Simon_Jester wrote:Thing is, ethics has nothing whatsoever to do with naive counting of goals, and everything to do with the weighting and evaluation of goals on their merits both in and of themselves, and in relation to other goals a person might have. It simply does not and can not make sense to define ethics in terms of 'counting' goals.
How do you weigh and evaluate goals in and of themselves
? Without the existence of other goals, that is to say, in a universe with only one creature in it and that only has one goal, how can you honestly say what that person should and shouldn't do? It should and is
free to do whatever it wants.
You're not going to convince someone of doing something different, of renouncing on their goal, except by appealing to their other goals. Perhaps their goal of being a good person, or their goal of being socially accepted, or their goal of having a lineage. My point is that the currency of the will is goals. You can only change someone's will by counting the number of goals they'll lose out on if they continue.
My ethics, and this I was almost aware of, is profoundly rooted in pragmatic problem-solving and conflict resolution between real people. There is no "objective" righteousness, there is no universal measuring stick by which you can measure the value of a goal isolated from other goals. The only value that exists is the one we give, and goals are the way that the will of existence-kind spreads value in the world. If there is but one goal, in all of time and space, then it is the best thing to accomplish, simply because there is no reason, no value, in doing anything else.
My point is that you cannot evaluate a goal based on its own merits, because when talking about a single goal, well, merit goes out the window. It has all the merit.
Also, how do you know what ethics is about? Have you provided a definition? Why doesn't it and can't it make sense for ethics to be defined in terms of counting goals? Please, make your case.
Google defines ethics as such:
moral principles that govern a person's or group's behavior.
How does goal-seeking not govern a set of people's behaviour? How is "maximizing the number of goals achieved by that set" not a good indicator of what that set will do?
Please, make your case. Don't dismiss me out of hand.
"The surest sign that the world was not created by an omnipotent Being who loves us is that the Earth is not an infinite plane and it does not rain meat."
"Lo, how free the madman is! He can observe beyond mere reality, and cogitates untroubled by the bounds of relevance."