(To the extent that I'm negative utilitarian, I'm a hedonistic negative utilitarian, so I can't speak for the preference NUs, but...)

So what happens when you create someone who is going to die, and has an unbounded utility function?

Note that every utilitarian system breaks once you introduce even the possibility of infinities. E.g. a hedonistic total utilitarian will similarly run into the problem that, if you assume that a child has the potential to live for an infinite amount of time, then the child can be expected to experience both an infinite amou... (read more)

A bounded utility function does help matters, but then everything depends on how exactly it's bounded, and why one has chosen those particular parameters.

Yes, and that is my precise point. Even if we assume a bounded utility function for human preferences, I think it's reasonable assume that it's a pretty huge function. Which means that antinatalism/negative preference utilitarianism would be willing to inflict massive suffering on existing people to prevent the birth of one person who would have a better life than anyone on Earth has ever had up to t... (read more)

Stupid Questions Thread - January 2014

by RomeoStevens 1 min read13th Jan 2014298 comments


Haven't had one of these for awhile. This thread is for questions or comments that you've felt silly about not knowing/understanding. Let's try to exchange info that seems obvious, knowing that due to the illusion of transparency it really isn't so obvious!