Re: Utilitarian Contradiction ?

Daniel Fabulich (
Mon, 25 May 1998 08:54:17 -0400 (EDT)

On Sun, 24 May 1998, Michael Lorrey wrote:

> Ian Goddard wrote:
> > IAN: If we say there is "no possible way to construe
> > utilitarianism as a 'me first' principle," we say
> > the sets of "me first" (M) and utilitarianism (U)
> > are disjoint, such that the intersection (^) of
> > M and U is the null set(/), ergo: M ^ U = (/).

I missed the earlier post, so I'll respond to this here. You have
incorrectly stated the nature of my statement. Indeed, while deontology
and consequentialism may sometimes agree on the same moral actions, they
are two VERY distinct moral theories; there is no way you could construe
one to be the other, despite the fact that they do have some overlap.

> > I think that M and L intersect, but not by 100%,
> > which is to say, as you've articulated, that not
> > all things that can be defined as "me first" can
> > be defined as libertarian. I think that L is either
> > equal to U or all of L is in U, such that no L is
> > external to U (which I think we agree). I believe
> > that L may be defined: "me-first + nonaggression."
> I would agree with most of this, however, not with the total concept of
> nonagression. Personal Caveats vis a vis nonagression:
> a) no first strike policy against those who espouse and practice the same.
> b) maintain a first strike policy against those who fall into a utilitarian or
> communitarian subset which has in the past demonstrated a high likelihood to
> practice first strike agression.
> c) maintain and practice skills and equipment for first strike preparedness, as
> the threat of instant retaliation seems to be the only deterrent which agressor
> type sets respect.

You're going to maintain a first-strike policy against communitarians???
You realize that this entails going out there with a weapon, TODAY, and
killing as many non-libertarians as possible? Besides the fact that this
plan will be totally ineffective, (we're outnumbered, millions to one,) it
ignores the possibility that these people could learn from their mistakes,
change their ways, and learn to coexist with their fellow human beings.
As much as I dislike communitarians, you won't ever see me killing
somebody just for holding that belief.