Re: Utilitarian Contradiction ?

Ian Goddard (
Mon, 25 May 1998 17:19:56 -0400

At 04:06 PM 5/25/98 -0400, Daniel Fabulich 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.

IAN: I clearly didn't say M and U were the same
philosophy. I simply observed that they intersect:

>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

IAN: Yes, that address the issue quite directly.
Would you say that this defines a degree of dis-
junction between L and U? We agree as per M and
U. I find that expressing ideas according to set
theory helps us "see" what we're talking about,
and thus maximizes accuracy and understanding.


"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its
opponents and making them see the light, but rather because
its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows
up that is familiar with the idea from the beginning."

Max Plank - Nobel physicist

"The smallest minority on earth is the individual.
Those who deny individual rights cannot claim
to be defenders of minorities." Ayn Rand