peopleCeNTiLMeN date_rangeKasım 28 2022

Repugnant Conclusion Definition

However, it has been pointed out that Feldman`s argument implies a questionable interpretation of the ceteris paribus clause in the repugnant conclusion (Arrhenius 2003). It implicitly assumes that the ceteris paribus clause is always fulfilled if the populations being compared have the same desert level. A more plausible reading of the ceteris paribus clause is that it is only fulfilled if the populations being compared to (approximately) equally good in relation to all other axiologically relevant aspects other than well-being, including their “desert value”. To comply with the ceteris paribus clause, the populations compared to the desert should be equally good compared to the desert, that is, equal in terms of the contribution value of the match between what people earn and what they get. Given this interpretation of the ceteris paribus clause, the judiciary implies the repugnant conclusion. If A and Z are equally good compared to the desert, then justice rates Z as better than A, since Z has greater general well-being. Torbjörn Tännsjö argues that the intuition that B is worse than A is false. While the lives of people in B are worse than those of people in A, there are more and therefore the collective value of B is greater than A.[2] Michael Huemer also argues that the repugnant conclusion is not repugnant and that normal intuition is wrong. [3] However, Derek Parfit makes several compelling arguments for the opposite conclusion that you should choose policy 2 because the existence of Z is better than the existence of A.2 This essay describes one of these arguments. Huemer identified six arguments that attack the repugnant conclusion and rejected each of them. Focusing only on the average benefit would imply the sadistic conclusion that it would be better to get a lower overall advantage by adding one person with an extremely negative advantage than to add a lot of people with a small but positive advantage. Huemer also dismisses Parfit`s idea of perfectionism because of unintentional involvement: “Perfectionism implies that it might be more important to allow a few people to listen to Mozart`s music than to provide food, shelter, and medical care to millions.” (Huemer, p. 914).

The paradox of mere addition, also known as the disgusting conclusion, is an ethical problem identified by Derek Parfit and discussed in his book Reasons and Persons (1984). The paradox identifies the mutual incompatibility of four intuitively convincing claims about the relative value of populations. Parfit`s original formulation of the repugnant conclusion is this: “For every population perfectly equal with very high positive well-being, there is a population with very low positive well-being, which is better when other things are equal.” [1] Parfit`s repugnant conclusion, illustrated in Figure 2, is a famous challenge to total utilitarianism. Here, B is better than A. It`s better than B. Z is the best of them all. In Z, a “huge population, which does not live much above the level at which they would no longer be worth living”. In Z, there is the greatest amount of what makes life worth living, so it is favored by total utilitarianism. In Parfit`s words, “Compared to the existence of many, many, many—say, ten billion—people, all of whom have a very high quality of life, there must be a much greater number of people whose existence, if other things are the same, would be better, even if those people would have a life hardly worth living.” This totally utilitarian conclusion seems terrible.

To the second paradox, Parfit replies: “What we could address is not elitism, but perfectionism. During the transition from alpha to omega 100, the best things when life has to disappear. Suppose, for example, that Mozart`s music is lost by moving from alpha to beta, and Haydn`s music by switching to gamma. If you move to Delta, Venice would be destroyed, if you move to Epsilon, Verona. Parfit says that if we want to be forced into perfectionism, we need to stop the step from alpha to omega in one of the first steps. To stop the trial towards the end, when only “a bad performance of Ravel`s Bolero” can be saved, would be foolish. The problem with perfectionism that Parfit identifies is that, while Mozart bears no resemblance to Musak, a smooth continuum can be created between the two. While Parfit isn`t entirely happy with perfectionism, it`s best to avoid the disgusting conclusion. Between us, we disagree on some of the causes and effects of our agreements in Section 1. In the remainder of this statement, we summarize the alternative arguments used by different authors to arrive at our common conclusions.

We disagree with the following. Each of us supports at least one of the following arguments, and some of us reject one or more of these arguments. In other words, it embraces what philosophers call the “repugnant conclusion”: the idea that it is always useful to add more people with good lives, and therefore we should aim for the largest population we can support, even if it means that average happiness is decreasing. The idea that we should try to create a world full of miserable people whose lives are hardly worth living seems repugnant to most philosophers. But Tännsjö disagrees. Toward the end of his career, Parfit reversed his earlier arguments regarding the repugnant conclusion, calling his previous reasoning an “error” on the grounds that “we cannot justify strong arguments by asserting that their conclusions are implausible” (Parfit Reference Parfit 2017: 154). Parfit may never have accepted our statements 1, 2 and 3, but we agree with him that conclusions that seem implausible are sometimes true. Parfit`s article,[1] which describes the repugnant conclusion, begins with the question of whether it is possible that there is overpopulation – too many people live. As the population grows, quality of life may be lost. There are two competing utilitarian approaches to the population: The bottom line is that Parfit considers Alpha superior to A+. The next step is from alpha to beta.

It is slightly different because it makes things worse for those who are better off. However, it is attractive to Parfit because it reduces inequality. The beta-to-gamma stage is the same as the alpha-to-beta stage. So it continues until Omega, which must be the best situation of all so far. These steps are repeated and take us through Alpha 2, Beat 2, Gamma 2 and Omega 2. This continues until omega 100, which must be higher than A+. However, the folks of Omega 100 have a life hardly worth living, so once again we have come to the disgusting conclusion. So what. Well, we agreed that we could only stop the slide to the disgusting conclusion if we agreed that simple B is worse than A (and C is worse than B, D is worse than C.

Z is worse than Y, so Z is definitely worse than A). And now we have been led by a seemingly solid line of reasoning to the conclusion that simple B is no worse than A. Oops. This conclusion has been the subject of several formal proofs of incompatibility in the literature (Ng Reference Ng1989; Arrhenius Reference Arrhenius2000, forthcoming) and was a permanent focus of population ethics. Going through the alphabet, we conclude that Z is better than Y (and therefore A). The same reasoning that brings us to (C1) that B is better than A also leads us to conclude that Z is better than A and that you should therefore choose policy 2 over policy 1. The intuition that the repugnant conclusion is repugnant can be unreliable.

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