Argument against The Moral Landscape
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15-10-2013, 12:51 PM
RE: Argument against The Moral Landscape
<quote>The moral landscape represents the aggregate of human well-being does it not?
</quote>
That seems to be the rub. I didn't read it that way. At least not in the justifaction of the existence of the Worst possible well-being.

The argument goes: every individual has a worst possible state; when all individual are each in their worst possible state, then that is the worst possible state.

From there Harris argues that any state that is not the worst possible state is objectively better. Thus 'proving' that there exists some form of objective morality.

There's no implication of an assumption about the arithmetic of well-being. To assume that well-being is additive is a huge assumption. It is assume away many moral dilemmas. Gee of course it's OK to kill a healthy individual by harvesting his organs to save 5 sick people. 5>1. Problem solved. Is a $1 to billionaire worth the same as $1 to a starving child. Yeap - it's just arithmetic.

In the metaphor of a landscape, Harris is undoubtedly referring to aggregate well-being, but he does not discuss, as far as I recall, how individual well-being should be aggregated into aggregate well-being.
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