|>> || |
I know it's not the best way to start a discussion, but I think leaving my emotional reaction to what you're saying out would paint an incomplete picture. Humans have an instinctive drive to protect their own kind, so what you're saying hits me at a gut level. But I do appreciate that you actually have a reasoned argument which is why I engaged you with points, vs Lillian who I could only lash out at with a cruel comment because that's all he originally posted.
>>Utility mathWell, not necessarily, I mean any ascribing of mathematical values to utility functions is inherently subjective, I wasn't making a claim that any measure of utility is objective, just that a certain definition of positive utility is shared by most of our species. If we were members of VEHMT, we would measure all human life as having at it's ceiling zero utility and then as a floor all negative utility values. By saying existence has value I don't mean it may have a positive or negative value, I'm saying that innately, without bringing in considerations like humans who harm other humans, the value for a human life has as it's floor some value greater than zero and it's ceiling some unknowably great positive number.
I reason this from the simple idea that if the existence of humans isn't innately good in and of itself, then we must posit that the world would be better without humans, and by extension without sentience or self awareness. This is not true -- regardless of whatever evils humans may do, without us there wouldn't even be the possibility of understanding, growth, even perception. It is better that humans are here than that they are not, and subjectively, as a human, I positively value their existence inherently.
You may counter and say 'well what about evil people, surely they have negative utility' yes, relatively speaking, but that negative utility only derives from the fact that they rob the positive utility from others. Their negative utility comes from the acts they do, nothing connected to their innate human condition.
>>Someone with an IQ of 50 has never contributed greatly to civilizationThere are other kinds of mental disabilities than low IQ. Asperger's is considered a mental disability, and many with it contribute greatly in specialized, particularly STEM, fields. More subtly, the genes which allow for the kind of neuro-divergent states that render some people mentally disabled are the same which occasionally render some people geniuses. Removing them from the gene pool altogether thus may have unforseen downstream consequences.
>>not spiritual or whateverThat's not at issue, in that line I'm using the term 'soul' in a literary, poetic sense. Re-parse the sentence and insert the word 'ethos' or 'human spirit' or whatever and see if you continue to disagree.