There are no utilitarians.

Whosoever claims to be a utilitarian is lying. Whosoever lies, is lying because he is defecting on those he lies to, seeks to harm, or is harming, those he lies to. In the case of utilitarianism, the lie is the claim to care about far, in order to cover actions or intentions harmful to near.

By nature, we don’t care about far people. We care about ourselves, then our close kin, then our friends and allies, then members of our ingroup. Except that we prefer to avoid war with outgroups, and except that some individual members of the outgroup are friends or allies, we don’t care about outgroup members.

But the ingroup are our direct competitors for status, power, and wealth – they occupy, and threaten, our own ecological niche. Thus the evil man always seeks to ally with far in order to destroy those closest to him. Hence leftism. Thus the evil man always loudly claims to love the outgroup.  Thus the evil man is supposedly more concerned with the welfare of women and children than husbands and fathers, and proceeds to institute a cash and prizes system to incentivize women to divorce their husbands, even though these divorces invariably wind up being extremely bad for women and children.  Yet that same evil man is more concerned with Muslims than with women, and so ignores rape and violence against women by rapeugees, even though this is totally inconsistent with his position on affluent white male university students having sex with half drunk co-eds, and his position on actresses whoring themselves out to movie producers, and those actresses then getting butthurt when they hit the wall, and movie producers are no longer buying.

Samaritans were not the neighbors of the man set upon by thieves.  In the parable, the good Samaritan became a neighbor because he acted in a neighborly fashion, and the priest ceased to be a neighbor, because he did not act neighborly.  But all the other neighbors did not cease to be neighbors, and all the other Samaritans did not become neighbors.

When we recognize evil, we recognize someone as dangerous to have as a friend or ally.  And if you look at all the cases where utilitarian doctrine prescribes evil behavior, it prescribes behavior that would identify the person behaving in that fashion as dangerous to have as a friend or ally.  And conversely, utilitarian doctrine allows an evil person to be pious and holier than thou about his evil behavior.  He is being malicious because you are a Trump supporter, or a white male, or heterosexual, or some such, so being malicious to you serves the greater good.  Thus, for example, progressives will disrupt thanksgiving dinners, harming members of their family, on the basis that they suspect some family members of having voted for Trump, which is a hint of the potential for more serious malice, such as murdering members of their family in order to inherit the family home.

If someone is a progressive, chances are he will harass the family because some family members voted for Trump, and if someone harasses family members over Trump, chances are he will murder family members over inheritance. Notice that when progressives seize control of a company, they burn the shareholders.  And similarly, the current progressive policy of race replacement.  If all whites except their good selves are murdered or expelled, this benefits those whites remaining, since whites are always and everywhere the chief competitor to other whites.  Of course you lose the benefit of the high trust society characteristic of whites, but evil people benefit from a high trust society less than good people.  And in the long term it is likely to be harmful because you lose science, technology, and industry, but evil people do not care about the long term.

Evil is almost the same thing as dangerous to near, because near is the competition, and progressivism and utilitarianism are rationales for behaving badly to near.

The word “evil” is not defined by philosophers, or even by priests, but rather by mothers to their children.  The story of Snow White defines evil.  No one would genuinely think the stepmother evil for taxing the peasants, but for attempting to murder her stepdaughter, and likewise, we think Snow White is good because she does her job of housekeeping with enthusiasm, because she honors her commitments.

126 Responses to “There are no utilitarians.”

  1. […] There are no utilitarians. […]

  2. Reactionaryfuture says:

    Utilitarianism and the categorical imperative of Kant both form defective protestant derived ethical systems that allow the actors of modernity to shift between them as and when it suits their pre-decided acts. Acts that tend to be based on their own context specific needs. The result are often risible. Take the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which are always justified with the utilitarian claim that it saved lives. Ok, then given the modern fairy tale that WW2 was fought to save the Jews, and taking the 6 million figure, does it not make more ethical sense to have just let the Jews die given far more people died in combat? This would be the point that the modern ethicists redefines the suffering/pleasure parameters to magic this away or switches to a categorical ethical system.

    • Samuel Skinner says:

      That is the ‘better red then dead’ position. It falls apart because the craziest manage to exploit it- see Hitler who wouldn’t have been a problem is the west didn’t repeatedly appease him.

      • peppermint says:

        > abolishing the punitive measures of Versailles is a peas mint
        > because Germany deserved to be dismembered and humiliated forever
        > because there’s something wrong with Germans as a race and a culture
        > but Jews are just like us but in fact more like us than we are

        • Samuel Skinner says:

          If you want to revise Versailles, revise it. Don’t keep changing it whenever Hitler is strong enough to push for changes. He will keep pushing for more changes as he gets stronger and get more popular which means he can push to population harder to make more weapons to get stronger.

    • >modern fairy tale that WW2 was fought to save the Jews

      People seriously say that? This sounds like a very unusual myth given that I can hardly find it online. For example this is the first search result I get and it does not even mention that reason.

      • hcm says:

        I think it is a case of actions speaking louder than words. People act as if the whole point of that war was good versus evil fighting over the existence of jews. No one who studies history believes this, but it is the common sense “knowledge” among the system educated.

        • Q says:

          Not only that: 80% of it was between Russia and Germany. Japan was basically irrelevant and most of America’s total activity was shipping stuff to England and Russia.

        • Alrenous says:

          Yeah if you ask a random person on the street, they’ll say WW2 = for Jews. For the more sophisticated it’s your standard motte-and-bailey.

      • peppermint says:

        Q: why did we fight WWII
        A: because Nazis had to be stopped
        Q: why
        A: turning Jews into soap like Tyler Durden

        Contrast with WWI
        Q: why did we fight WWI
        A: no reason. It was a tragedy and should have been prevented by not having archdukes

        Thus WWII veterans got to spend the rest of their lives saying they are morally superior, while Vietnam veterans got shit on. And now that the bill is due for the moral preening of the WWII people, they’re all safely in their graves.

        • Oliver Cromwell says:

          WWI was fought for Yugoslavian unification, a Syria-sized dumb leftist cause of the week that was quietly forgotten about after the ensuing war blew up the world.

        • This is pretty weird. The actual answer back then was “because the Nazis need to be kicked out of France, Greece, etc.” and that was a sophisticated one, the simpler was “revenge on the Japs for Pearl Harbor”.

          I mean people back then considered Hitler evil because he was a conqueror, a bully of weaker nations and a promise-breaker. The accepted morality of the 1940’s was that it is evil to attack and conquer peaceful countries. People just saw Hitler as a Genghis Khan, or Napoleon at his worst, and the whole Holocaust thing was raised when the Soviet troops actually got to Auschwitz so pretty much near the end of the war already.

          So THIS is why 4channers LIKE Hitler? I mean if it is just about the Jews and they hate the Jews then, well… so stuff like Operation Tannenberg i.e. trying to kill the Polish elites, or the Greek famine, or the standing order in occupied Holland to shoot at any groups larger than 3 people, and all the gazillion other pretty evil stuff that had nothing to do with Jews doesn’t really register?

          Shit, this is very bad. So treating Jews as the unique, only, special, holy victim of Nazis means that when/if people start hating Jews they don’t know about all the other victims at all and as result begin liking Nazis. Talk about a backfire of epic proportions.

          • I mean, just stuff in Greece was enough to earn a whole lot of Nuremberg neckties. Pretty mind blowing…

          • Carlylean Restorationist says:

            Nobody’s saying they LIKE Hitler. Moldbug’s very clear that Hitler is our worst failure mode.

            We’re making a more nuanced argument, similar in many ways to the arguments made by people like Pat Buchanan, namely that if Britain went to war to save Poland, we failed because Poland lost its sovereignty and was dominated by a vicious totalitarian genocidal régime for forty years plus.
            France was never of any strategic concern of ours, just as Britain was never of any strategic concern to Hitler. Hitler’s beef with France was not that France ought to be transformed into a Germanic outpost for the purposes of ‘living room’: Hitler’s beef with France was that it had a proven track record of aggression.

            As for Greece, who gives a shit? Britain and America are part of a totally different civilisation. Declaring war to defend Greek nationalism is like declaring war to defend Rohingya nationalism (which may yet happen of course lol).

            The bottom line is this: people on the Right generally believe that WW2 (and WW1) was a colossal *waste*, which is by the way what the veterans said also.
            The Left may talk about being anti-war, based primarily on opposition to wars against communism in the 20th century, especially Vietnam, but when push comes to shove there’s no segment of the population more hawkish when it comes to WW2, and WW2’s where it counts.

            You can’t be anti-war AND pro-WW.

            • pdimov says:

              >Nobody’s saying they LIKE Hitler.

              People do say that. Some because they like Hitler; some because they hate the Jews; some because it’s a very strong countersignal; some because it makes ((journalists)) jump up and down in entertaining ways; and some because they’re aliens… forgive me, Asians.


              • Oliver Cromwell says:

                Asians love imperialism, which only shows they are sane, since anti-imperialism is a symptom of anti-Darwinism, a disease comparable to syphilis.

            • Oliver Cromwell says:

              Anti-war has only ever meant pro-foreign victory.

              Anti-war in Vietnam did not want North Vietnam to throw in the towel. Anti-war wanted the US to surrender to North Vietnam, and North Vietnam to inflict horrifying death and destruction on the US.

              In 1939, anti-war wanted Britain and France to throw in the towel, because anti-war was just an outpost of the Soviet Union, and the SU was allied to Germany at that time. Then, in summer 1941, the switch was flipped, and anti-war wanted Germany to throw in the towel and Britain and France to inflict horrifying death and destruction on Germany.

          • Samuel Skinner says:

            “The accepted morality of the 1940’s was that it is evil to attack and conquer peaceful countries. ”

            That is the rhetoric. The UK and France sat atop colonial empires and the US intervened repeatedly in Latin America.

            “People just saw Hitler as a Genghis Khan, or Napoleon at his worst,”

            The Mongolians still like Genghis Khan and the French still like Napoleon. The former makes sense, the latter less so (he got about a million French men killed for nothing).

            “Shit, this is very bad. ”

            Not really. It leads to very weird places if you are an autistic Jew, but for the most part the only thing 4chan appropriate from the Nazis is symbolism since they tend to be white nationalists/supremacists, not German.

          • Oliver Cromwell says:

            “I mean people back then considered Hitler evil because he was a conqueror, a bully of weaker nations and a promise-breaker. The accepted morality of the 1940’s was that it is evil to attack and conquer peaceful countries.”

            Which was clearly insane, given the US was the only major power in the world that wasn’t obviously built on exactly that, and even then only if you consider the aboriginals unpeople on account of insufficient technology.

            The British and the French fought a war against imperialism as the world’s two largest imperial powers.

            The Soviets fought a war against imperialism in which they transformed the rump of Russia into a big empire again.

            The idea that the British and French were subject to Jewish mind control made some sense given the irrationality of their actions. The idea that the USSR was the centre of it all made some sense given they were by far the biggest direct beneficiary. In the US, though there’s a clear confluence of interest between any Jewish conspirators and the Anglo-whig elite who conquered the country in 1865.

          • Alrenous says:

            Talk about a backfire of epic proportions.Sums up pretty much everything Progressives have ever said.

      • Oliver Cromwell says:

        It was certainly the official position of Germany in WWII. For what that is worth.

  3. Alrenous says:

    A good utilitarian can care or not care about the faraway and the strangers, but they shouldn’t actually do anything because they don’t have enough data. It is far from trivial to do something genuinely helpful for another person. Without very, very detailed specs, the Hippocratic oath comes to the fore. By definition, the stranger and the faraway are largely unknown.

    Utilitarians can care about avoiding causing harm to strangers and the faraway, but they’re not likely to do so because of lack of contact, so it’s of tertiary importance at best.

    Anyway, in fact everyone is a utilitarian. And a consequentialist, and a virtue ethicist, because those things are all versions of each other.

    Much like ‘deontology’ is usually pointing to a culture rather than a philosophy, your use of ‘utilitarian’ is pointing to a particular culture of bad utilitarians, rather than utilitarianism in its Platonic, non-erroneous form. Some of them also call themselves women when they don’t have a womb. They’re just as good at being women as they are at being utilitarians. I’m sure they can knit or something.

    Don’t forget that evil doesn’t really exist. There’s, cooperation, defection, and the fact that defecting on a cooperator rationally suggests the defector needs to be neutralized, such as by exile or execution.

    • jim says:

      I am not a utilitarian. Therefore not everyone is a utilitarian.

      Platonic ideal utilitarianism is like platonic ideal communism. Utilitarianism practiced by actual men in the actual world is evil, just as communism practiced by actual men in the actual world is evil.

      Communism in the actual world will fail catastrophically even if implemented by good well intentioned people because we don’t really know much about far away strangers.

      But communism in practice was not only unsuccessful, but was evil, and the problem was far more the evil than the ignorance.

      The fatal flaw of communism and utilitarianism is not that we do not know much about far away strangers, but that we do not genuinely care about far away strangers. It is a lie.

      Communism is a lie, and utilitarianism is a lie. The lie is the problem.

      • Alrenous says:

        You think you’re not a utilitarian, but you are mistaken. Or you can’t make a distinction between the bad utilitarians and utilitarianism per se. Given your remarks about Platonic utilitarianism, I’m favouring the latter.

        I specifically addressed the faraway and the stranger, but you ignored these remarks. Looks like I hit a nerve; your reading comprehension isn’t normally this bad.

        • Bugman says:

          Utilitarianism is not a valid description of how people actually act. Our moral faculty did not evolve to maximize utility, and if we accept that our moral faculty is just that – an evolved faculty – then there’s no reason to think there is some kind of higher morality which accords with utilitarianism. So utilitarianism is neither a description of actual human morality, or a description of the actual moral ideal (which doesn’t exist). Hence it’s a lie.

          You can restate this as “everyone is a bad utilitarian”, which is fair enough, but the reason everyone is a bad utilitarian is because utilitarianism does not actually describe the moral faculty

          • Q says:

            >Our moral faculty did not evolve to maximize utility

            Yes it did: Darwinian utility in our ancestral environment. Utilitarianism was invented largely to subvert Darwinism, i.e. induce self-cuckery. Where Utilitarian thought contradicts Darwinian thought, it is wrong, and where it is in accordance, it is simply Darwinism.

            • Stephen W says:

              But we can create a utilitarian argument in favour of Darwinism. As simplistic utilitarianism leads to disgenics, the death of civilisations, and everyone being raped by blacks and Muslims. Then enlightened utilitarian instead supports Darwinism for the greater good over longer timescales.

              When people argue against “utilitarianism” the are typically using enlightened utilitarianism to point out the evils of simplistic utilitarianism.

              • Q says:

                Bentham was pretty clear when he said that “utility” was the greatest quantity of happiness/pleasure for the greatest number of people. Darwin doesn’t give a flaming fuck about hedonic utility except insofar as necessary to goad us to further our existence into the murky fogs of future time.

                There’s more: according to Darwin, there is no eugenia or dysgenia, only fitness with respect to environment; civilization has no intrinsic moral value except as it influences fitness; and the “greater good” is that which is good for the continuation and propagation of the smallest indivisible operand of selection, i.e. the prion, the virus, the bacterium, the eukaryote, or the complex multicellular organism — which is why cancer is the most horrifying way to die.

                • Stephen W says:

                  You can not get an ought from an is. Darwinism for a human mind is not an end in itself but a tool for predicting the outcomes of different government actions long term. I prefer the futures that do not look like Africa, I prefer a future where my decedents close relatives and the good parts of the white race are successful re productively. Some of my preferences are influenced by Darwinian thoughts but ultimately you can not get an ought from an is, rational thought only tells you how to get what you want, it is your instincts/emotions that tell you what you want. You can argue philosophy with someone for eternity but you will never agree if you dont share core values that come from instincts/emotions.

                • jim says:

                  You can not get an ought from an is.

                  Don’t be silly. Of course you can get an ought from an is.

                  And every time someone complains about his ex, it is obvious that you can.

                  Obviously you should cooperate with cooperators and defect on defectors. A good person is one who is apt to cooperate, an evil person is one who is apt to defect.

                  But how do you know who is good and who is evil?

                  Good behavior is behavior that predicts cooperation, evil behavior is behavior that predicts defection. And when you hear about someone’s ex, you hear that she defected on him.

                • peppermint says:

                  There is a reason you want your nation to continue to exist. Morality is an evolved part of our nature as well.

        • jim says:

          You addressed the far away and the stranger, and your explanation was logical, reasonable, and rational, but nobody actually cares about your explanations, not you, not anyone, because no one actually cares about the far away and the stranger.

          • Alrenous says:

            A very utilitarian argument. “You gain no utilons when the strange or faraway benefit.”

            Most everyone cares about doing the right thing. (Or at least being seen to do the right thing.) Otherwise, prog!utilitarianism wouldn’t have any rhetorical use.

            I’m glad the appearance of nerve-hitting was indeed only appearance. It’s a shame that mentioning it was so effective.

            • jim says:

              I am a good man. I care about myself, my family, and my friends. To a considerably lesser extent I care about members of my ingroup. I care about the civilization I will bequeath to my descendants. Lalit should care, and it seems that he does care, about the civilization he will bequeath to his descendants, which if he succeeds, will not be my civilization, nor that of my descendants.

              A good corporation should care, and most corporations do care, about maximizing the return to shareholders, but not all shareholders equally. A good corporation should seek to maximize the return per share, returning more to big shareholders than lesser shareholders.

              A good state should care about its soldiers and taxpayers, though not all of them equally. It should care about soldiers who have seen battle and conducted themselves honorably in battle more than soldiers that have not, more about taxpayers who created greater value than taxpayers who create lesser value.

              A good man is not a utilitarian, a good corporate CEO is not a utilitarian, and a good sovereign is not a utilitarian.

              • Alrenous says:

                Non sequitur.

                • peppermint says:

                  A [[decade|2000s]] ago, we were all [[philosophers|homosexuals]] signaling [[progressive values|homosexuality in popular culture]] claiming that the moral paradigms were virtues, utilitarianism, rules, and natural morality.

                  Since then, Haidt proved that instead of prudence, temperance, fortitude, justice of Σ Τ Ο Ι Κ Ι Σ Μ Ο Σ (which being self-directed, must be integrated with the ethne through faith, hope, and love), the virtues are care, fairness, loyalty, authority, and purity, which are the basic hueristics of natural morality. Rules, which everyone has always known means hueristics specified by someone else, e.g. a superpowered alien, have always been compared with natural morality, famously the Scholastics claimed that anything ((Jehovah)) does is by definition moral, but only because ((Jehovah)) does it, and otherwise we should rely on the deposit of faith.

                  Jim pointed out what everyone has always known, that utilitarianism not only is a pseudoscientific rendition of maudlin christcuckoldry but no one has ever actually been a utilitarian.

                  Which leaves natural morality as the only foundation. Natural morality is what is expected of fictional characters when they’re not mary sue virtue signaling.

    • jim says:

      Every time a man complains about his ex, we hear compelling and persuasive evidence that evil exists.

      • Alrenous says:

        Every time someone takes LSD we hear compelling and persuasive evidence that God exists, as do Heaven, Hell, and elves of various kinds.

        • Mackus says:

          Evil ex-es exist in real world, elves and leprechauns hallucinated while on LSD do not.

          You seem to think that LSD trips are within same category of evidence as first-hand accounts.
          If I stabbed you in the face, and you went to court over this, then by your own standards they’d have to acquit me, since your account is as much valid proof as ramblings of drug addict while tripping balls.

          • Alrenous says:

            You believe one exists because you already believe in it, you believe the other doesn’t exist because you already don’t believe in it.

            Catch up to at least to official philosophy’s understanding of evil, you’re talking to a straw man.

            • peppermint says:

              Jim just solved the problem of evil. Evil is choosing to violate natural morality. Natural morality is what is obviously moral.

              Our enemies are garbage people. Sure, some of them are ideological instead of slothful or lustful or gluttunous or greedy like Bill Clinton or retarded like Joe Biden and George Lucas. That just makes them energetic garbage.

              That’s the big problem evil has. Normal people don’t want to work for evil conspiracies that damage the future of their families and people. The Democrats have gone so crazy that, basically, which of your facebook friends still reposts Democrat stuff? Boomers, catladies, faggots, childless male jews virtue signaling against the enemies of their people. Not even normal mystery meat.

        • Q says:

          It depends what you mean by “heaven”, “hell”, and “elves”. There are thing that are metaphorically true without being literally true, and things that are metaphorically but not literally true can be in some sense more true, not less.

          • Alrenous says:

            I’m not arguing that elves exist. I’m noting that Jim’s line of argument proves rather a lot more than he wants it to.

            • Q says:

              The proposition that most men are likely to experience most of their life’s agony at the hands of a spiteful woman?

        • jim says:

          Red is instantiated by a red apple, and evil is instantiated by an evil ex. Red exists in particular instances, and evil exists in particular instances.

          • Alrenous says:

            It’s a superstition. Witches used to ‘exist’ in particular instances too.

            • jim says:

              Witches could not actually cast spells. Evil ex girfriends really do evil.

              • Alrenous says:

                They really do things which you call evil, but this property is illusory, just like the witches’ spells are illusory.

                • peppermint says:

                  What happened to the existence of platonic forms, neovagactionary?

                  Everyone with an IQ under 115 understands that a neovag counts less to your n score than a black chick because it isn’t connected to anything resembling an apparatus for constructing White babies.

                  Most people, including most with IQs over 115, self-organized in school despite teachers whose job it is to make kids feel alone so they don’t self-organize and do kid stuff but do commie nonsense. Some otherwise intelligent kids spend most of their time with catladies and end up thinking catladies who signal utilitarianism as their ovaries shrivel are not only prestigious but normal.

                • peppermint says:

                  ps. seek recreational cannabis, it works, i use it

                • jim says:

                  The witch’s spells do no harm. The evil ex girlfriend does real harm.

                • Alrenous says:

                  When the ex harms you, it is ‘evil’ but when you harm the ex to make them stop it is ‘good.’ Harm exists. Evil and good do not.

                • jim says:

                  Arguing that evil does not exist, when evil gets in your face and causes you harm, is absurd.

                • Alrenous says:

                  The ex can quite equally claim that it is fact their right to harm you, for the crime of dumping them (or disappointing them) and it is you that is evil for deterring or preventing them from doing so.

                  Indeed they argue this exact thing. Even if we assume evil exists, it is impossible to determine what is and is not evil. A difference of no difference. It does not exist.

                  There are cooperators, defection with the intent to reward cooperation, and defection with the intent to punish cooperation. If the third is evil, the second cannot feasibly be portrayed as non-evil. Considering evil is worse than useless.

                • jim says:

                  Sure, they argue that. But they are lying.

                  In light of the half moon, a red apple looks black. But that does not make it black. And when she tells me and her friends that lie, she will deny not only the meaning and purpose of her behavior, but also deny her actual behavior. Just as a red apple always looks red in any reasonable light, her behavior means what it means, and it simply impossible for her to give it another meaning, so she is compelled to lie about her actions, not just about the meaning and moral value of those actions.

                  Similarly, social justice warriors always lie, and always project. The projection shows that they know that they are evil.

                  Just as it is possible to know, and impossible to deny, that a red apple is red, their projection shows that it is possible to know, and impossible to deny, the evil of their evil deeds.

                • alf says:

                  Peppermint, if I were ever to visit America, would you smoke recreational cannabis with me?

                • Alrenous says:

                  It’s impossible to deny she also has the superstition about evil and her behaviour matches her superstitious beliefs. It’s an internal conflict. It does not prove that evil exists.

                  Indeed, it’s not even evil per se. It’s merely optics. Taking your assumptions for granted, then she is aware her behaviour would reduce her social status if honestly portrayed.

          • Carlylean Restorationist says:

            In before Lockean colour theory.

            There’s ripe pickings for your brand around topics in cognitive phenomenology.

            Red is rather amorphous and situational. Evil is pretty absolute. When people claim evil’s relative and situational, they’re making a huge error: evil’s less relational even than *colour*.
            (What colour’s your car bonnet in the afternoon sun? What about at 3am?)

            • jim says:

              Color is not all that relative and situational – we do our best to compensate for the variations in ambient light, and mostly we succeed. And if we fail, then it is not that the color has really changed, it is more that we are wrong about the color. But, as you say, evil is considerably less relative and situational.

              In the case of the ex, one incorrectly assessed her as good, and then on acquiring more information, correctly assessed her as evil. She was evil all along, it is not that her goodness or evil was relative and situational, it is that one’s initial assessment was wrong, because she was deceptive.

              • Carlylean Restorationist says:

                That’s it exactly: a person’s nature consists in their acts and their acts are absolute.
                Acts can seem relational in that our understanding of them may change, but the actual acts are absolute.

                (We can agree to disagree about colour but Dan Dennett’s “Quining Qualia” raises some important questions that may be useful when comparing the supposed relativism of morality and so on and the relativism of perceptual phenomena that leftists would tend to regard as solid.)

                • jim says:

                  I have some red apples in my fridge. They appear to be red under all lighting conditions, short of it being so dark that my vision drops to black and white. The adjustment to accommodate varying light conditions happens below my consciousness, and below conscious control.

    • Mackus says:

      >evil doesn’t really exist
      Sounds like something really evil person would say.

    • I think you got it very wrong. Bentham designed utilitarianism specifically to be a morality for legislation, for government, not so much for the individual actor.

      The individual actor, when not evil, always values the near to the far.

      But the government of a modern state, floating over millions of citizens, all considered equal, effectively just numbers in statistics, must probably justify what it does with some kind of a utilitarian, statistics-boosting rhethoric.

      Which is probably an argument against modern states as such, we really need to return to the concept of the state as the community of communities.

      At any rate it was never even really meant for individual consumption. Of course individual parents care about their own children. Only from the government’s viewpoint are all the children in the country equally important. Or at least they can claim such a view with a straight face.

      • jim says:

        The leadership of a corporation can, and usually does, treat all shares as of equal value. And the shares of other corporations as of no value. The colonel of a regiment can, and usually does, treat all his soldiers as of equal value, soldiers in the same army but outside his regiment as of substantial but lesser value, and enemy soldiers as of negative value. But when an individual claims to internalize this in his personal life, to value all men on the entire planet equally, he is lying. And someone who is lying is up to no good.

        It is reasonable and realistic to demand that the government treat all citizen children as equally important. But when individual members of the government claim to value all children (everywhere) equally, you get Rotherham.

      • Alrenous says:

        Bentham’s original version is a non-advance. Governments have been claiming to represent all citizens for a lot longer than 250 years. Bentham was your classic anti-Chesterton rationalist. “I don’t see the reason for X, therefore there is no reason for X.”

        The actual legal code normally attempts to create maximum order with minimum fuss, and does so far more efficiently than anything Bentham proposed.

        Hinduism respected animal suffering long before Bentham did. I can go on like this.

        The thing must be substantially repaired with empirical understanding before it can be used. However, it reveals that most people most of the time use utilon calculus to determine their actions.

        • >Hinduism respected animal suffering long before Bentham did.

          And had nothing to do with utilitarianism. It was not an attempt to reduce aggregate suffering but to personally not gain bad karma and bad rebirth by hurting animals. Sort of like a Christian not doing certain stuff because fear of hellfire.

          • Alrenous says:

            Yes, exactly – failing to harm animals is not a utilitarian behaviour. Utilitarianism is a post-hoc justification for a pre-existing compassion for animal pain.

        • lalit says:

          You are talking about Buddhism. Animal sacrifice was an important and perhaps costly aspect of Signaling in Hinduism. The Vedas are of full of references to Animal sacrifice. The Gurkhas of Nepal, who are Hindus, routinely perform animal sacrifice to this day. It is the influence of Buddhism that put an end to that in some places. Hindus are predominantly vegetarian because they grow up around livestock and have feelings towards them, very similar to westerners who will not eat dogs.

    • Peter Whitaker says:

      Utilitarianism is premised on hedonism. For me the avoidance of pain is an involuntary reflex which the rational part of my brain suffers and does not claim agency over. Utilitarianism assumes the mind is a single agent rather than a pantheon of conflicting impulses.

    • peppermint says:

      Plato was a childless faggot with weird ideas about sex and utopia. Socrates, 3 children by Xanthippe, to the consternation of Xanthippe, refused to take money for teaching because he didn’t want to be a professor. Plato was a professor.

      Platonic anything is abjectly retarded. Utilitarianism is women baking bread with their vaginal yeast then virtue signaling on the Internet about how they have vaginas so omega males like you will give them the male attention they crave without them having to interact with you directly which they understand will reduce their SMV and in the back of their mind understand may leave them with soybabies.

  4. Stephen W says:

    No one is a utilitarian, but everyone uses utilitarian arguments to justify their position. Such as this post explaining the bad consequences of utilitarianism. “Utilitarianism leads to bad things.” is a utilitarian argument against utilitarianism. How ironic.

    • Samuel Skinner says:

      Jim isn’t making a utilitarian argument. If you are the far group the utilitarians are using to hurt their near, having other people be utilitarians is good for you and can maximize total utility depending on time preference and relative numbers.

      • Alrenous says:

        Incorrect. If you are a far group for a Jim!utilitarian, then it is rational for the near group which is being targetted to destroy you. Being destroyed does not maximize utility; it is the defect-defect interaction, but more defect-[defect-like-I-mean-it].

    • jim says:

      Suppose that if the evil step mother successfully murders Snow White, the ensuing discord in the monarchy and aristocracy will protect a million peasants from suffering a high tax burden from Snow White’s future husband. While the royals are murdering each other, the peasants can dodge taxes, which would otherwise have supported royalty in jewels and furs.

      Who gives a $#!%?

      • Alrenous says:

        If the aristocracy collapses the peasantry don’t have to pay taxes in money, but they do have to pay the death toll on the order of tens or percents due to the sudden breakdown of law and order.

        If we assume Snow White, the options aren’t happy peasants or unhappy peasants. The options are repressed peasants or 100 years war.

      • lalit says:

        The whole point of the high status of the aristocracy is that they risk their lives on behalf of the peasants. This is the crux of the concept of Skin in the game. If the aristocrats start murdering each other, banditry runs rampant in the Land and will continue running rampant until said bandits unseat aristocrats and become aristocrats themselves…………. if the peasants are lucky, that is (stealing your line)

        Where the Indians screwed up is offering a higher status to Brahmins than the Kshatriya warriors. The Kshatriya risks his life and life being most precious, highest status. The Vaishya merchant risks his money and hence higher status than Sudra employees. What in the tarnation does the Brahmin risk? And that is where the Hindus screwed up. And now slowly losing their homeland. And that is where the west is screwing up with the Brahmins at Harvard and Yale.

        • Q says:

          >The whole point of the high status of the aristocracy is that they risk their lives on behalf of the peasants.

          “The German Peasants’ War, Great Peasants’ War or Great Peasants’ Revolt (German: Deutscher Bauernkrieg) was a widespread popular revolt in the German-speaking Europe from 1524 to 1525. It failed because of the intense opposition by the aristocracy, who slaughtered up to 100,000 of the 300,000 poorly armed peasants and farmers.[1] The survivors were fined and achieved few, if any, of their goals.”

          More like: the arisocrats were running an aphid-milking operation and fighting amongst themselves over who got to run the show.

          • lalit says:

            Yes, the Aristocrats did that. And hence we end up with Democracy and leftism. Look, aristocracy and monarchy are not perfect, but on the average, they are better than democracy and leftism and hence last longer. As Alf puts it, leftism brings balance to the force


            Like the Chinese, the Hindus believe there is no perfect system and humanity endlessly cycles between these various systems. All systems have birth, growth, decay and death and regeneration again. We believe that time for such a shift has arrived. Time to go back to monarchy and aristocracy. Death to Democracy.

            • Q says:

              “The aristocracy defended their aristocratic order, therefore democratic revolution.”

              “but on average they are better and as a result last longer”

              In Darwinian terms, that which exists longest is best, but no one would choose to stay a sea slug.

            • Singh says:

              All the Devas are Ksytrias, Bharat will be fine ਵੀ have Khalsa।।

  5. Dismal Farmer says:

    That’s not really the parable. The parable is about the Jewish priest who won’t help a fellow Jew in need because it would demean his status. It is shameful that he who helped the traveler was a foreign Samaritan. The point is to shame the Jew, not say Samaritans are neighbors. Oh…and yea fuck so called “utilitarians”.

    Best argument against utilitarians is how many corneas do you have? There are people who need one. Give or STFU.

    • Alrenous says:

      Flat-out self-contradiction. You’re showing the same level of care for utilitarian logic as you claim utilitarians are showing for others.

      If I don’t need a cornea, then the recipient doesn’t need the cornea either. Braille exists. Need don’t real.

      We cannot measure value, only price. I’m certainly in favour of legalizing the sale of corneas. But if the reserve price for your cornea is higher than the market price, you don’t sell. We can only conclude this is efficient – there is no way to disprove it.

      By contrast we can easily show that forcing someone to sell their cornea has severe negative externalities, causing a net decrease in utility. Primarily, if we can force that, why stop there? Why not a kidney? Why not both kidneys? Your life isn’t as valuable as, say, Elon Musk’s.

      But now your personal incentives are to attack the system. Any mortal being will face the same incentives. This starts a war – not utility-maximizing.

      Not only that, but most folk are uncomfortable living under such a system. This is a widespread utility tax. Large numbers*small magnitude easily outweighs any single benefit, no matter how large.

      Humans suffer more from negatives than they benefit from positives, suggesting the net effect is negative.

      Etc, etc.

      • peppermint says:

        You should give one of each of the duplicated organs you have so there will be 2*80% functionality in then world. That is utilitarian. It is not utilitarian to donate both kidneys unless you believe that both recipients will have more pleasure than you, which, of course, being an omega male, is flatly true.

        The negative consequences of maybe it’s sad to liquidate faggots for organs are overwhelmed by the positive consequence of less faggotry.

  6. Good approach, Jim, but so many questions.

    1) Who is ones ingroup beyond family and neighbors, so beyond the personal/Dunbar level? It is not always ethnicity, you hinted at social class being another axis, and during the Reformation era religion was a third. Ideally it is based on skin in the game – common interests, especially, common dangers.

    2) What happens when a Scott Aaronson openly tells a Boldmug that he is ingroup with Iranian “citizens of science” instead of his American co-citizens / research financing taxpayers? And does not even take the hints that those scientists could make nukes to blow up his supposed ethnic ingroup (Israel) ? Well I suppose the answer is that is at least being a more honest leftist and it would be a whole lot better if everybody was so open about it, instead of pretending to be a particularly nice and caring member of your ingroup. I would be very curious about Scott Aaronsons actual skin in the game ingroup. How much personal risks would he take for foreign citizens of science?

    3/A) Allying with far against near is not so obviously a good strategy to gain status because why doesn’t the near, the ingroup find that out and get angry and call that guy a lousy traitor which used to be the lowest status thing in saner times?

    3A/B) This is precisely what e.g. Eastern European people don’t understand about Moldbuggian elite competition theory: if elites are fucking traitors who happily ruin their nation in order to gain an advantage over their competition, how don’t they get pitchforked by angry nationalist mobs? Is the Eternal Anglo really that comfortable with having elites putting their personal interest above the national interest?

    4) The actually noble and natural way to gain status in the ingroup is the literal opposite: offer to defend/lead the ingroup against the danger presented by an outgroup. That is the mandate of heaven: in times of peril, good leaders just show themselves, they just emerge.

    5) But mankinds curse is that even the noblest path to status can be faked, subverted and exploited by evil people.

    6) Now, at this point let’s listen to libs a bit. Libs say stuff like “populist dictators whipping their ingroup into a frenzy of fear of the evil outgroup” or “nationalist leaders engineering jingoism with chauvinist rhethoric, directing attention away from domestic problems, want to gain glory by conquering an outgroup and call it a success”. Libs gonna lib, but this is not half bad – this is really how I would imagine subverting, faking and exploiting 4) and really don’t we actually see elements of this at Napoleon, Hitler, Milosevich and Galtieri’s ridiculous adventure with the Falklands? I think thus must be a real thing and libs are simply over-using this rhethoric, basically accusing every leader who cares about the ingroup with this. But it is a real danger sometimes.

    7) The solution for 6) as far as it is actually real is probably skin in the game: you wanna make us fight the outgroup, you lead from the front, not from the back.

    8) Long story short, never trust elites without skin in the game in the sense of what is dangerous for you should also be dangerous for them. If the leftist type of elites risk the ingroup for the sake of the outgroup, they should suffer with the ingroup. If rightist type of elites risk the ingroup for waging a glorious war on the outgroup, they should lead from the front.

    9) 8) Also shared dangers would create a shared ingroup identity even if elites and the plebs are really different and had originally a different identity.

    • And just as I wrote it, I stumble upon this article:

      “A status-exchange system is a social system in which organisms exchange status and prestige(having status and prestige allows one to access importantresources) for prosocial behaviors such as leading a tribe inbattle that require immediate sacrifice. ”

      This is precisely 4) . In any normal group you get status for helping the ingroup against the outgroup, not for the opposite, not for being a traitor who allies with the outgroup against ingroup competitors. That is already the sign of some deep disease.

    • Q says:

      >3A/B) This is precisely what e.g. Eastern European people don’t understand about Moldbuggian elite competition theory: if elites are fucking traitors who happily ruin their nation in order to gain an advantage over their competition, how don’t they get pitchforked by angry nationalist mobs? Is the Eternal Anglo really that comfortable with having elites putting their personal interest above the national interest?

      In such a highly stratified society, everyone with the kilowatts to understand what’s happening is on one side and everyone else is on the other.

      • My whole point is that you can also get status by protecting the ingroup. And that is the normal way to do it actually. Thus traitors should naturally raise a nationalist opposition, and not even just in the sense that some of the elite really care but some of the elite can pretty easily harvest status by pretending to really care and oppose the traitors.

        I mean Trump is just the perfect example. Nowhere in his career did he look like a nationalist but always in his career he looked like someone who wants to be famous, loved and respected (status) and realized that there is a lot of desire for a nationalist leader, a lot of love and fame and respect to be harvested by opposing the traitors.

        I mean this sort of stuff should happen all the time, exactly like how a corporation selling an expensive product should all the time give raise to a competition offering a similar one cheaper.

        • Q says:

          Status is zero-sum. You get status by climbing up, or punching down, or both. Punching down is easier and more effective because defense is much harder than attack.

  7. I have seen a pretty cool idea somewhere, namely that you can justify this particularism, ingroup preference on universalistic utilitarian grounds, which was called “cascade utilitarianism”. It’s just the idea that you should not stop at the first step: you should not simply help people but you should help people in a way that they will also help people, ideally they too will also help people and so on. Like paying the tutition fo a student who pays it forward to the next student. The gift that keeps on giving.

    I mean with one step utilitarianism, not having this cascade utilitarianism you cannot really even justify punishing criminals, you need the cascade to say the harm you cause is stopping them from causing harm.

    But the weakness of cascade utilitarianism is that it is hard to predict the behavior of random people down the chain.

    So you do your cascade utilitarianism with people you know and their behavior can predict. Perhaps somewhat control. Or you form a group where there are agreed rules about behavior. All three point to the ingroup, to being a particularist. The only way to ensure the cascade goes on and the gift keeps on giving is to have it reverberate inside the ingroup.

    Meanwhile, one-step utilitarians at SSC save Malawi kids from malaria without have any idea, prediction or influence over whether those kids will grow up to be doctors or ISIS executioners. And they think they are smart and rational. Even though the cascade concept is not hard to come up with at all. It already exists in e.g. punishing criminals or allowing self-defense.

  8. One problem I am facing is that we are living in an extremely utilitarian culture. I mean, people I know not to be leftists albeit pretty much the fertile ground for leftism fill my Fecesbook with stuff like the suffering of factory farming animals. Now I think exactly like that particularist way Jim describes: if I owned two pigs in the backyard I would not treat them badly because suffering just does not belong in my backyard but I really give no damn about the suffering of factory farmed pigs somewhere else.

    The problem is, admitting this openly makes you look like an asshole. And it is dangerous. Future employers may think better not hire you because an asshole is not a good team player. All that without even violating the actual PC taboos.

    So the extremely utilitarian culture means that people *completely forgot particularism exists and think if you are an asshole with the outgroup you would also be asshole with the ingroup*. I.e. bad team player.

    So you have to fake caring about the outgroup.

    • peppermint says:

      Because utilitarianism does not exist, we are not in a utilitarian culture.

      Because communism does not exist, Russia was never a communist culture. Look at how they rebuilt after 1991. 2016 was our 1991. Did they ever face interal dissent from commies? Utilitarianism is even more retarded and self-evidently not believed.

  9. If there are no utilitarians, then there are no progressives or evil people. Since there are progressives and evil people there must be utilitarians. But that cannot be right…. For one would have to say that IFF there are evil people then there utilitarians.

    But is utilitarianism really a source of all evil? Are utilitarians really evil?

    One must distinguish between evil acts justified (formally) by utilitarians and utilitarians who do evil (in reality). By what does “in reality” mean? It could mean evil by the terms of utilitarianism. But then the act is not really utilitarianism. Thus, it must mean “evil” according to some other moral conception. Then, of course, you leave moral theory and enter the troubled domain of meta-ethics.

    A good question is: who actually thinks and behaves as a utilitarian?

    Few people, if any. Only “(true) intellectual and power Elites think and act in ways anything like utilitarianism.

    Another good question is: what is the best version of utilitarianism?

    Perhaps, the best form of utilitarianism is the one which eliminates evil to the maximum extent.

    Imagine you are a parent and you are offered a choice over your child’s life:

    Door 1:

    Choose 1 one and your child will have a good life to the fullest possible extent – physically, psychologically, spiritually, friendship and relationship wise.

    Door 2:

    Choose door 2 and your child will have a bad life to the worst possible extent – physically, psychologically, spiritually, friendship and relationship wise.

    What door should a good parent choose?

    • jim says:

      Progressives are not really utilitarians, since motivated by desire to harm near, not motivated by desire to maximize the utility of far. They claim to be utilitarians, but it is a lie.

  10. Did you influence me or did I influence you?

    I said basically the same thing here:

    And talked about long term and short term here:

  11. alf says:

    Stuff like this is why no one takes philosophy serious anymore. Blatant leftist nonsense pushed as a ‘provoking moral thought experiments’. Philosophy students worldwide nod along while stroking the 50 beardhairs on their chin.

  12. Cross post from this blog which is covering a similar theme:

    We wrote:

    “Brief outline of Government House Utilitarianism or STEEL Utilitarianism.

    Consider an institution. An institution has a purpose. The institution works correctly if it achieves its purpose. Thus, the design and functioning of the institution is evaluated by how well it achieves its purpose. In other words, we evaluate the consequences of the institution.

    Institutions and institutional design are to be evaluated according to how well and how much good consequences they bring about.

    This is the Theory of the Right.

    What about the Theory of the Good?

    Firstly, the distinction between politics and ethics (and law) is rejected. We are reasoning as a state and are considering everything together as a system.

    The state, as a state, has an ultimate purpose: security. It has two other instrumental goals or purposes (values) that help achieve this goal:

    1: Become wealthy.

    2: Become wealthy in order to become strong.

    3: Become strong in order to become secure.

    Now, in order for the state to become wealthy etc, it must manage its resources and its human capital in particular.


    The state must seek to maximise the value of its human capital.


    By applying U.

    Now, here is an outline of the refinement of U.

    The evolution of U:

    1: Maximise Pleasure.

    Well known and fatal objections to this, not least of which is epistemic.

    This leads to:

    2: Maximise Preferences.

    Also has fatal objections.

    This leads to:

    3: Maximise Welfare.

    Getting warmer, but there are still some problems. Not least of which is the disconnect between the goals of the state and the goals of individuals.

    4: Maximise Capital.

    Now, the last one is Moldbuggian.

    4U subsumes all of the previous 3 Us but it adds something that they do not have: political teleology. That is, 4U establishes a link between the good of the individual with the good of the state. The state seeks to maximise the capital value of each of its human assets. This involves, instrumentally, that welfare provision, preference satisfaction and pleasure provisions are provided, though only so much as consistent with the overall goal of the state. Generally speaking, this will mean a harmony of human and state purposes.

    This is what we mean by “government house” utilitarianism. It is the overall philosophy of state as it would pertain to neocameralism and STEEL-cameralism. (We excluded this from our Manifesto. It would have appeared in the posts on legal philosophy.)

    GHU or STEEL U contrasts with the kind of U that Peter Singer uses. Singer’s U is personal. That is, he expects each individual to reason as a U.

    To which we say: No! No! No!

    Now, we come to the Triple Distinction:

    D: The Triple Distinction:

    D1: U as a criterion of value and not a decision theory.

    D2: Rule U, as opposed to Act U.

    D3: Indirect U, as opposed to Direct U.

    D1: We can view U as either a criterion of value (theory of the Good) OR as a decision theory or procedure (how we decide moral questions). In short, this is a distinction between the “what” and the “how”.

    GHU or “STEEL U” is a criterion of value and not a decision theory/procedure – but with one important exception: Sovereign Steering.

    What does this mean?

    It means that you evaluate actions, rules, principles, procedures, institutions, states of affairs in TERMS of the criterion (theory of the good).

    The next point is vital:

    It does not mean that each and every individual, with the exception of the Sovereign in a crisis situation, decide political, legal, moral and economic question in terms of what “maximises….security…strength…wealth…welfare…preferences…pleasures”

    D2: Rule U.

    The second distinction is that GHU or STEEL U uses Rule Utilitarianism and not Act Utilitarianism.
    How does this work?


    A judge would be required to be a legal formalist. That is, the judge must apply the law as the law. The judge does not reason about the maximisation of pleasure, welfare or wealth. No. The judge has one and only one purpose: accurate application of the law.

    The general point here is that, within institutions (such as the state), the employees are expected to act in accord with rules. Rules that, while varying in their strength, are going to be pretty robust or absolute.

    A policeman MUST absolutely not falsify evidence. A judge MUST absolutely not sabotage a case.

    Thus, U and deontology are largely reconciled here. Of course, at times judgement is required and that involves virtue ethics (but we shall not discuss that here).

    D3: Indirect U, as opposed to Direct U.

    This can be understood in the following idea: the best way to be happy is to not pursue happiness.

    Indirect U is U that obtains the goals of U but without the agents within the system acting in typical U ways.

    For example, the doctor must – MUST – adhere to certain rules and principles. Indeed, the doctor may reject U, he may not like the overall values of the system or the state, but so long as he acts as a virtuous doctor (and never killing patients for their organs say), then the goals of the hospital (as an institution) and of the state (as a system) are best achieved.

    Indirect U is about the system or how the system works; it is about the consequences of the system’s design and not the intentions or virtues of the individual within that system per se.
    For example, a soccer match only works and only delivers pleasure when the referee does not behave or even think in a direct, act U way.

    This is similar to the insight of Adam Smith where he talked about the “butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker”.

    Now, we submit that this is the most sophisticated and accurate form of Utilitarianism. It is also perfectly compatible with reactionary goals – reactionary modernism anyway.”

    • peppermint says:

      U∞: maximize human capital through eugenics with the goal of building a space empire

      Uutilitarian: minimize human capital through banning abortions only of downies and flooding the country with the most annoying muds we can find

    • Carlylean Restorationist says:

      What effect do you think Trump’s tariffs will have on STEEL-cameralism?

      (First one to say “cameras are made using chrome” gets a prize.)

    • Alrenous says:

      Top level institutions don’t really have a purpose. For a thing to truly have a purpose it must be discarded when it does not serve that purpose. The top level institution has no superior which can discard it.

      (Which brings me back again to Exit, which is agnostic to the purpose of institutions.)

      Lower level institutions again don’t really have a purpose, socially speaking. Someone owns them. It will be discarded if the owner doesn’t like it, and not if not. What everyone else thinks the purpose is: totally irrelevant.

      Per 4U, the problem is the philosopher king is not surprised by the fact the well-being of the subjects is the well-being of the state; but as no state has ever behaved as if they believe this, then practically speaking philosopher-kings does not exist. To get a state to behave rationally requires something other than a rational system. It must be made all but impossible for the state to behave parasitically. (Again, Exit.)

      Certainly legal formalist judges are superior to the corrupt magistrates that it pleases the moderns to call judges.

      However, I have a superior solution. Legalize homicide. The citizen may apply their own justice. In my opinion, a man who cannot kill someone who has wronged him is not a free man. He is a slave, no matter how comfortable his slavery.*

      However, as historically has been the case, the citizen will find they don’t want to do that, and would much prefer to get their disputes arbitrated. These arbiters will be true Judges. They will have both no capacity and no need to enforce their rulings; the fact you don’t want to die will enforce them on everyone’s behalf. (And also, when a travesty occurs, there is a direct protest one can make, meaning travesty faces strong negative feedback. A ceiling beyond which justice cannot be perverted.)

      A good Judge will receive patronage. A bad Judge will not. You will find that Law, the true Common Law, is a description of how good Judges behave. There is simply no other reliable epistemology for forming the true Law.

      With legal homicide, judges can sabotage a case all they like. There are two feedbacks preventing them from doing it more than once. The government needs not worry about it at all.

      Police are French. Are you French? The English, the language you’re writing in, has sheriffs instead.

      *(And we can see that, absent the right of homicide, modern citizens progressively have their wealth stripped from them, because they consider it wrong to combat the parasitism. I wonder (((where))) they got that idea… To be precise, I would hold only stranger homicide as murder. If you have no relationship, or a very shallow relationship like incidental retail purchases, there cannot possibly be any provocation for the killing, and thus it can be presumed wrong. In this case, all citizens will be considered to be provoked by the murderer, and I personally pay bounties for their head. If some provocation could have occurred, then it’s he-said she-said and the provocation must be presumed legitimate or else the right of homicide will be infringed.)

      (Cops already have the right of homicide, practically speaking. I simply propose that everyone ought to be to able to play by cop rules. Cops are supposed to be citizens, not a privileged class. If they cannot function without privilege they should be abolished and replaced.)

      • “Top level institutions don’t really have a purpose. For a thing to truly have a purpose it must be discarded when it does not serve that purpose. The top level institution has no superior which can discard it.”

        That’s interesting because if the thing cannot be discarded or if no one or nothing is superior to it then it never had a purpose in the first place. However, this is mistaken.

        Top level institutions do have “purpose” in both the formal and real sense. If they are not working in the formal sense (good government) it just means that it is not achieving its formal purpose – not that it has no purpose.

        “Per 4U, the problem is the philosopher king is not surprised by the fact the well-being of the subjects is the well-being of the state; but as no state has ever behaved as if they believe this, then practically speaking philosopher-kings does not exist.”

        Fredrick the Great would disagree.

        • Alrenous says:

          If not serving your purpose causes no effect, then it’s a difference of no difference. You can assign a purpose, but it is meaningless.

          Frederick just wanted to break the back of the Church. At which he succeeded.

          • “If not serving your purpose causes no effect, then it’s a difference of no difference. You can assign a purpose, but it is meaningless.”


            “Frederick just wanted to break the back of the Church. At which he succeeded.”

            Not true.

  13. WynnLloyd says:

    This is right-on. It’s true for individuals and even entire nations.

    A reprehensible example of a nation behaving this way was when Scottish politicians claimed to love Middle Eastern and African immigrants, unlike the mean English, who were the real problem, supposedly.
    It just disgusted me. Killed any interest I would have in their independence movement, because what is the point of breaking off ties with a cousin, and then giving your existence away to the homeless guys outside the grocery store??

  14. Oog en Hand says:

    What about reading some Cornelius Van Til? Atheism cannot create values, neither can agnosticism. Eutrypho’s Dilemma isn’t a dilemma at all.

    Blue Pill: God wants the best for us.
    Red Pill: God decides what we should do.

    Hell is eternal…

    • Alrenous says:

      Yes, faggotry, but let’s be more precise.

      It is not only possible, but easy, to create values under atheism. (I am not an atheist.)

      Consciousness wants things. When a mind wants a thing, there is only one word we can use for it: the mind values that thing. Bam, values. Perfectly naturalistic. (Though not materialistic.)

      That ‘should’ in “God…should” is pure question begging, and even if we were to take it for granted, immediate re-invokes Euthyphro. If what God decides could have been decided otherwise, then the only reason we obey God is prudence => we want the rewards that God is offering. We’re literally God’s employees. This is a market transaction, not good or evil.

      Consider the counterfactual; God does not provide rewards for goodness. Then, overall, it is more prudent to disobey (generally, ignore) God. God’s not going to do anything about it, as ‘anything’ would constitute some intentional reward for virtue.

      If God could not have decided differently, then God is neither free nor supreme.

    • Alrenous says:

      Bad logic is always heresy.
      Assume God exists. God created logic. Bad logic is rebellion against God’s creation. QED.

  15. lalit says:

    This Is Brilliant! I’m speechless. Reactionaries who like reading are spoilt for choice. Spandrell and Jim and Alf and Giovanni. And among the Hindu reactionaries like @rjrasva and @blog_supplement & @pagan_trad and @handle_anonymous. We may still lose but we are enjoying ourselves with pure intellectual pleasure while our fate hangs in the balance. Our fates could be worse, I must say.

  16. Mister Grumpus says:

    “Utilitarianism” in this case meaning “whatever works best for the greatest number”?

    • peppermint says:

      ∫Σ_ζ שׁ‬(ζ) happiness(ζ) dγ = 0 for correct moral paths γ, where the שׁ‬ kernel is -1 for nazis and 10 for jews.

  17. peppermint says:

    A relationship that goes nowhere imposes vastly higher costs on the woman than on the man. Therefore,

  18. […] opened up the week making the claim that there are no utilitarians. Since Scott Alexander actually exists, Jim had some ‘splaining to […]

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