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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Here's another one on utilitarianism and hypocrisy

Sometimes I am a utilitarian. Usually I am some sort of consequentialist with some belief in some sorts of rights which are trumps (I am a Utilitarian about as often as I bid no-trumps).

I never act according to my moral principles. I never have and I doubt I ever will.

I can accept sub-optimal Democratically enacted laws all I want, but I can't find anything in the laws of Italy (where I live) or the USA (where I was born) which forbids me to give all I can to the poor. I am quite sure that to maximize utils and to contribute the fullest flowering of the human condition, I ought to give away most of my income (not all -- a Robert who starved to death is no good for the poor). Oh and I should work real hard to maximise my income to give them more, unless I can think of anything more useful to do with my time (trying real hard and failing). I sure don't do that. I consume about 99% of my potential income in Leisure.

I guess Brad knows this as he switched his appeal to Jefferson after finding that Bentham provided no effective defence for Milton Friedman or uhm now that you mention it, Brad DeLong.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hasn't it occurred to you that BdL has banned you? I'm pretty sure that he did this to me sometime in the last couple of years; my comments stopped showing up sometime during that period, no problem before. I think I made some mildly disparaging remarks about his response to Gunther Grass's hidden history. Anyway, it's his blog to do with as he will...