Affluence Argument

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #150 on: April 19, 2011, 07:04:31 AM »
Sure it does. By this argument there is no such thing as something being morally permissible since everything is going to have some sort of moral value even if it is negligible.
How so?
Are we using morally permissible to mean morally neutral?

Yes. But as you described above, if you believe every action you take has some sort of morality attached to it no matter how miniscule, how is one suppose to make a morally neutral decision?

I support that if the morality of a decision is negligible in either direction, then the decision should not be considered immoral or moral.

Alright, for the sake of seeing where this goes, what happens when we round down close fractions to the zero?

And even if he wasn't using it to benefit himself [his actions are considered neutral; not moral nor immoral], then the example only extends to other scenarios in which the money would otherwise not be used for one's own interests.
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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #151 on: April 19, 2011, 11:35:02 AM »
And even if he wasn't using it to benefit himself [his actions are considered neutral; not moral nor immoral], then the example only extends to other scenarios in which the money would otherwise not be used for one's own interests.

Alright. Just for clarification (I don't want to go off on something and have you respond "Er... that isn't what I meant") could you give an example of such a situation?

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #152 on: April 20, 2011, 09:54:01 AM »
And even if he wasn't using it to benefit himself [his actions are considered neutral; not moral nor immoral], then the example only extends to other scenarios in which the money would otherwise not be used for one's own interests.

Alright. Just for clarification (I don't want to go off on something and have you respond "Er... that isn't what I meant") could you give an example of such a situation?

A situation in which your professor's argument doesn't apply? Well if the man wasn't using the oxygen tanks for anything, the equivalent might be burying cash in your backyard until you die. It is unused.

Therefore, a scenario that differs from the thought experiment on this point (and therefore isn't bound to it's conclusions) would be any circumstance in which the cash was used for self benefit... or perhaps the benefit of a yet another party. If he decides to buy food or a car for himself instead of donating it, it is not 'wasted' like the oxygen tanks were.

One could argue that the OP only establishes that it is moral to donate it when the money would otherwise be thrown away.  ;)
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #153 on: April 20, 2011, 10:08:13 AM »
A situation in which your professor's argument doesn't apply? Well if the man wasn't using the oxygen tanks for anything, the equivalent might be burying cash in your backyard until you die. It is unused.

If the person isn't buying a luxury when they otherwise could have been saving lives, then the argument does not apply. There could be an argument out there about not spending your money at all, but that one is not this one.

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Therefore, a scenario that differs from the thought experiment on this point (and therefore isn't bound to it's conclusions) would be any circumstance in which the cash was used for self benefit... or perhaps the benefit of a yet another party.

If he decides to buy food or a car for himself instead of donating it, it is not 'wasted' like the oxygen tanks were.

Buying food so that you can eat, or a car so you may have a job are most likely do not have zero or negligible moral value to a person.

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One could argue that the OP only establishes that it is moral to donate it when the money would otherwise be thrown away.  ;)

The OP establishes that that it is immoral to spend your money in such a way that is morally equivalent to throwing it away.

It doesn't at any point saying anything about storing your money, or saving your money. It is very specific on purpose.

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Premise one: Jim's actions were immoral. (Obvious Truth)

Premise two: There is no morally relevant difference between Jimís immoral behavior and my indulging in what I reasonably believe is a luxury instead of trying to prevent the horrific deaths of small innocent children.

Conclusion: Therefore, my indulging in what I reasonably believe is a luxury instead of preventing (or trying to prevent) the deaths of small innocent children is immoral.

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #154 on: April 20, 2011, 10:28:40 AM »
A situation in which your professor's argument doesn't apply? Well if the man wasn't using the oxygen tanks for anything, the equivalent might be burying cash in your backyard until you die. It is unused.

If the person isn't buying a luxury when they otherwise could have been saving lives, then the argument does not apply.

I was under the impression that you rounded the purchase of the oxygen tanks down to a permissible zero since the self benefit was negligible. This essentially makes the oxygen tanks a waste instead of a luxury.
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #155 on: April 20, 2011, 10:41:33 AM »
A situation in which your professor's argument doesn't apply? Well if the man wasn't using the oxygen tanks for anything, the equivalent might be burying cash in your backyard until you die. It is unused.

If the person isn't buying a luxury when they otherwise could have been saving lives, then the argument does not apply.

I was under the impression that you rounded the purchase of the oxygen tanks down to a permissible zero since the self benefit was negligible. This essentially makes the oxygen tanks a waste instead of a luxury.

It is not about the self-benefit that makes something a luxury. It is whether or not you reasonably believe it has moral value to you. If you can rationalize moral value to everything you purchase, than more power to you. But most likely, you do not do this.

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #156 on: April 20, 2011, 10:51:55 AM »
It is not about the self-benefit that makes something a luxury. It is whether or not you reasonably believe it has moral value to you. If you can rationalize moral value to everything you purchase, than more power to you. But most likely, you do not do this.
Not everything I purchase, but if a luxury is what is morally permissible, I think fewer things qualify for the example. I believe you mentioned that a new car does have moral value. Does that mean if he had spent his money on a car instead of saving children you would no longer object?  ???
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #157 on: April 20, 2011, 11:01:30 AM »
It is not about the self-benefit that makes something a luxury. It is whether or not you reasonably believe it has moral value to you. If you can rationalize moral value to everything you purchase, than more power to you. But most likely, you do not do this.
Not everything I purchase, but if a luxury is what is morally permissible, I think fewer things qualify for the example. I believe you mentioned that a new car does have moral value. Does that mean if he had spent his money on a car instead of saving children you would no longer object?  ???

If the car was the means of him being able to have a job, or his only means of transportation, nope. But if he was driving past a car lot and was like, "Eh, I guess I'll buy one of those for funsies." then I would by the Affluence Argument. (Assuming he was aware he could save lives instead)

I am going to FB you something so you can better understand the argument.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 11:04:11 AM by EnglshGentleman »

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #158 on: April 20, 2011, 11:32:38 AM »
It is not about the self-benefit that makes something a luxury. It is whether or not you reasonably believe it has moral value to you. If you can rationalize moral value to everything you purchase, than more power to you. But most likely, you do not do this.
Not everything I purchase, but if a luxury is what is morally permissible, I think fewer things qualify for the example. I believe you mentioned that a new car does have moral value. Does that mean if he had spent his money on a car instead of saving children you would no longer object?  ???

If the car was the means of him being able to have a job, or his only means of transportation, nope.

So his opportunity to get a certain job can take priority over the lives of the children?
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #159 on: April 20, 2011, 12:56:02 PM »
It is not about the self-benefit that makes something a luxury. It is whether or not you reasonably believe it has moral value to you. If you can rationalize moral value to everything you purchase, than more power to you. But most likely, you do not do this.
Not everything I purchase, but if a luxury is what is morally permissible, I think fewer things qualify for the example. I believe you mentioned that a new car does have moral value. Does that mean if he had spent his money on a car instead of saving children you would no longer object?  ???

If the car was the means of him being able to have a job, or his only means of transportation, nope.

So his opportunity to get a certain job can take priority over the lives of the children?

If that job has reasonable moral value to him, yes.

If you want to formulate an argument where any spending is immoral, that is fine. That argument however, is irrelevant to this one.

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #160 on: April 20, 2011, 01:02:56 PM »
It is not about the self-benefit that makes something a luxury. It is whether or not you reasonably believe it has moral value to you. If you can rationalize moral value to everything you purchase, than more power to you. But most likely, you do not do this.
Not everything I purchase, but if a luxury is what is morally permissible, I think fewer things qualify for the example. I believe you mentioned that a new car does have moral value. Does that mean if he had spent his money on a car instead of saving children you would no longer object?  ???

If the car was the means of him being able to have a job, or his only means of transportation, nope.

So his opportunity to get a certain job can take priority over the lives of the children?

If that job has reasonable moral value to him, yes.

If you want to formulate an argument where any spending is immoral, that is fine. That argument however, is irrelevant to this one.
On the contrary. I am trying to establish that self-serving acts can fall under purview of morality.  ;)
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #161 on: April 20, 2011, 01:03:57 PM »
On the contrary. I am trying to establish that self-serving acts can fall under purview of morality.  ;)

I never stated otherwise. I stated that not all self-serving acts fall under having moral value.

"I don’t need a perfect definition that specifies what does and what does not count as a luxury.  The argument applies to me only if I indulge in what I reasonably believe is a luxury.  If I can convince myself that I indulge in no luxuries, then the argument no longer applies to me.  But I cannot convince myself of this.  Many things I purchase have virtually no moral value at all."
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 01:06:40 PM by EnglshGentleman »

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #162 on: April 20, 2011, 01:13:23 PM »
Interesting. In that case, I would say that I have indulged in purchased 3 luxuries since I was 16.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 01:30:37 PM by ﮎingulaЯiτy »
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #163 on: April 20, 2011, 01:22:00 PM »
Interesting. In that case, I would say that I have indulged in 3 luxuries since I was 16.

You evil immoral person!  >:(