A critique of consequentialistic sentiocentrism

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Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:42 pm

A critique of consequentialistic sentiocentrism

Post by kungfuhobbit » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:00 pm

I can see four areas of criticism:

1.Hume’s Is-Ought Gap

2.No metric of sentience (panpsychism/solipsism)

3.Aggregation and intersubjective commensurability of conflicting interests, supererogation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilitaria ... ng_utility

4.Ignorance and chaos in predicting consequences
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilitaria ... nsequences

How would one reply to these please?

There are some very long posts in this forum and I am not looking for a level of detail in reply that requires reading 20 pages of clarifying comments per topic every weekend for a year to begin to comprehend. I do not find such an exercise 'effective', rational or conducive to living a happy life myself! :S

In reply, please give a tldr sketch of your thesis if you have to post long posts. Thankyou :)

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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:29 pm

Re: A critique of consequentialistic sentiocentrism

Post by DanielLC » Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:29 am

1. Until someone can figure out how to cross that gap, there's no way to logically deduce that any action is the right one, including being paralyzed in indecision due to not knowing how to make a choice. We might as well use something other than logical deduction in the mean time.

2. There is a metric of sentience. Just no an objective one. This is not evidence against sentiocentrism, since there's no particular reason to think that the universe would make it easy to figure out if we're doing the right thing. If it did, we wouldn't be having this discussion in the first place. It is also not a reason to give up, since we still have intuition.

3. We are not claiming that there is no difference between Alice's happiness and Bob's happiness. We are only claiming that they are equally important. If you get into a position where you can only have one, you're going to have to have some way of weighing the options.

4. Difficulty in predicting the consequences doesn't mean that they don't matter. It might mean that you're better off just guessing with what you know than spending further resources trying to predict them, but they still matter.
Consequentialism: The belief that doing the right thing makes the world a better place.

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