Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Utility

Assume utility is defined as the presence of happiness and the absence of sadness.

Imagine one intelligence lives a short life with the use of drugs, and another intelligence lives a long life without the use of drugs. Both experience the same utility. Which life is better? Why?

Is the goal of life to maximize self utility? If not, what is? Is the goal of ethics to study how to maximize total utility of all humans? What about all the organisms that are able to experience happiness and sadness?

Assume the study of ethics is to maximize total utility.

Can utility be quantified? If yes, can an optimal ethical guideline be computedIf one set of ethical guidelines output less total utility relative to time over a longer time than another set of ethical guidelines that output more total utility relative to time in less time. Which set of ethical guidelines is more ethical?

Imagine a simulated organism that believes it lives in a society with other organisms. This organism attempts to live by ethical guidelines that maximize total utility but do not maximize self utility. Since it is actually the only organism in the illusory society, it does not maximize total utility.

Did the organism in the above hypothetical scenario live ethically even though it did not maximize total utility? Could you be in the same situation? Are you living ethically?

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