Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Island of Utilitarians Puzzle

Just a random thing I was wondering about:

How would you tell the difference between an island of utilitarians who used the word "gala" to mean good, vs. an island of non-utilitarians who wanted utility to be maximized (in the same way that I might want postumous fame), but did not believe that utility maximization was morally good, and use "gala" to mean utility-conducive?

Intuitively there's a difference between thinking that X is morally good, vs merely desiring that X.

But, in both cases, I will a) try to bring X about b) try to convince others help me bring X about (if I think I can do so, and their help might be valuable), c) desire that I continue to desire that X, if my desiring X in the future can help bring x about...

So how can you tell the difference?

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