[extropy-chat] consequentialism/deontologism discussion

Russell Wallace russell.wallace at gmail.com
Wed Apr 25 22:57:12 UTC 2007

On 4/25/07, TheMan <mabranu at yahoo.com> wrote:
> The moral part of me is all about hedonistic
> utilitarianism. I would be interested to know what
> other beliefs/views people here have on ethics. Do
> some of you advocate ethics consisting of inviolable
> rights as opposed to utilitarianism, to any extent
> whatsoever, and why?

Yes. Because mortal man is fallible.

Suppose we believe it will on balance contribute to the overall good if we
lie, cheat, steal, commit murder or whatever. Perhaps it really will. But
perhaps we're mistaken and it really won't. _The second possibility is more

So even from a utilitarian standpoint, it's better to have ethical standards
that we don't violate, even when we think it's worth doing so in a
particular case.

Will posthumans more likely be utilitarians, rights
> advocates or something else?

*shrug* I lack the gift of prophecy, alas. One could coherently argue that
if there was an entity wiser than we are, it might reasonably swing further
in the direction of utilitarianism than we should. (In the extreme case, if
there were an omniscient, infallible God then He might be a pure
utilitarian.) I don't know whether it'll actually work out that way though.
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