"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Friday, August 26, 2011

An amusing claim about the Trolley Problem

"We are none of us infallible--not even the youngest of us." - W. H. Thompson


"Trolley car question... It's a bizarre virtually-never-in-a-human-lifetime scenarios.

Moral dilemmas are situations where, no matter what option the agent chooses, it is a "wrong action". He must do something that he ought not to do...

morality handle the countless interactions people engage in every day. It is not meant to deal with bizarre situations that very few of us will ever encounter. When you take this system and apply them to bizarre virtually-never-in-a-human-lifetime scenarios, you find that they give no clear answer. They were not meant to give a clear answer to these types of situations.

These types of thought experiments may be interesting objects of study if one is curious about how the brain works, noting what parts of the brain seem to be activated as each person thinks about the process. They note all sorts of interesting regularities and patterns as they think about these questions but they are not interesting to the study of morality.

We can't answer that question unless we study morality itself, and we are not studying morality if, what we are studying instead, are thoughts about morality.

These are cases where people apply moral concepts in a realm where moral concepts do not apply. They are like trying to talk about sunrise and sunset from the point of view of the sun itself. They are so far out on the fringe of morality that it is possible to argue that they are not within the realm of morality at all.

I am not saying that they cannot provide useful scientific data and the people who conduct the research are doing genuine science. They are not studying morality, but they are still doing science.

Most philosophers of ethic do not consider it to be a valid objection at all. In order to raise an objection to desire utilitarian, one needs to provide evidence that some other type of reason for action actually exists."

After this I stopped replying.
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