Saturday, June 21, 2008

Utilitarianism: Mill and the Reductionists

A brief excerpt for thought:

Jaki confines his attention to unmasking the pretensions of proponents of artificial intelligence. They think only in terms of statistical significance. They have no other basis then statistical analysis to uphold or deny moral norms. But, going beyond Jaki’s analysis, it must be recognized that the philosophical position of these reductionists goes hand-in-glove with utilitarianism, which reduces the rational assessment of human action to a calculus of pleasure

The upshot of this type of moral reasoning is that there can be no standard of moral goodness that transcends comfort and demographic consensus. If a person’s behavior is thought to contribute to his comfort and pleasure then his behavior is acceptable, on the condition that the statistically-verified, consensus opinion of his society is amenable to his behavior

Do not forget that Mill was a leading Utilitarian, especially while contemplating the economic consequences of his work.

HT: CosmosLiturgy

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