-13-2018 10:22 AM
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The Alpha Virgin Offline
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RE: How Utilitarian Are You?
Great post. Actually I think it might be a good idea to send tests like this to screen out girls with flawed morals for a LTR.
A very utilitarian chick will rationalize that her cheating on you is just making two people happier.





I got 24 out of 53. Everyone here must strongely disagree with question 5.
(This post was last modified: 02-13-2018 11:30 AM by The Alpha Virgin.)
02-13-2018 10:43 AM
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RoastBeefCurtains4Me Offline
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RE: How Utilitarian Are You?
I was just reading a review of Babylon Berlin, which quoted a character saying "Mass executions are a legitimate tool of the revolution". I'm sure those members of the various mid-20th century political movements felt that mass executions are utilitarian, in that they would consider that the greatest good for the greatest number would be achieved. I sometimes see some of that thinking in the manosphere and alt-right community, concerning the eventual outcome for groups like the African refugees flooding Europe.

There is a certain point where war or deportations of undesired populations produces the greatest good, but I think it's a slippery slope. You can't judge things purely by utilitarianism alone. I think this is true in one's personal life as much as it is in national affairs.

Some other moral standards are required. I suppose you could posit a higher, meta form of utilitarianism that requires some level of compassion and mercy for people who might otherwise get the short end of the stick. Maybe say that the greatest good for the greatest number can only be achieved if that good does not result in a minority paying an excessive and unjust price.

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02-13-2018 10:44 AM
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RE: How Utilitarian Are You?
28 overall and 9/28 for impartial benefice:

Quote:Impartial beneficence normally implies highly demanding forms of self-sacrifice

I would say people never make self-sacrifice. They only make compromises in the moment, which they may possibly regret later. People are OK when making compromises, which are the exchange of a thing or things they'd like for a thing or things of greater value. When they start getting pushed into the area where they are giving up a sum or more than they are getting they are going to start looking for an exit.

One big regulator of that is guilt and the sense of self. People feel the need to give things up, but it's only to appease their guilt and sense of self, e.g. the expunging of guilt and consequential positive self-image as a result of giving money to a beggar is of a greater value to them than the money. Thought no doubt there is a nagging part of these people as to why they are constantly doing things they don't really want to do just to please others and let go of their shame and guilt.

This relates to the recent video posted in the JP thread about PUAs (initially). Something along the lines of: agreeable people are always bent out of shape because there's something they're not saying, which makes them bitter and resentful. And because of this they are always being dragged into situations they don't want to be in.

That sort of reality is common among the milder left, but my observation is these people tend to be extremely selfish without realising it, which is probably partly due to their inability to see they are not inherently good, they're just highly subject to the emotions of shame and guilt that lead them to think they are inherently good.

A big part of the problem with utilitarianism is that it essentially requires everyone to adhere to it and the only way that would happen is tyranny, which at the end of the day utilitarians wouldn't be opposed to if it seemed it might produce the best outcomes. But under social liberalism in which people are allowed the space to come up with whatever ideas they want about the world, people are dividing themselves down into smaller and smaller ideological groups and most of these require that everyone else adhere to the rules of their ideology.

One issue with this test (IMO) is it doesn't separate between how you apply these rules to your group and the general population. I would be highly agreeable to helping people I've known for long enough to know they are worthy of my efforts, time, resources etc. But I don't have much time for the general public, many of whom are considerably at odds with me living my life as I while not interfering with them. I don't want to be constantly putting myself on a pyre to fuel the industry of my enemies. And the utilitarians are the same. They are self-interested (which is not the same as selfish) but via shame and guilt they've given themselves an ideological layer that compels them to do things they don't actually want to; and I suspect this could just be an elaborate game to hide the fact that they are not inherently good.

When I was young I was ridiculously agreeable (now 15/100: Big 5) and my life considerably revolved around putting other people before myself. When I was young I got away with that and certain other parts of my personality balanced it out in the social arena. However, as I grew older it became increasingly apparent that people weren't operating with me on the terms I operated with them on. People would extract from me what they could and they had no interest in if they were providing me value. While I was focusing on providing more than I got; and of course, I got no respect from these people.

I have been involved in business for over 10 years and luckily I now hardly ever deal with people. But I get a lot of emails from people asking me for something. I found that when I did the chances that I even got a "thank you" in return were small. So now I don't deal with anyone on anything other than stringent terms that are for my own benefit. The waterworks or emotional manipulation often come out, but now I am immune to it.

My conclusion is that most people are looking to get something and provide nothing, or something close to that; and that a lot of people who like to think of themselves as generous only are up to a point that the emotional benefits of doing so merit it.

This is one of the biggest lessons of my life: don't play other people's games with their rules.

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02-13-2018 11:46 AM
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Post: #5
RE: How Utilitarian Are You?
(02-13-2018 11:46 AM)gework Wrote:  This relates to the recent video posted in the JP thread about PUAs (initially). Something along the lines of: agreeable people are always bent out of shape because there's something they're not saying, which makes them bitter and resentful. And because of this they are always being dragged into situations they don't want to be in.

Great post first of all, very profound.
And this right here above is so spot on when I think about it. When I read that I could immediately think of a few passive aggressive people I've met in my life like that. Haven't thought about it like that.

(02-13-2018 11:46 AM)gework Wrote:  My conclusion is that most people are looking to get something and provide nothing, or something close to that; and that a lot of people who like to think of themselves as generous only are up to a point that the emotional benefits of doing so merit it.

This is one of the biggest lessons of my life: don't play other people's games with their rules.

True! Or people try to provide just close to nothing. People are almost constantly disappointing me in this regard.
I always feel like I give more value and invest more in almost any kind of relationship I have in my life than I receive back, it's definitely been the case with my own family, apart from my mum.

And the irony is too that I've seen girls who have been much less invested in me if I show a bigger interest in them, like they just think that I must be investing because I have lower value than them and less options. So the less I invest, the much better they treat me generally.
I even notice that with my current girlfriend and it's hard to build a connection with someone like that. As soon as I start to express more love for her, it's like she becomes cold and if I become more distant it's like she just can't get enough of me.

I guess it's about finding and focusing on the people who actually care about you, are willing to put effort in trying to have you in their lives. Fuck the rest.
(This post was last modified: 02-13-2018 12:06 PM by The Alpha Virgin.)
02-13-2018 12:04 PM
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zigZag Offline
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Post: #6
RE: How Utilitarian Are You?
I got 17/63...
02-13-2018 12:22 PM
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MKDAWUSS Offline
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Post: #7
RE: How Utilitarian Are You?
Overall: 40/63

Impartial Beneficence: 20/35

Instrumental Harm: 17/28
02-13-2018 12:38 PM
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Elster Away
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Post: #8
RE: How Utilitarian Are You?
All this time I had an incorrect understanding of the term "utilitarianism" it seems as I always thought it referred to practicality (as with animals or people who exist in a "not so civilized" state) and not a moral ideology.

That said, the questionnaire is a bit over the top, and as many have said before in the forums and elsewhere: its not so much that we humans are rational as rather we are extremely apt at rationalizing our deeds after we've executed them. Which frankly is a practical way,if only as a psychological balm,to dismiss (temporarily at least) a subject from our mind.

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02-13-2018 12:55 PM
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RE: How Utilitarian Are You?
16 out of 63. Not very utilitarian it seems.

And like Elster I previously held the same incorrect understanding of the term.
02-13-2018 04:29 PM
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Post: #10
RE: How Utilitarian Are You?
People like the sound of sacrificing for the common good, as long as its others doing the sacrificing (via the tax system)

The people advocating for open borders are generally not shouldering much tax burden if you look at them.
02-13-2018 06:43 PM
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RE: How Utilitarian Are You?
31. On all the questions that involved major personal sacrifice (limbs, organ, money) my answer was no. Little sacrifice no or maybe. Other people ("Innocents") mostly yes.
02-13-2018 07:00 PM
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RoastBeefCurtains4Me Offline
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RE: How Utilitarian Are You?
I got 15 out of 63.

I somewhat agreed that political oppression for some could be necessary for the greater good of the people as a whole, and somewhat agreed that innocent people being hurt as collateral damage can sometimes be moral. I strongly disagreed with every other question. I'm not much of a utilitarian, and I think it would be clearly evil to do what most of the questions ask about.

I posted earlier in this thread about a quote where a TV character said that mass executions can be a legitimate tool of the revolution, but I hadn't visited the OP's link. Now that I have and saw the questions, I see how this is exactly the end point of utilitarianism.

I watched a series called Evolution of Evil, that portrayed people like Mao and Stalin, showing how their careers developed until they reached a point of conducting mass executions.

Apparently, utilitarian thinking was very widespread in the middle part of the 20th century. Rulers all over the world jumped immediately to the conclusion that the extermination of portions of their population was necessary or even good as a means to mold their nations into the desired form. This was done with various forms of forcing people off their land and otherwise creating famine conditions, but there were some very high numbers in many parts of the world where industrial scale mass executions were performed. This is pure evil.

One of my conclusions from all of this is that however we solve the excessive immigration being forced on the white nations currently, it can't include mass executions, and cannot involve herding them into holding pens where they are left without food, shelter, and medical care.

The globalists have fucked us with the way they've flooded our societies with aliens, but come the revolution, we can't solve the problem by killing the aliens. They have to go back under humane circumstances.

However, I'm fine with killing the globalists who created the problem, and seizing their assets, and sending their children to live with the repatriated refugees.

Edit: 1500th post. I am a True Player!

I'm the tower of power, too sweet to be sour. I'm funky like a monkey. Sky's the limit and space is the place!
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(This post was last modified: 02-13-2018 07:35 PM by RoastBeefCurtains4Me.)
02-13-2018 07:29 PM
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Post: #13
RE: How Utilitarian Are You?
Overall Utilitarianism: 18/63

Impartial Beneficence: 9/35

Instrumental Harm: 9/28
02-13-2018 07:33 PM
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ed pluribus unum Offline
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RE: How Utilitarian Are You?
23/63, 11/35, 9/28.

I'm sure 'utilitarianism' is really popular concept in faculty lounges.

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02-13-2018 08:06 PM
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RE: How Utilitarian Are You?
(02-13-2018 07:29 PM)RoastBeefCurtains4Me Wrote:  I got 15 out of 63.

I somewhat agreed that political oppression for some could be necessary for the greater good of the people as a whole, and somewhat agreed that innocent people being hurt as collateral damage can sometimes be moral. I strongly disagreed with every other question. I'm not much of a utilitarian, and I think it would be clearly evil to do what most of the questions ask about.

I posted earlier in this thread about a quote where a TV character said that mass executions can be a legitimate tool of the revolution, but I hadn't visited the OP's link. Now that I have and saw the questions, I see how this is exactly the end point of utilitarianism.

I watched a series called Evolution of Evil, that portrayed people like Mao and Stalin, showing how their careers developed until they reached a point of conducting mass executions.

Apparently, utilitarian thinking was very widespread in the middle part of the 20th century. Rulers all over the world jumped immediately to the conclusion that the extermination of portions of their population was necessary or even good as a means to mold their nations into the desired form. This was done with various forms of forcing people off their land and otherwise creating famine conditions, but there were some very high numbers in many parts of the world where industrial scale mass executions were performed. This is pure evil.

One of my conclusions from all of this is that however we solve the excessive immigration being forced on the white nations currently, it can't include mass executions, and cannot involve herding them into holding pens where they are left without food, shelter, and medical care.

The globalists have fucked us with the way they've flooded our societies with aliens, but come the revolution, we can't solve the problem by killing the aliens. They have to go back under humane circumstances.

However, I'm fine with killing the globalists who created the problem, and seizing their assets, and sending their children to live with the repatriated refugees.

Edit: 1500th post. I am a True Player!

What happens when they refuse to go back "under humane circumstances", true player?

I've thought a lot about this and how once you're at this point, there are no good solutions. The best solution would seemingly be rounding people up and dropping them off in XYZ location or [insert original homeland], that is, not hurting them, just indifferently deporting them. Not only do I think that is impractical, I think history also shows it just doesn't happen like that.

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02-13-2018 09:20 PM
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wi30 Offline
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RE: How Utilitarian Are You?
Way too many 'what ifs' with most of these questions. I ended in the middle for all three scores. Most of my gut reactions were along the lines of, "well, it depends". Some were also pointless. For example, why would an innocent person know about a bomb that would kill hundreds of people?
02-13-2018 09:51 PM
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RE: How Utilitarian Are You?
(02-13-2018 09:51 PM)wi30 Wrote:  Way too many 'what ifs' with most of these questions. I ended in the middle for all three scores. Most of my gut reactions were along the lines of, "well, it depends". Some were also pointless. For example, why would an innocent person know about a bomb that would kill hundreds of people?

My feelings exactly.

I didn't know what utilitarianism was until I read this post and took the test but it sounds like bullshit and I already hate it. Sacrifice yourself, your loved ones, the ones closer to you, your group, in order to benefit some anonymous mass just because they happen to have a larger number of individuals? Why would that be moral? Why would the greater good be maximizing the well being of a larger number of people opposed to a smaller number? The people composing the groups is more important than the sheer number of individuals in each group.

Sacrificing three people, myself, my wife, my child, in order to save six aboriginees in some god forsaken corner of Australia is supposed to be good and moral because their number is higher? Ha, I wouldn't sacrifice one person that's close to me to save thousands of people that may be part of some group I happen to hate, and I'd sacrifice thousands on that group to save one person that's close to me. I'm too selfish to be utilitarian.

Of course, if we take a ridiculous hypothetical extreme example that would never happen in reality I'd sacrifice one person to save billions, I think it depends on the (hypothetical) situation.
(This post was last modified: 02-13-2018 11:01 PM by Teutatis.)
02-13-2018 10:55 PM
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RE: How Utilitarian Are You?
(02-13-2018 09:20 PM)Kid Twist Wrote:  
(02-13-2018 07:29 PM)RoastBeefCurtains4Me Wrote:  I got 15 out of 63.

I somewhat agreed that political oppression for some could be necessary for the greater good of the people as a whole, and somewhat agreed that innocent people being hurt as collateral damage can sometimes be moral. I strongly disagreed with every other question. I'm not much of a utilitarian, and I think it would be clearly evil to do what most of the questions ask about.

I posted earlier in this thread about a quote where a TV character said that mass executions can be a legitimate tool of the revolution, but I hadn't visited the OP's link. Now that I have and saw the questions, I see how this is exactly the end point of utilitarianism.

I watched a series called Evolution of Evil, that portrayed people like Mao and Stalin, showing how their careers developed until they reached a point of conducting mass executions.

Apparently, utilitarian thinking was very widespread in the middle part of the 20th century. Rulers all over the world jumped immediately to the conclusion that the extermination of portions of their population was necessary or even good as a means to mold their nations into the desired form. This was done with various forms of forcing people off their land and otherwise creating famine conditions, but there were some very high numbers in many parts of the world where industrial scale mass executions were performed. This is pure evil.

One of my conclusions from all of this is that however we solve the excessive immigration being forced on the white nations currently, it can't include mass executions, and cannot involve herding them into holding pens where they are left without food, shelter, and medical care.

The globalists have fucked us with the way they've flooded our societies with aliens, but come the revolution, we can't solve the problem by killing the aliens. They have to go back under humane circumstances.

However, I'm fine with killing the globalists who created the problem, and seizing their assets, and sending their children to live with the repatriated refugees.

Edit: 1500th post. I am a True Player!

What happens when they refuse to go back "under humane circumstances", true player?

I've thought a lot about this and how once you're at this point, there are no good solutions. The best solution would seemingly be rounding people up and dropping them off in XYZ location or [insert original homeland], that is, not hurting them, just indifferently deporting them. Not only do I think that is impractical, I think history also shows it just doesn't happen like that.

Then they are no longer innocent, and force is justified, including lethal force if they will not surrender and comply. Generally, there are a small number of leaders, and once you defeat them, the masses will follow. Furthermore, it's likely that this kind of repatriation will only occur if race relations reach some kind of crisis point, as looks fairly likely in Europe. If the alien population assimilates and makes sure to stay out of trouble, then the repatriation will never achieve enough political will among the native majority to make it happen.

If the aliens are so disagreeable as to make the native majority approve repatriation, then I expect some serious clashes to occur. However, at some point, it will come down to rounding up the defeated aliens and deporting them.

In past cases of human history, this has been a very deadly process. Even after WWII when the US and the other victorious allies moved various German populations from Eastern Europe and resettled them in Germany, there were millions of deaths. This is not widely known. I think I heard about it here on RVF. I questioned the numbers, and looked into it. As with any of these cases, there are conservative minimum estimates, running in the low hundreds of thousands, and high estimates, running near 10 million. Many prudent observers including official German government agencies place the number around 2 million deaths after the end of the war due to ethnic cleaning operations. This is what you get when you round up people at gunpoint and start marching them on foot for 100's of miles, with minimum food and shelter, forcing the crippled old people to keep going, and sometimes shooting stragglers and leaving their bodies along the side of the road.

This kind of thing went on all over the world in the 20th century, and a lot of the current approach to refugee populations is a backlash against it. I think it was a more modern kind of utilitarian social engineering to flood the modern white societies with these aliens and refugees. If push comes to shove and the native populations of these countries push the aliens out, we have to find a way to do it better than the way it was handled by the great powers in the 20th century, or by smaller nations in places like Rwanda, Cambodia, or the former Yugoslavia.

I recognize that this may not be possible, and in any case, they're not going to ask me how to handle it. Still, I'm not going to outright call for slaughtering them as I've seen plenty of others do in the manosphere. Situations like this are inherently messy, and it would certainly be possible to present hypothetical cases where I'd want to have them lined up and shot. Hopefully these will not come to pass.

I'm the tower of power, too sweet to be sour. I'm funky like a monkey. Sky's the limit and space is the place!
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(This post was last modified: 02-14-2018 10:52 AM by RoastBeefCurtains4Me.)
02-14-2018 10:42 AM
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Post: #19
RE: How Utilitarian Are You?
Teutatis, wi30, I agree.

I started taking the test, but didn't bother finishing any of it. What's the context? is the question I kept asking. The questions are devoid of humanity, morality, or narrative. Sacrifice a limb to save a life? Whose life is it? Why are they in the situation that they're in? Are they being inept on the shop floor, and I can thrust my arm into the machine to stop it from killing them? Are they drunk? Are they green? Am I a young man with a family to support? Or an old man, 3 days from retirement?

There's no acknowledgement of responsibility in any of the questions.

In Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan Spock sacrifices himself, while saying "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." What he does is a noble deed, and I would hope that I'd have it in me to make a similar sacrifice. In Fallout 4 they flip this saying around - a prewar military MP uses the exact same statement to justify the fact that they're harvesting the brains of inmates to build Robobrains for their war effort against the Chinese.

Utilitarianism tries to boil down morality to arithmetic. Count the "hedons", and do whatever you can to maximize them. Whenever this has been put into practice the result is Hell on Earth. Even the best case scenario, described in the short story Those Who Walk Away from Omelas, by Ursula K. Le Guin, is deeply disturbing.

I am extremely wary of anybody who embraces this "philosophy".

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02-14-2018 02:33 PM
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RE: How Utilitarian Are You?
(02-14-2018 02:33 PM)Aurini Wrote:  Teutatis, wi30, I agree.

I started taking the test, but didn't bother finishing any of it. What's the context? is the question I kept asking. The questions are devoid of humanity, morality, or narrative. Sacrifice a limb to save a life? Whose life is it? Why are they in the situation that they're in? Are they being inept on the shop floor, and I can thrust my arm into the machine to stop it from killing them? Are they drunk? Are they green? Am I a young man with a family to support? Or an old man, 3 days from retirement?

There's no acknowledgement of responsibility in any of the questions.

In Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan Spock sacrifices himself, while saying "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." What he does is a noble deed, and I would hope that I'd have it in me to make a similar sacrifice. In Fallout 4 they flip this saying around - a prewar military MP uses the exact same statement to justify the fact that they're harvesting the brains of inmates to build Robobrains for their war effort against the Chinese.

Utilitarianism tries to boil down morality to arithmetic. Count the "hedons", and do whatever you can to maximize them. Whenever this has been put into practice the result is Hell on Earth. Even the best case scenario, described in the short story Those Who Walk Away from Omelas, by Ursula K. Le Guin, is deeply disturbing.

I am extremely wary of anybody who embraces this "philosophy".

So maybe it is really a test to see if you are dumb enough to judge yourself based on multiple choice tests from the internet. In that case, you passed.

"My Russia, it is a kind cow with very big eyes, funny horns and always chewing its mouth oh, what sweet milk she gives!
Oh, how it smells - meadow herbs and the sun.
But my Russia, it is also my poor, long-suffering country, mercilessly torn to pieces by greedy, dishonest, unbelieving people."

Natalia Vladimirovna Pereverzeva
2010 Miss Moscow
02-14-2018 02:58 PM
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RoastBeefCurtains4Me Offline
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Post: #21
RE: How Utilitarian Are You?
I assumed they were talking about strangers. For example, with the question of losing an arm to save another life, I would do that without question for one other person I know (a child), and I might do it for at least a few others. I certainly wouldn't do it for a stranger, so I answered strongly disagree.

As I remember, the questions are worded in terms of whether I am morally obligated to do these things, and I would say absolutely not. The fact that I would be willing to do so in extremely specific and unlikely cases is not because I'm obligated, but because I would be willing. In almost all these cases, the question of obligation is the crux of the matter.

I'm the tower of power, too sweet to be sour. I'm funky like a monkey. Sky's the limit and space is the place!
-Randy Savage
(This post was last modified: 02-14-2018 06:42 PM by RoastBeefCurtains4Me.)
02-14-2018 06:41 PM
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