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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Aconsequentionalism Is Like Division By Zero
Eric, that's precisely my point: in ethics, consequences matter -- indeed, they ultimately ground our ethics.  Rejecting all consequentialism is to ethics as allowing division by zero is to mathematics -- it allows you to prove any result you want.
Here's a counter-challenge I bet Sartwell's book doesn't address:
If Sartwell's challenge/argument had compelling intellectual rigor, then we'd all be anarchists by now.  He's clearly just wishing for a sticker on the store packaging of this universe that guarantees that all ethical judgments inside the box involving political theory have to be simple ones. Nobody can certify for us that for the tool-using speech-capable pair-bonded omnivorous bipedal primates on this planet, it just so happens that 100% absolute abstinence from force-initiation is always the optimal strategy for minimizing the net incidence of aggression in the societies such primates form.  Life is just not that simple, no matter how good it feels to believe otherwise.