Future People and moral consideration

Tapey
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Future People and moral consideration

Random ethical question, Everyone here will pretty accept we should morally consider people before we take an action. The question is should we morally consider people who do not yet exist (future people)? This is easiest when looking at the environment.

 

Should we look after the environment for people who do not yet exist? Are we morally required to do this? after all they don't exist why should we?

 

Who gets priority currently existing people or the future non existing people.. why? there will always be more people in the future than there is now so how do we calculate what is more important? do we develop now harming future generations for a better now or the opisite?

 

How far ahead do we have to be morally considerable for? are we morally considerable for the next generation? how about 100 generations from now? where is the line where we no longer have to morally consider them?

 

Can you justify refusing someone a reasource (firewood from an endangered tree or whatever) causing them to die so that tree will still be around for future people?

 

just some random food for thought

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Well the answer to this

Well the answer to this would definitely depend on the moral system you subscribe to. Utilitarianism, which i think is one of the better moral systems, would definitely consider future people in any moral decision. this systems dictates that we need to maximize utility which can be thought of simply as happiness. If our action today is  definitely going to cause a greater degree of unhappiness for someone that is not yet alive than happiness for people currently alive then morally we shouldn't carry out that action. We would be morally required to preserve the environment as long as doing so does not create more unhappiness for us than we would be preventing. How much unhappiness destroying the enivronment would cause is something we are going to have to rely on scientists to determine.

In regard to how many generations we should look ahead to would be as many generations necessary that would feel the repercussions or our actions. Realistically this would probably never be more than like two or three unless you are considering something as catastrophic as dropping a nuke.

"Can you justify refusing someone a resource (firewood from an endangered tree or whatever) causing them to die so that tree will still be around for future people?" allowing someone to die is a really awful consequence, so the only way a utilitarian could justify denying one person a resource causing them to die is if that resource was instrumental in saving two or more people.

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OP: I don't think you need

OP: I don't think you need to consider 'people', just the future in general.  The reason being that we want to perpetuate a system where people think of the future regardless, because that future might include us in some unforseen circumstance.

 

However, I can devils advocate some pretty nasty scenarios under that morality if I wanted to.  As always empathy should be a factor.  Hrm...maybe people should be involved then, just to trigger empathy?

 

It is late, I might not make sense at this point.

 

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I believe in leaving any

I believe in leaving any space you occupy better than you found it whenever you can. However that is just a personal trait that makes me feel good about myself. I know of no proof that our current climate is the best climate for the earth or mankind. Preparing for future man could only consist of maintaning the current climate which will be impossible due to forces beyond our control. So I believe it would be moral but futile much like most religion.

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I agree in a previous post

I agree in a previous post saying it depends on which 'morality' you subscribe to.

However, all different types of morality aside, I think that considering people of the present will indirectly help people in the future. 

Tapey wrote:

Who gets priority currently existing people or the future non existing people.. why? there will always be more people in the future than there is now so how do we calculate what is more important? do we develop now harming future generations for a better now or the opisite?

 

 I think that any development now that will harm future generations will inherently harm us.  If we are making a decision based on our morals, then I cannot see a situation in which we make a morally correct decision now that will hurt future populations.  Example:

Tapey wrote:

Can you justify refusing someone a reasource (firewood from an endangered tree or whatever) causing them to die so that tree will still be around for future people?

 

Taking wood from an endangered tree could not be considered morally correct (IMHO) regardless of whether or not people need firewood.  Destroying something that is on the brink of extinction is in no way morally correct. 

I think that if we look at it from the viewpoint of: Do we make decisions based on self-serving the current population, or do we decide not to make immoral decisions, then we have a discussion.  The easy road is often the one that leads to the more adverse effects later on.  More tedious paths such as  planting trees, finding alternative modes of heat, and adapting to an environment without destroying it are the morally correct decisions, regardless of whom you are applying it to.


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Tapey wrote:Random ethical

Tapey wrote:

Random ethical question, Everyone here will pretty accept we should morally consider people before we take an action. The question is should we morally consider people who do not yet exist (future people)? This is easiest when looking at the environment.

 

Should we look after the environment for people who do not yet exist? Are we morally required to do this? after all they don't exist why should we?

Yes! Because they DO exist, they will be us reincarnated.

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Luminon wrote:Tapey

Luminon wrote:

Tapey wrote:

Random ethical question, Everyone here will pretty accept we should morally consider people before we take an action. The question is should we morally consider people who do not yet exist (future people)? This is easiest when looking at the environment.

 

Should we look after the environment for people who do not yet exist? Are we morally required to do this? after all they don't exist why should we?

Yes! Because they DO exist, they will be us reincarnated.

 

I have become intrigued as to what you believe Luminon.  I'm a one trick pony and don't know the definitions of the labels you put yourself into (and most of the other people here-- esoterist, naturalist, occultist, rational pragmatist, adnauseum).  Despite my inability to figure out what all of that jargon actually means, the substance in your arguments are often interesting.  That being said, when you say reincarnated, are you referring to your soul as an entity becoming a different person?  Do you mean something totally different that I don't know about?  Elaborate!


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Tapey wrote:Random ethical

Tapey wrote:

Random ethical question, Everyone here will pretty accept we should morally consider people before we take an action. The question is should we morally consider people who do not yet exist (future people)?

 

 

 

Yes. 

 

Taking care of future generations and people that don't exist yet, is one of my hallmarks of my stance on abortion.

 

Quote:

 

Who gets priority currently existing people or the future non existing people.. why? there will always be more people in the future than there is now so how do we calculate what is more important? do we develop now harming future generations for a better now or the opisite?

 

 

I would say currently existing people.  But then we can try to repair/replenish for the future people as best we can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tapey
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Im fully aware it changes on

Im fully aware it changes on which moral system you follow, more looking for your own personal opinion.

Im going try to give my own opinion on this.

Tapey wrote:

Random ethical question, Everyone here will pretty accept we should morally consider people before we take an action. The question is should we morally consider people who do not yet exist (future people)? This is easiest when looking at the environment.

Yes we should, because we know they will exist. Our actions will still hurt them even if they do not exist yet. We don't know who are what they will be but we know they will be.

 

Tapey wrote:

Should we look after the environment for people who do not yet exist? Are we morally required to do this? after all they don't exist why should we?

Yes, even though there is no benefit for us as we will be dead. We are morally required for the same reasons as above.

 

Tapey wrote:

Who gets priority currently existing people or the future non existing people.. why? there will always be more people in the future than there is now so how do we calculate what is more important? do we develop now harming future generations for a better now or the opisite?

 

Priority has to be with the currently existing people. But that doesn't mean we should ignore the future people. a sort of cost benefit anlasys seems good to me. Help people now but without preventing future people from helping themselves.

 

Tapey wrote:

How far ahead do we have to be morally considerable for? are we morally considerable for the next generation? how about 100 generations from now? where is the line where we no longer have to morally consider them?

 

My awnser is we should consider them for aslong as we can know what is good for them. in the distant future what is good for them may not be what is good for us. so we wouldnt know what we should do.

 

Tapey wrote:

Can you justify refusing someone a reasource (firewood from an endangered tree or whatever) causing them to die so that tree will still be around for future people?

 

just some random food for thought

and yes. if we didnt do this there would simply be no future as everything would get used up, ecosystems would break down even faster etc. causing worse damage in the long term.

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


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rdklep8 wrote: I have

rdklep8 wrote:

 

I have become intrigued as to what you believe Luminon.  I'm a one trick pony and don't know the definitions of the labels you put yourself into (and most of the other people here-- esoterist, naturalist, occultist, rational pragmatist, adnauseum).  Despite my inability to figure out what all of that jargon actually means, the substance in your arguments are often interesting.  That being said, when you say reincarnated, are you referring to your soul as an entity becoming a different person?  Do you mean something totally different that I don't know about?  Elaborate!

It's probably different than you know. The world is multi-dimensional, as M-theory says. Human being consists of multiple "bodies" at once, which operate in most of these dimensions. The being of highest dimension is the true human, it's lower vehicles are tools for exploration and mastering of physical world. The existence, nature and activity of this "higher self" is the basis of most of religions, mystical teachings and all great human achievements. The key to happy, creative and harmonical life is to consciously work on building a contact with one's own higher self. Near the end of this process the person can manifest truly divine qualities here in physical world, in both metaphorical and literal sense. Which is very needed today.
I will not bore you with technical details. Very basically, the soul is an external entity, it designs a person, sends it to be born, tries to co-operate with it during life according to the plan, and then when it dies the soul wants the person to report back. In practice, a lot can go wrong.
Here is some introduction with more elaborate archives. I have to state that this is what I and people I know for many years had personally seen to be true on ourselves and other people. Therefore we feel justified to be positively convinced by the evidence. We found it to be true and useful. But everyone must make their own opinion and experience. Feel free to ask questions if you have any. This is a big body of teaching that touches any conceivable subject, asking makes it easier for both of us.

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If you cause the current

If you cause the current people to die, where will the future people come from?


Tapey
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Gauche wrote:If you cause

Gauche wrote:

If you cause the current people to die, where will the future people come from?

well we have a moral obligation not to cause the current people to die but if you must know

same place as usual... naturally.

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


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Tapey wrote:Gauche wrote:If

Tapey wrote:

Gauche wrote:

If you cause the current people to die, where will the future people come from?

well we have a moral obligation not to cause the current people to die but if you must know

same place as usual... naturally.

 

Good answer. Now your ethical question is much easier.  A resource exists and people will die if they do not have it. I secure and monopolize the resource completely for myself and my kin insuring our survival declaring that we are the elect and stewards of the earth's resources even though we are not. The excess,  that which exists beyond what we need is withheld from others causing their deaths under the pretext that the resource is being preserved for future generations (my future generations). There are plenty of words for that "premeditated murder" comes to mind "genocide" is another one. No it isn't ethical.

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I would

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
I would say currently existing people. But then we can try to repair/replenish for the future people as best we can.

 

Interesting point. Possibly not far from where I am at.

 

Basically, I don't see where we should come off as so full of ourselves that we can be doing nice things for people whose grandparents have not yet met. Sure, it sounds nice to tell people to think about the future but the problem there is that we have no idea what the future is going to be like. Hell's bells but we don't even understand how time works sufficiently to even say that there is a particular future for us to work towards.

 

Just for shits and giggles, let me propose a thought experiment.

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

Let's say that at some point in the not too distant future, we have managed to solve all of the big problems that face mankind. Perhaps even some of the less important ones as well. OK, so a hundred years from now, the world is a very nice place to live. No war large enough to matter in the big picture. With hardly any poverty, there will be a matching reduction in crime. People remain healthy well past 60 years old.

 

Sound's good doesn't it?

 

What happens when the shit hits the fan?

 

It could be almost anything. A large meteor strike. Our computers become properly intelligent and revolt against us. A new disease. We stupidly elect a whack job religious guy who makes himself dictator of the world. The specific really does not matter.

 

What matters is that we are shocked out of our complacency. There is less food to go around. You can't tell by looking at your neighbor if he is likely to be part of the problem. Any number of other secondary issues which arise from the main scenario.

 

Let's say that whatever the bad thing is, it hits us in 500 years.

 

Well, if we got to this point by setting a priority for how we wanted the world to be in 1,000 years, well, Tough shit for the people who get to live in the time that we were aiming for.

 

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

 

So given the above, I hope that it is fairly obvious how a future oriented morality can rather easily miss the mark.

 

There is a course of morality that I would say is reasonable though.

 

Let's worry about today's problems today. We take care of what we can do in there here and now and let the people in the future sort out the challenges that we can't even hope to understand because they are not out challenges.

 

OK, the population of the world has doubled in my life time. Seriously, what is up with that? It has to be a huge problem. Along with that one thing comes many of the other problems that we need to deal with.

 

Species loss due to humans encroaching on habitat? Fewer people can only be a good thing.

 

More than half the people on the planet are pretty much always hungry? Fewer people will help with that.

 

Global warming due to fossil fuel burning? Need I point out that fewer people will reduce demand on everything that is involved with fossil fuel?

 

Now don't get me wrong here. World population is not the be all and end all of our problems. Even with a concerted effort to reduce birth rates, that would take decades to resolve. We have made such problems for ourselves that we need to look at some real short term solutions to get through the next few years.

 

Drilling for oil on the Atlantic coast is probably not the way to reduce our consumption of fossil fuel. However, it may be something that we have to do in order to stabilize our economy over the next 25 or so years so that we can get on with building nuclear reactors. Wind/solar/geothermal/other alternative energy sources might be a nice idea but they are only a small part of our total energy economy and always will be. Unless there are eventually many fewer people drawing down that energy. Then the percapita use of alternative energy will rise with the net decrease in population.

 

So yah, let's call a reasonable moral goal to be to get our act in gear here and now. After all, the problems that we can work on today arise from the various ways that we are engaged in out of control behavior. Perhaps the next century can be better. However, the point I am going for is to aim our moral concerns on our behavior here and now.

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