User:Leucosticte/Deontological ethics

From Mises Wiki, the global repository of classical-liberal thought
Jump to: navigation, search

Deontological ethics is just an internally consistent and empirically validated system of rules that allows us to accurately predict whether a given action will produce good or bad results in the long run and big picture. There is no conflict between deontological and consequentialist approaches, except when the consequentialist is pursuing a short-term or small-picture objective. Leucosticte (talk) 01:09, 20 January 2014 (EST)

I also think of it as analogous to a mathematical summation or series function that converges on the perfect consequentialist conclusion as the number of factors considered in the context approaches infinity. The summation/series function allows it to be calculated without having to actually process an infinite number of factors.
I would say "My brain hurts after reading that" but I think that the grey matter only perceived the "WHOOSH" as it went over my head. Leucosticte (talk) 01:09, 20 January 2014 (EST)
Utilitarian calculation is even more mythical than socialistic calculation. Kant is the original deontologist. Deontology is necessarily duty, for that is what the root means. Can you cite for me a single branch of deontology that does not appeal to duty, lol? How does coming to the same conclusion as utilitarian calculation remove duty from deontology?
"Utilitarian calculation is even more mythical than socialistic calculation." They're about the same. How do you define duty? I'm using it in the sense of doing something out of an obligation to something other than your own self-interest. If you could make the mythical "perfect" utilitarian calculation of what particular actions are in your own best interests, those acts would not be a duty. Nathan's and my view of deontology is that it - if done correctly - arrives at the conclusion that perfect calculation would if it wasn't mythical, and so the actions it prescribes are not duties. Whatever the derivation of the word, conceptually it is only seen as prescribing duties because almost all deontological frameworks prescribe actions that are, at worst, opposed to your best interests, or at best are opposed to what your best interests appear to be when looking at a short time horizon.
@Adrian, I think our disconnect is in the precise definition of deontology. Rand's ethics are essentially deontological (despite her protestations against it) with value as one of the inputs. This is, in my view, enough to eliminate the notion of duty from deontology. Other deontologies, such as those of Kant and religious ethics, do take individual value out of the mix entirely. If you want to say that doing so, retaining duty, is essential to deontology, then fine, I accept your (and her) rejection of the term, but then we need a term for a prescriptive a-priori ethics sans duty. Maybe there is one, I'm not sure. Is objectivism the only example?
I agree about the evil of duty, and I agree that consequentialist calculation is impossible. Rand's "the moral is the practical" says that moral conclusions will be what consequentialist calculation would arrive at if we could evaluate the infinite number of facts, interactions. and relationships, including those created in the future by free will. Obviously that is impossible, which is why any realistic approach to consequentialism does indeed open the door to (nearly) any arbitrary conclusion. The alternative, then, that one should do the moral thing, even if it *appears* to be the less practical thing, seems to me to be a basically deontological approach.