Re: Cartoon meme

From: Wade Allsopp (
Date: Mon 13 Feb 2006 - 22:32:42 GMT

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    OK well I think you will have poor old Bentham turning in his cabinet as it were.

    The other major feature of utilitarianism is that it is a consequentialist morality, that it's ends rather than means that count.

    Again I don't think this quite fits the suicide bombers case, where it seems to be critically important that they are seen to die as martyrs (honoured in Islam) rather than as suicides
    (which Islam decries).

    However setting aside the slight to Bentham (whose ideas can be seen as crucial to the extension of rights and value to Britains's and the world's poor) the fact that suicide bombers care about what happens to their family and society as well as what may happen to them in paradise is clearly important.

    Indeed it has been at the forefront of Israeli efforts to discourage suicide terrorists (by bulldozing parents houses etc) and the policy or cvarious Arab regimes which have offered significant financial rewards to the parents and families of "martyrs".

    As far as the UK bombers are concerned, it was clearly vital to publicise the shame and anger of the families and community.


    On 2/13/06, Chris Taylor < > wrote:
    > This is why I said Bentham-style -- the point being the scope is
    > not universal; they kill themselves for the greater good of a
    > bounded group of people.
    > And how they believe they are acting is closely related; moral
    > in their frame in a Benthian sense, immoral by another.
    > Wade Allsopp wrote:
    > > I think its got zero to do with Benthan and utlilitarianism. The key
    > > tenet onf
    > > utilitarianism is universalism - the idea that it doesn't matter who you
    > > make happy or sad,
    > > you just need to add up all the happyness/sadness or utility.
    > >
    > > Whatever is going through their mind, I think we can be pretty sure
    > > that the bombers attribute little
    > > or no value to the suffering and pain they cause to their victims and
    > > their families, indeed the general
    > > presumption seems to be the more Jews or non Muslims that are killed the
    > > better.
    > >
    > > I'm also pretty sure that they believe they are acting highly morally.
    > > It's just that (I would guesss) 99%
    > > of non muslims would disagree and maybe 80% (?) of muslims too.
    > >
    > > Wade

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