Would you really say deontology has no rational foundation?
What about inaction? For, if an old lady is being attacked in the street what do you do? You have no benefit to gain by wading in their most likely, but your not acting will be more counter beneficial to her, thus you would help...But! At the same time you are masterbating casually thinking that your actions are causing no harm (which is true) you could be using that time to go to the charity places hence your inaction is counter beneficial to all those people who could use 50p of your money to feed themselves. I'm not convinced that "not" spending all your time and money on charity is immoral and I have my reasons why but I'd like to know yours in greater clarity.
How do you know God is rational?
As a protestant, how do you go about finding out what God's collective benefit wishes are? For, as a rational being I assume that as collective benefit seems to be the most rational (at least this is the idea I assume?) that that is the style in which God manages his/her/its ethics...(I hate assigning gender to a god where there are no goddesses and is thus not in need of a gender). Do you find them through biblical study (which can be dodgy due to it being highly likely not all of the book is accurate if any of it [the later is debatable]), do you use intuition? Which you said yourself is dodgy, or rationality? (WHich I think most wise choice for that is what you say god is)?
- Moving away from God & onto the matter at hand, How do you go about separating your approach to the need's of loved one's vs strangers, if at all? So For example given the choice between saving the life of a daughter or 3 strangers whom do you pick? (I save the daughter for a couple of reasons involving Loyalty & Responsiblity & debt but what would you do?)
Do you, in this collective benefit theory, separate quality of benefit and quantitiy of benefit and if so how do you go about finding a balance between the two?
I like your theory, it covers most of what one ought to do I think. Of course, ought is a funny word, I usually define it as "what will make x most likely", and I define ethics as an inescapable result of our being a social species, the purpose of them being to recognise the fact that others exist and have needs and to assign or accept rules to act accordingly. It's all about teamwork in other words, you see it right across the animal kingdom. So for anyone to prosper in a social environment there are rules that they must obey, collective benefit seems like a plausible and workable set of rules I think. I personally use Virtue ethics artistole style, in that its we utilise character traits to achieve this group benefit, and for ourselves and our loved ones to floorish in this social environment. Stuff like compassion and courage and loyalty and patience go down well in the environment and such behaviour yields good results whereas bad behaviour (things that have too much or too little of these virtues) yields bad results, namely, being despised by people. Yes I said too much, the idea is to find a balance of your virtues for too much can go horribly wrong, too much courage is foolhardy, too much generosity is suffocation, too much compassion is patronising & too much patience wastes time. If you can find a balance though, you end up an "all-round-decent-human-being", naturally this is difficult, but the key is looking at things rationally and without bias, to see things as they really are and deceide how much of which virtues are most appropriate in this situation to yield the best results...
Collective benefit: A new principle of ethic
So what is its importance (functionary)? And more importantly, why we should obey the morality?
While I share your distaste for utilitarianism generally, I'm not the above assessment is quite fair to JS Mill's work.
If you value your life and your right to pursue happiness, condemn Mill and every other utilitarian you come across.
Sure, I appreciate his subtlety and ability to deliver rather complex arguments succinctly, though I disagree with him.
I'm not sure how he was a bad philosopher.
I would say he was a bad philosopher because I think part of a philosopher's job is to provide people with the standard by which they are to choose their goals and values.
According to Mill, I'm worthy of high moral praise if I'm self-sacrificial, and I am only able to live because I produce things for everyone, which, in the aggregate, makes everyone better off.
I agree he was an eloquent writer, but that's not how I judge someone as a philosopher.
I don't like the philosophy of people when I disagree with them.
and if we value other individual or group's lives as much as our own, some moreso, and we find happiness by acting within those parameters?
the 'right to happiness' has to have some qualifications. it cannot be considered unconditional. and to value one's own life above all others is an animal instinct which can be overcome by human beings. and it does not necessarily follow that one who does so believes his own life to be worthless.
JS Mill specifically addresses the objection you bring against Utilitarianism in his famous tract on ethics. In doing so, he set himself apart from utilitarian hedonists (selfish happiness).
Besides, I cannot see much difference between Mill's morality and "collective benefit". 'Actions are right in proportion as they promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness' - Mill essentially argues that happiness is the ultimate benefit, thus his utilitarianism is interested in the collective benefit.
Isn't this precisely what Mill set out to accomplish? A clear, universal standard of ethics? Whether or not one believes Mill succeeded in this goal is another matter: the man seems to have given it a go.
Nor do I judge a philosopher solely on his or her literary flair; however, Mill also manages to provide a rather sophisticated moral philosophy.
I may not like a philosophy with which I disagree, but I can still appreciate the philosophy's ingenuity, insight, ect while maintaining a disagreement. And I certainly enjoy even philosophy with which I disagree. Otherwise, I would not make a study out of the subject at all.
I agree that others should be taken into the equation of calculating happiness and the ordering of values. There are some people whose lives I value a great deal, just like you. I should addI consider helping people I value to be done selfishly, not out of obligation or pity.
I never said 'right to happiness', I said right to pursue happiness. I don't think I have the right to marry you if it makes me happy, but I do have the right to pursue your hand in marriage, don't I? :flowers: This isn't Pakistan, though. You can refuse and pursue your happiness by telling me to get lost.
Assuming you meant right to pursue happiness, I think we're more or less in agreement. I would just add that I think people should consider the value they get out of helping when deciding on whether they call an act selfish or not, that's all. Dying to defend people you love is selfish. Dying to defend people you hate because you're told it's the moral thing to do is unselfish (and wrong).
While I'm not sure I entirely agree with your assessment of those sexual predilections, even if we grant that they are "sicknesses", I have to disagree with your interpretation of JS Mill. Again, Mill's philosophy is not hedonism.
According to Mill, if those sexual predilections are disadvantageous to one's health, they would tend to produce the reverse of happiness, and are therefore not condoned by his version of utilitarianism, by his greatest happiness principle.
I'm vaguely familiar with Mohism, and there is clearly a strong strain of that in what you describe. It is a very interesting school of thought.
I am not trying to argue that your philosophy here is exactly Mill's utilitariaism, only that I think you have misinterpreted Mill by taking selfish happiness to be a problem - Mill's ethic is strongly in favor of self sacrifice for the greater good, or benefit, even.