Affluence Argument

  • 163 Replies
  • 11376 Views
*

Trekky0623

  • Official Member
  • 10061
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #120 on: January 08, 2011, 10:22:29 PM »
You have to take pain into account. It is quite likely that you will lose consciousness through suffocation before you die.

*

EnglshGentleman

  • Flat Earth Editor
  • 9548
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #121 on: January 08, 2011, 11:37:36 PM »
You have to take pain into account. It is quite likely that you will lose consciousness through suffocation before you die.

This would make the case for preventing the starving children from dying even stronger since they would be having a painful death.

This doesn't show a morally relevant difference, and even if it did based on pain as you suggest, that would mean it is even more immoral to let the children starve.

*

Trekky0623

  • Official Member
  • 10061
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #122 on: January 09, 2011, 12:05:45 AM »
You have to take pain into account. It is quite likely that you will lose consciousness through suffocation before you die.

This would make the case for preventing the starving children from dying even stronger since they would be having a painful death.

This doesn't show a morally relevant difference, and even if it did based on pain as you suggest, that would mean it is even more immoral to let the children starve.

Alternatively, neither starve the children or suffocate them.

*

EnglshGentleman

  • Flat Earth Editor
  • 9548
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #123 on: January 09, 2011, 07:51:23 AM »
You have to take pain into account. It is quite likely that you will lose consciousness through suffocation before you die.

This would make the case for preventing the starving children from dying even stronger since they would be having a painful death.

This doesn't show a morally relevant difference, and even if it did based on pain as you suggest, that would mean it is even more immoral to let the children starve.

Alternatively, neither starve the children or suffocate them.

Is that a serious answer?

?

doyh

  • 391
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #124 on: January 09, 2011, 08:07:29 AM »
Maybe I wasn't as clear as I thought I was. I believe that it is better to starve to death than to suffocate, as you are given more time on Earth. Therefore, I believe that it is morally better to allow someone to starve to death than to allow someone to suffocate, therefore, I believe that it is slightly better to give oxygen to the dying kids than to give food to the dying Darfurian.

Again, we can just change the thought experiment so that the children have plenty of food, but they will suffocate over a longer duration. The duration of death is the same now, and there is still no difference. I have said this plenty of times before.

And I'll give a comprehensive argument on the subject in a bit. To be honest I just haven't wanted to read and process this one yet.

 :P come on! I need some strong philosophical minds here!

Like I said, if you change the thought experiment, moral relativity becomes equal.
If we would all stop deflecting questions, maybe we could get somewhere.

*

EnglshGentleman

  • Flat Earth Editor
  • 9548
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #125 on: January 09, 2011, 09:13:52 AM »
Eh, changing it I suppose is bad wording. Just tweaking details to make a point.

?

General Disarray

  • Official Member
  • 5039
  • Magic specialist
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #126 on: January 09, 2011, 10:26:27 AM »
If the goal is to win the prize, I would think technicalities in the wording would be just fine to exploit. That is your strong suit after all  ::)
You don't want to make an enemy of me. I'm very powerful.

*

EnglshGentleman

  • Flat Earth Editor
  • 9548
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #127 on: January 09, 2011, 11:57:43 AM »
If the goal is to win the prize, I would think technicalities in the wording would be just fine to exploit. That is your strong suit after all  ::)

It isn't really up for the prize anymore. Just more of, "Every argument for which there is no counterexample, is true." I feel that if I can't find a reason why there is a morally relative difference, then I must accept the Affluence Argument to be true.

Besides, there is no rule you cannot tweek a thought-experiment. It is done all the time in philosophy.

*

ﮎingulaЯiτy

  • Arbitrator
  • Planar Moderator
  • 9074
  • Resident atheist.
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #128 on: January 14, 2011, 06:56:57 AM »
Perhaps you could argue that spending money on luxuries (as opposed to burning the money or indefinitely holding it) is moral, and donating it is simply more moral.

It wouldn't be viable to deem any moral action as immoral, because of a greater moral alternative.

There is always a better way to spend your money. There is always a better way to dedicate your time. There is always a more efficient cause, and a more effective methodology. We are simply not omniscient, and cannot know the best way to utilize resources. In local specific examples, the moral options are much clearer than vague mindsets of global issues.
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.

*

EnglshGentleman

  • Flat Earth Editor
  • 9548
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #129 on: January 14, 2011, 10:05:46 AM »
Perhaps you could argue that spending money on luxuries (as opposed to burning the money or indefinitely holding it) is moral, and donating it is simply more moral.

It wouldn't be viable to deem any moral action as immoral, because of a greater moral alternative.

There is always a better way to spend your money. There is always a better way to dedicate your time. There is always a more efficient cause, and a more effective methodology. We are simply not omniscient, and cannot know the best way to utilize resources.

Sounds like a plan. So, could you explain to me how we would go about doing this?

That is a bold move, saying that's Jim's decision was actually a moral one, and I doubt we will possibly be able to back it up.

Also, this argument has nothing to say about burning your money, or indefinitely holding it. An action can still be immoral, even if it is not as immoral as something else. (e.g. thievery to manslaughter)

Quote
In local specific examples, the moral options are much clearer than vague mindsets of global issues.

This sounds like what Wilmore tried to argue, but the problem is that it simply isn't as broad as you are making it out to be. It isn't saying that every time you buy something it is immoral. It is a very specific circumstance. When you are buying a luxury (something with little to no moral value to you) when you otherwise could have stopped easily preventable deaths with it.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 10:09:13 AM by EnglshGentleman »

?

doyh

  • 391
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #130 on: January 15, 2011, 06:56:22 PM »
I would argue that not spending the money on the children is criminally negligent manslaughter and compare it  to standing next to a man about to jump off a roof, and not stopping him because you would ruin your day talking to the police.
If we would all stop deflecting questions, maybe we could get somewhere.

*

EnglshGentleman

  • Flat Earth Editor
  • 9548
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #131 on: January 15, 2011, 07:10:39 PM »
I would argue that not spending the money on the children is criminally negligent manslaughter and compare it  to standing next to a man about to jump off a roof, and not stopping him because you would ruin your day talking to the police.

And you are free to create an argument and thought experiment that addresses the issue of not spending money if you wish. To this one, however, it is unrelated.

*

Benocrates

  • 3077
  • Canadian Philosopher
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #132 on: January 17, 2011, 07:22:46 PM »
standing next to a man about to jump off a roof, and not stopping him because you would ruin your day talking to the police.

This is not criminally negligent homicide.
Quote from: President Barack Obama
Pot had helped
Get the fuck over it.

*

Tausami

  • Head Editor
  • Flat Earth Editor
  • 6767
  • Venerated Official of the High Zetetic Council
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #133 on: January 25, 2011, 01:45:26 PM »
standing next to a man about to jump off a roof, and not stopping him because you would ruin your day talking to the police.

This is not criminally negligent homicide.

I understand what he's saying, though. If you know a guy just overdosed, and you go out and get a hooker instead of calling an ambulance, u can go to jail for a long time (thanks to James Patterson for that example)

*

EnglshGentleman

  • Flat Earth Editor
  • 9548
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #134 on: April 14, 2011, 07:54:53 PM »
 :'(

*

ﮎingulaЯiτy

  • Arbitrator
  • Planar Moderator
  • 9074
  • Resident atheist.
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #135 on: April 18, 2011, 12:00:14 AM »
It seems I missed my cue to respond.

Perhaps you could argue that spending money on luxuries (as opposed to burning the money or indefinitely holding it) is moral, and donating it is simply more moral.

It wouldn't be viable to deem any moral action as immoral, because of a greater moral alternative.

There is always a better way to spend your money. There is always a better way to dedicate your time. There is always a more efficient cause, and a more effective methodology. We are simply not omniscient, and cannot know the best way to utilize resources.

Sounds like a plan. So, could you explain to me how we would go about doing this?

That is a bold move, saying that's Jim's decision was actually a moral one, and I doubt we will possibly be able to back it up.

It seems self evident to me that spending money to better your life is moral. If you were the only person in existence, it would be wasteful to not better your life with it. As long as morals are instinctual guidelines created by evolutionary survivalistic drives, self-serving actions can be said to have a claim over the morality construct. It's true that communitive instincts generally place importance on lending help to our peers, but it also places a stronger priority on working for ourselves. Somehow that get's lost when morals are applied to become general rules.

Also, a morally superior alternative is just that, more moral. Something moral can only be seen as immoral by adopting a relativistic moral view.
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.

*

EnglshGentleman

  • Flat Earth Editor
  • 9548
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #136 on: April 18, 2011, 12:38:03 AM »
So you are suggesting that each and every time that you spend money, what you are buying has moral value?

Are you now stating that Jim's actions in the thought experiment were in fact, moral? After all, now he can just say to himself, "Well every time you spend money, the purchase has positive moral value, therefore my actions could not possibly be immoral!"

If you support this position, that means that it was moral for Jim to choose to buy air tanks in which he knew he would never need and knew they would never serve a purpose, over saving the lives of countless children.

Or do you think that letting someone die is not immoral?

*

ﮎingulaЯiτy

  • Arbitrator
  • Planar Moderator
  • 9074
  • Resident atheist.
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #137 on: April 18, 2011, 07:17:12 AM »
So you are suggesting that each and every time that you spend money, what you are buying has moral value?
Moreso that the act of buying something is moral, but also that conceptions about morality are created by applying our instincts. Essentially, my argument is that self interest is virtually a universal instinct (just like helping your peers). Therefore, it is a natural component of morality that goes unnoticed and unrecognized. The general rules society creates to depict morality fail to account for self interest.

If empathy, guilt, remorse, kinship, and other societal emotions didn't exist, society's definition of morality would be reduced to self interest.

Quote
Are you now stating that Jim's actions in the thought experiment were in fact, moral? After all, now he can just say to himself, "Well every time you spend money, the purchase has positive moral value, therefore my actions could not possibly be immoral!"

They are immoral only under the perspective that he could have accomplished much more with minimal effort. Relative to saving children, I deem it immoral.

Quote
Or do you think that letting someone die is not immoral?
My argument is one derived from exploring a reversed perspective of the subject and not my personal feelings.
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.

*

EnglshGentleman

  • Flat Earth Editor
  • 9548
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #138 on: April 18, 2011, 07:21:05 AM »
They are immoral only under the perspective that he could have accomplished much more with minimal effort. Relative to saving children, I deem it immoral.

Than what is the morally relevant difference between this and donating to a charitable organization instead of buying a coffee at your Starbucks? Donating to organizations such as CARE does not take much effort. Heck, you could even just put your Starbucks money in one of the donation tins at the Starbucks.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2011, 07:23:41 AM by EnglshGentleman »

*

Tausami

  • Head Editor
  • Flat Earth Editor
  • 6767
  • Venerated Official of the High Zetetic Council
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #139 on: April 18, 2011, 07:31:01 AM »
They are immoral only under the perspective that he could have accomplished much more with minimal effort. Relative to saving children, I deem it immoral.

Than what is the morally relevant difference between this and donating to a charitable organization instead of buying a coffee at your Starbucks? Donating to organizations such as CARE does not take much effort. Heck, you could even just put your Starbucks money in one of the donation tins at the Starbucks.

Is there one? As far as I can tell, the only real difference here is that in this case, the people you're helping are distant and, due to Dunbar's Number, not as real in your mind.

*

EnglshGentleman

  • Flat Earth Editor
  • 9548
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #140 on: April 18, 2011, 07:36:27 AM »
Is there one?

According to the Affluence argument, there isn't. Meaning every time you purchase a luxury when you otherwise could have easily saved lives, you are acting immorally.

As far as I can tell, the only real difference here is that in this case, the people you're helping are distant and, due to Dunbar's Number, not as real in your mind.

How is that a morally relevant difference? How many miles must the submarines be offshore until Jim is allowed to happily fill up his air tanks without it being immoral?

*

Tausami

  • Head Editor
  • Flat Earth Editor
  • 6767
  • Venerated Official of the High Zetetic Council
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #141 on: April 18, 2011, 07:44:27 AM »
Is there one?

According to the Affluence argument, there isn't. Meaning every time you purchase a luxury when you otherwise could have easily saved lives, you are acting immorally.

As far as I can tell, the only real difference here is that in this case, the people you're helping are distant and, due to Dunbar's Number, not as real in your mind.

How is that a morally relevant difference? How many miles must the submarines be offshore until Jim is allowed to happily fill up his air tanks without it being immoral?

Without it being immoral? There is none. When I say distant, I don't literally mean far away. I mean more along the lines of how African refugees from Darfur don't seem to exist as much as, say, your best friend does. I suppose I must agree with the Affluence Argument.

*

ﮎingulaЯiτy

  • Arbitrator
  • Planar Moderator
  • 9074
  • Resident atheist.
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #142 on: April 18, 2011, 08:36:30 AM »
They are immoral only under the perspective that he could have accomplished much more with minimal effort. Relative to saving children, I deem it immoral.

Than what is the morally relevant difference between this and donating to a charitable organization instead of buying a coffee at your Starbucks? Donating to organizations such as CARE does not take much effort. Heck, you could even just put your Starbucks money in one of the donation tins at the Starbucks.

I'm saying that what is apparently immoral is not immoral from an absolute standpoint.
It doesn't make it less moral to still save 4 children, if say a more moral option to save 20 children reveals itself. Saving 20 children is more moral, but it is not established that saving 4 children becomes immoral.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2011, 08:38:51 AM 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.

*

EnglshGentleman

  • Flat Earth Editor
  • 9548
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #143 on: April 18, 2011, 08:53:15 AM »
They are immoral only under the perspective that he could have accomplished much more with minimal effort. Relative to saving children, I deem it immoral.

Than what is the morally relevant difference between this and donating to a charitable organization instead of buying a coffee at your Starbucks? Donating to organizations such as CARE does not take much effort. Heck, you could even just put your Starbucks money in one of the donation tins at the Starbucks.

I'm saying that what is apparently immoral is not immoral from an absolute standpoint.
It doesn't make it less moral to still save 4 children, if say a more moral option to save 20 children reveals itself. Saving 20 children is more moral, but it is not established that saving 4 children becomes immoral.

To make this argument relevant though, you would have to prove how Jim's spending, and your spending, is a least moral.

I do understand what you are saying, that just because one thing is more moral than the other, does not mean that one choice suddenly becomes immoral. However, in this situation you are speaking of, both choices would have to be moral in the first place. The choice made in the thought experiment is not.

*

ﮎingulaЯiτy

  • Arbitrator
  • Planar Moderator
  • 9074
  • Resident atheist.
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #144 on: April 18, 2011, 09:01:06 AM »
However, in this situation you are speaking of, both choices would have to be moral in the first place. The choice made in the thought experiment is not.

It's true that he doesn't use it, but he still emotionally benefits from it.

And even if he wasn't using it to benefit himself, then the example only extends to other scenarios in which the money would otherwise not be used for one's own interests.
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.

*

EnglshGentleman

  • Flat Earth Editor
  • 9548
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #145 on: April 18, 2011, 09:12:05 AM »
It's true that he doesn't use it, but he still emotionally benefits from it.

The moral value of his choice can still be negligible though. Just because you bought something because you felt like it, does not mean that what you bought has any real moral value to you.

*

ﮎingulaЯiτy

  • Arbitrator
  • Planar Moderator
  • 9074
  • Resident atheist.
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #146 on: April 18, 2011, 09:40:56 AM »
It's true that he doesn't use it, but he still emotionally benefits from it.

Just because you bought something because you felt like it, does not mean that what you bought has any real moral value to you.

Buying something to make yourself feel good counts as self benefit. I should think that self benefit of any kind, and in any amount is still a moral positive, regardless of its magnitude.
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.

*

EnglshGentleman

  • Flat Earth Editor
  • 9548
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #147 on: April 18, 2011, 09:43:23 AM »
I should think that self benefit of any kind, and in any amount is still a moral positive, regardless of its magnitude.

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.


*

ﮎingulaЯiτy

  • Arbitrator
  • Planar Moderator
  • 9074
  • Resident atheist.
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #148 on: April 18, 2011, 02:15:23 PM »
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?
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.

*

EnglshGentleman

  • Flat Earth Editor
  • 9548
Re: Affluence Argument
« Reply #149 on: April 18, 2011, 03:18:43 PM »
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.