All of Anon_prime's Comments + Replies

Torture vs. Dust Specks

Even when applying the cold cruel calculus of moral utilitarianism, I think that most people acknowledge that egalitarianism in a society has value in itself, and assign it positive utility. Would you rather be born into a country where 9/10 people are destitute (<$1000/yr), and the last is very wealthy (100,000/yr)? Or, be born into a country where almost all people subsist on a modest (6-8000/yr) amount?

Any system that allocates benefits (say, wealth) more fairly might be preferable to one that allocates more wealth in a more unequal fashion. And, the same goes for negative benefits. The dust specks may result in more total misery, but there is utility in distributing that misery equally.

-2JasonCoston8yThird-to-last sentence sets up a false dichotomy between "more fairly" and "more unequal."
2Mestroyer9yWell, there's valuing money at more utility per dollar when you have less money and less utility per dollar when you have more money, which makes perfect sense. But that's not the same as egalitarianism as part of utility.
1DanielLC11yI don't believe egalitarianism has value in itself. Tell me, would you rather get all your wealth continuously throughout the year, or get a disproportionate amount on Christmas? If wealth is evenly distributed, it will lead to more total happiness, but I don't see any advantage in happiness being evenly distributed. I don't see how your comment relates to this post.