Reading #Dynomight explaining #DerekParfit I realise that just as #liberalism/#libertarianism is the most inclusive political/economic system because it allows for other orders to emerge within it, #consequentialism may be the most inclusive moral theory because it may contain other systems just by redefining what a “good outcome” is.
A group of free individuals (liberalism) may enter voluntary agreements and commit to redistributing their wealth (socialism), transferring all power to a certain person (autocracy), abiding by rules decided by the majority (democracy), etc.
A consequentialist, in its narrowest definition, is free to conclude that the best possible outcome is one in which they and their special ones enjoy the best of life (egoism), one where certain rules are obeyed most strictly (deontology), one where all actions align perfectly with the word of god (theological voluntarism), etc. — and to act accordingly.
That rule is about feelings, and I think moral theories should not prescribe feelings — only actions.
And if we translated that rule from sentiment into action, I suspect it would be abhorrent: I think a world where we valued our own life and well-being and the life and well-being of a random stranger the same would be a disaster.
You are right: I “have never had to live in the wild[er]ness where groups of people are required to take turns to protect the rest”. But I’m interested in ethics for the 21st Century and beyond — not in the kind of constraints and evolutionary challenges our ancestors faced in the past.
Still, I have scuba-dived (always in pairs), sky-dived (strapped to an instructor), mountain-climbed (both as leader and as belayer), and rode motorbikes with friends. I literally put my life in the hands of other people (often complete strangers), and occasionally even had their lives in mine. We all survived.
None of that required “love” or any other feeling, and not even counting their lives as equally valuable as mine. I didn’t love those people, and they didn’t love me. In most occasions, money was exchanged, and a contract was signed.
If a dangerous animal had attacked, or a boulder had fallen upon us, I would not have sheltered my peer with my own body, or sacrifice myself so that they could survive. And I know they would act in the same way.
More mundane: I trust lots of men with my security each and every day, and some of them risk their lives (drivers, policemen, soldiers, etc). No love needed.
I trust lots of men with my security each and every day, and some of them risk their lives (drivers, policemen, soldiers, etc). No love needed.
True. However, most of those men you trust can be easily turned against you if commanded to do so because there is no love for their neighbor. It wouldn’t matter whether the order was fair, or against the law.
I come from a third world country ( if my poor sentence structure didn’t give that away,) and I have had to put my trust in groups (of Christians) to take care of us. Also, taking care of children for free for their parents to go to work. I guess the point I was trying to make can be fully understood based of the life experiences of the individual reading them. Since we all have different ones, well, it might not work out.
I respect your point of view. I guess our experiences are quite different.
I just meant that a healthy human society with safety nets and individual rights can exist without any calls to love or to those super-altruistic feelings you seem to invoke.
People help and protect each other and do the right thing for many reasons: basic human decency, fear of the law, fear to be criticised or ostracised if they dodge their responsibility, because they anticipate reciprocity in the future, to earn status or money within the group, etc.
Again, I think a morality that expects or commands people to love strangers would be wrong. Almost no-one does that in practice, and for good reasons. That’s not to say we can’t make moral progress and be kind to one another.
QOTO: Question Others to Teach Ourselves. A STEM-oriented instance.
An inclusive free speech instance.
All cultures and opinions welcome.
Explicit hate speech and harassment strictly forbidden.
We federate with all servers: we don't block any servers.