Re: Utilitarian Contradiction ?

Daniel Fabulich (
Mon, 25 May 1998 16:06:49 -0400 (EDT)

On Mon, 25 May 1998, Ian Goddard wrote:

> IAN: OK, but that introduces concpets not stated
> previously. So which, "me first" or "ulilitarianism,"
> are you saying is deontological and which consequential?

I was using an analogy; both of these philosophies are consequentialist,
but you cannot construe utilitarianism to be egoism because of their
important differences. Using your notation, all of U must be in M in
order to say that they are the same philosophy. According to the thought
experiment that I demonstrated, at least some of U is not in M, and
therefore U is not M.

As to whether the intersection of M and non-aggression (NA) is entirely
within U, we have another thought experiment, this one orginally from
David Friedman. Suppose you had a madman on the loose, who will kill
hundreds of people unless you shoot him immediately. Unfortunately, you
do not own a gun; but MY gun could be easily stolen and used to save the
people. I am not aruond, but I have mde it explicitly clear that I want
no one to use my gun no matter how important the cause.

Utilitarianism will steal the gun and save the people, then repay the gun
owner in whatever way possible; M U NA would not aggress against the gun