Utilitarian Hedonism

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rodyshusband
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Utilitarian Hedonism

#1

Post by rodyshusband » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:57 pm

Last year, I debated Marc Rodwin PH.D., who teaches business ethics, on the topic of Ethics and Morality.
This year, he wants to debate again.
His worldview is based on John Stuart Mill's theory of utilitarian hedonism.
Although I am confident I can refute this stand, I would appreciate any input/suggestions. Thanks.
“Christianity provides a unified answer for the whole of life.” -- Francis Schaeffer

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Jac3510
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Re: Utilitarian Hedonism

#2

Post by Jac3510 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:18 pm

I have some notes on this at home that I'll get to tonight, but in the meantime, what is the actual question you are debating? You can, for example, pretty easily get him to abandon utilitarian hedonism in favor of a more egoistic perspective (I think he would have to, actually), but is that enough for the debate? Or are you trying to push for the objectivity in morality? Do you have a particular assertion you are defending, or are you just denying his?
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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rodyshusband
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Re: Utilitarian Hedonism

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Post by rodyshusband » Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:02 pm

Jac3510 wrote:I have some notes on this at home that I'll get to tonight, but in the meantime, what is the actual question you are debating? You can, for example, pretty easily get him to abandon utilitarian hedonism in favor of a more egoistic perspective (I think he would have to, actually), but is that enough for the debate? Or are you trying to push for the objectivity in morality? Do you have a particular assertion you are defending, or are you just denying his?
We are continuing the same topic, "Moral Origination".
Last time, he referenced Nietsche's "overman" and Russell's "intuitive morals", which were easy to refute. (Odd that he referenced Russell, an ardent anti-communist; the debator is an admitted communist)


I have a suspicion that he is an atheist because, like Russell, he has not been satisfied with the question, " who created God?"
This year, he is referencing Mill, with whom I am less familiar.

I am defending the Christian worldview by pointing out the contradictions in his.
“Christianity provides a unified answer for the whole of life.” -- Francis Schaeffer

Daniel
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Re: Utilitarian Hedonism

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Post by Daniel » Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:24 pm

In what sort of setting is this debate taking place?

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B. W.
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Re: Utilitarian Hedonism

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Post by B. W. » Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:44 am

rodyshusband wrote:Last year, I debated Marc Rodwin PH.D., who teaches business ethics, on the topic of Ethics and Morality.
This year, he wants to debate again.
His worldview is based on John Stuart Mill's theory of utilitarian hedonism.
Although I am confident I can refute this stand, I would appreciate any input/suggestions. Thanks.
Mills' Utilitarian Hedonism is in essence fascist. It states that results are what counts and therefore Government (the State) derives its authority and its right to govern from the goodness of the results it gets. It bases its results in producing the largest possible amount of pleasure and happiness for the largest number of people.

Social Utilitarian rejects the idea of human rights because as the TV show Star Trek puts it - the needs of the many outweigh the need of the few. This doctrine forgoes value of human worth and dignity when necessary in pursuit of results that the State desires to accomplish. It routinely limits human freedom and equality enjoyed by so many in order to secure what the State deems as important social goals. Human rights are often used as a tool to suppress the rights of others.

We have examples of this at work here is the USA — Eminent Domain Laws, the current Financial Crisis caused by the majority of liberal Democrats and greedy Republicans back in the 1990's (not started by Bush just note who controlled both houses of Congress during the past 8 years?), Liberal Supreme Court activist Judges, and an activist Judicial system which dims the rights of the individual in order to produce empty promises of pleasure never delivered to the most people so as to remain in power.

Fascism, or evolutionary Socialism, sounds great to many people. The trains run on time, national infrastructure made sound, class warfare justified against enemies of the state, confiscation of privet property all for the good of the government to produce pleasure for the largest amount of people all promoted in order to consolidate total control over all aspects of the life of the common citizen.

The citizen in reality becomes property of the state and ultimately the Government (State) produces the largest possible amount of pleasure and happiness for the smallest number of politicians and their cronies. People became wards of the state in order to weld power and State cronies to remain in pleasure.

2 Peter 2:19 sums this mode of operation very poignantly: “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” KJV
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rodyshusband
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Re: Utilitarian Hedonism

#6

Post by rodyshusband » Tue Oct 07, 2008 1:43 pm

Thank you, B.W.

This was the summary I needed. From this point, the contradictions become evident.
As for Utilitarianism itself; it all boils down to meaningful morality. If something does not have an absolute foundation, it is essentially meaningless. The core of a Utilitarian worldview boils down to "might makes right", because it is based on mere opinion. Any system of morality that is based in subjective opinion is ultimately illogical. There is no logical reason for me to follow that morality, since it is arbitrary. If I can get away with looking after my own happiness to the exclusion of everyone elses, why should I not do that instead?

There is also severe limitations on the way in which you would go about making decisions based on Utilitarianism. How are we to know what the ultimate outcome will be; how many people will be helped/hurt in the short or long term? We also cannot truly know someone's intent, and if you throw in psychology, sometimes we cannot even know our own intent with 100% accuracy.

In my previous debate with this gentleman, he concluded that he was frustrated, unable to determine who defines "good" or "bad". I believe he is close to concluding that there is a moral law and, therefore, a moral law giver.

Thank you, again. (I'd also like to acknowledge http://www.christianscribbler.wordpress.com for her help)
“Christianity provides a unified answer for the whole of life.” -- Francis Schaeffer

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rodyshusband
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Re: Utilitarian Hedonism

#7

Post by rodyshusband » Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:10 pm

Here are the results of the debate:
At the eleventh hour, my opponent canceled. His publisher moved the deadline up on his new book and he had to finish the last chapter in a hurry. I would like to think that he was afraid to debate me, :mrgreen: but that is not the case.
The debate will be delayed until July '09.
“Christianity provides a unified answer for the whole of life.” -- Francis Schaeffer

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