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WingedViper comments on Efficient Charity: Do Unto Others... - Less Wrong

130 Post author: Yvain 24 December 2010 09:26PM

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Comment author: WingedViper 02 July 2012 07:07:35AM 2 points [-]

Upvoted. I really like this comment because it shows some of my own concerns about consequentialism. For example I have decided that for most cases the deontic answers fit the consequentialist ones so well that we should start out following them and only if they appear to be nonsatisfactory we should dive into consequentialist reasoning. This quite leads to some peace of mind, but it obviously is the easy answer, not the correct one... Is there a post on lesswrong for deontology as a subset of consequentialism? (According to wikipedia there seem to be some scientists that state a similar opinion.)

Comment author: Lukas_Gloor 04 July 2012 03:33:46AM 4 points [-]

The utilitarian philosopher RM Hare has proposed a solution along the lines you suggest, it's called two-level utilitarianism. From Wikipedia:

As a descriptive model of the two levels, Hare posited two extreme cases of people, one of whom would only use critical moral thinking and the other of whom would only use intuitive moral thinking. The former he called the 'archangel' and the latter the 'prole'.

I think the concept has merit, but if you're smart and willing enough to do it, you'd have to act according to the "critical level" (conventional consequentialism) anyway.

Comment author: wedrifid 02 July 2012 09:27:57AM 0 points [-]

we should start out following them and only if they appear to be nonsatisfactory we should dive into consequentialist reasoning.

Your actual values are the ones that determine "what appears satisfactory".

Comment author: WingedViper 03 July 2012 10:05:39AM 2 points [-]

Of course, that's why I would call myself a consequentialist even though I mainly/very often argue by using deontic principles. I wasn't talking about theory (or foundation), but about the practicality/practical use of deontic reasoning versus consequentialism.