The Problem with Teleological Ethics


Teleological ethics (i.e. do whatever will produce the best outcome) is inherently impossible. The total outcome of an action is not determined until the action no longer effects anything. If, after that happened, you then totaled all the affects and finally decided if it was a good idea, that knowledge would begin ti affect things. As a result, the original choice is again influencing the world, an so we do not know all the outcomes after all. If we don't know all the outcomes, there may be some big result coming that will out-way everything before.


This provoked an interesting debate: I (on about 2012-12-02) thought of an objection to my original post. A deist god could apply strict consequentialist ethics. He/she/it/whatever-deist-gods-are would be able to evaluate the total consequences without invalidating the result because deist gods don't take actions.

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