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Good morning John. Are you feeling happy today?. I’m not really at liberty to say. Nevertheless I see what you’re on about. Morality can only be about.

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Presentation on theme: "Good morning John. Are you feeling happy today?. I’m not really at liberty to say. Nevertheless I see what you’re on about. Morality can only be about."— Presentation transcript:

1 Good morning John. Are you feeling happy today?

2 I’m not really at liberty to say. Nevertheless I see what you’re on about. Morality can only be about consequences, Immanuel

3 Clearly such a contention forgets the force of the synthetic a priori. Can you deny that morality has the same status as mathematical propositions, so is clearly both in the world and is defined by logic?

4 Ahm – it’s Jeremy here - I wonder if I might come in at this point of the discussion?

5 I don’t think we can really tolerate interference from a dead person – why aren’t you away somewhere, celebrating the summum bonum?

6 I really feel that Jeremy should contribute to the happiness here – he appears to have something significant to say about the synthetic a priori.

7 Thank you, godson: Yes, I want to point out two things: first, Immanuel, you actually died first, and were rejected in the summum bonum for cruelty to the victims of mad axe- murderers, and sent back to earth for a re- write.

8 Second, I don’t know how you can have the effrontery to claim that moral propositions are synthetic a priori on the analogy of mathematical statements when you are on record as saying that maths is synthetic.

9 Ummm...

10 Yes, and not only that, Immanuel, how can you have the effrontery to claim that happiness is irrelevant to morality. The point of any human activity must include eudaimonia: even Aristotle knew that.

11 I am petrified at the idea of eudaimonia being important in anything. All that matters is the good will. I’d have it out with Aristotle, but he’s discussing teleology with the First Efficient Cause, and can’t be disturbed.

12 Oh, come on, ‘Manny: you know the First Efficient Cause died years ago, and don’t evade the issue: if people aren’t happy as the result of morality, what’s the point of being moral in the first place? It’s lonely in this box, by the way.

13 How do you like my death mask? Makes me look a bit like Caesar, don’t you think?

14 Immanuel – it’s not your death mask, and you know it – it’s a cheap bust that makes you look less ugly than you really were. And what about happiness??

15 This postage stamp has 3 functions: 1. It shows how important I am 2. It shows how handsome I really was, and 3. All I care about happiness could be written on it.

16 Apart from which, if you look at this excerpt from the Critique, you will see that it mentions a ‘Kingdom of Moral Ends’. What is an end if it is not a teleological perspective?

17 Well I’ll be jiggered, godson, he’s got a point there! That’s teleological language all right Now what do we do?

18 Here’s a picture of me with my step daughter. Handsome girl, isn’t she!

19 What’s that got to do with anything?

20 Nothing – just buying a bit of time. Wait – I’ve got it! Why have you been saying all this time that consequences are unimportant in morality?

21 I haven’t. I merely said that happiness should not be the object of a doctrine of morality, only its incidental outcome. A man’s duty is to obey the rules.

22 Oi! Cut the sexist language. Women can obey the rules too, mate!

23 So sorry (just recovering my famed politeness, ma’am). I am deeply mortified for having offended you. Women can indeed obey the rules.

24 But Johnny, me’ boy, we don’t have any rules in Utilitarianism – we only have the principle of Utility.

25 (Thinks …) Ok then, we’d better invent a few. If this bloke Immanuel can have consequences, then we can have rules. I know – I’ll become a Rule Utilitarian and say that rules were only invented because of their utilitarian value – that’ll spike his guns.

26 Erm, Immanuel, It is a fact that utilitarians invented moral rules thousands of years ago because the rules make people happy. What do you have to say about that, then?

27 I am rotating in my grave at the very idea. What nonsense. Besides, what happens if you want to break the rule to maximize happiness?

28 I feel so strongly about this idea that I’m going to suggest to my 21 st century followers that they become Strong Rule Utilitarians (even though I wasn’t one), so they must ALWAYS obey the rule. Ha!

29 Gulp! Does this mean that Categorical Imperativism will be superseded by Strong Rule Utilitarianism? How unhappy that will make me.

30 Gotcha!!

31 That’s it, then: utilitarians from now on must never break the rules. We shall maximize happiness and rule the world.

32 ‘Ang on, Johnny: does this mean that we always have to tell the truth?

33 Of course it does – we shall be beacons of rule- obedience, and eclipse categorical imperativism, and Yah, boo, sucks to you too, Kant.

34 And may I ask, then, what happens if you meet a mad axe- murderer who asks you the whereabouts of her victim?

35 Oi, mate – I’ve warned you before – are you implying that mad axe-murderers are women?

36 No, no, dear lady, just a slip of the tongue. But what about the question? Are you going to lie to the mad axe-murderer or tell her – sorry, him – the truth?

37 Lie, of course – it gives a measurable increase of propinquity, intensity, duration, and some other words I’ve forgotten about pleasure.

38 Erm, hang on a tick, godfather – the rules are absolute, don’t forget.

39 Oh, er, sorry – I forgot. Yes of course, we obey the rule and tell the truth. Bit warm, today, isn’t it?

40 So we’re all agreed, then – following the rule gives the best consequences – a triumph for categorical imperativism”

41 A complete triumph for the principle of utility through which we arrived at the same outcome!

42 A complete triumph for Strong Rule Utilitarianism.

43 That’s what you think, laddie!


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