Re: Measuring(quantifying) morality?

From: Russell Wallace (
Date: Tue Aug 15 2006 - 09:42:24 MDT

On 8/15/06, Jef Allbright <> wrote:
> I can appreciate what you're intuiting here, but have you considered
> the importance of context? Real moral decisions are always made under
> conditions of relative uncertainty.

Indeed one way to look at it is that this uncertainty is the reason we have,
to use Eliezer's terminology, ethics as well as morals - that is, a global
pool of constraints on what means we may use (irrespective of the ends) as
well as utilitarian analysis of total consequences.

Would I murder an innocent person if I believed it would save many lives in
a hundred years? No, for the same reason I don't install land mines as
antiburglar devices: the chance of such a contingency being triggered
wrongly outweighs the chance of it being triggered correctly.

I don't think the whole thing can be summed up in a number, mind you - but
nor do I believe the sum has to be done to infinity.

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