>Well, Socrates was suicided for "corrupting the young", where "corrupting the young" is an euphemism for "being a threat to rulers' continued rule".
Yes, the ancient greeks killed a philosopher. But not only is it ridiculous to think that every philosopher who created a philosophy that could benefit the upper class because of that one instance, but it's also ridiculous to think that some elaborate plan by the upper class involved finding a philosopher, having him break ground in the field of ethics, and hoping that it would not only catch on in the philosophy circle but also the general public in time for those who devised to plan to benefit from it.
>No, what I was saying is that the perceived moral value of an action is subjective.
The moral value remains constant: happiness (or whatever synonym you wish you use). Whether people can distinguish that 100% accurately is certainly not true. But that's irrelevant. To say that people can't determine what makes other happy generally speaking would be absurd.
>Nope. The NAP wins again because there are no unintended consequences to not doing something.
Not acting when the action could potentially harm someone is something a Utilitarian can also do. But you're also falling into your own trap of people not perceiving the harm that they may cause from acting or not acting.
>Maximizing the happiness of "everyone else" is thinking in collectivist terms
Not true. Look up average utilitarians value the average happiness per person. Total utilitarians value the sum total. Objectivists value solely your self. Also, you're equating a trade of goods/services for taxes as "enslavement" when that's just an exchange. Additionally, you're going on about how this system makes it easier for rulers to rule. So what? If everyone is better off because of it, then why does that matter?
>People think that handing out other people's money to the needy masses is somehow a good thing.
It is if everyone does the same. If we didn't do this then we wouldn't have government services, a military, protection, roads, safe commerce trade, etc. If you want to call that exchange enslavement, then call me a salve. And to finish off this "slave" bit, if you're calling a slave someone with absolutely no autonomy and is under the full control of another and that we are partial slaves since some of our autonomy is limited then this "slavery" that everyone in the civilized world is in isn't bad. Being a "slave" by your scale is actually a good thing when you're a "slave" in the degree that we're slaves. If you think that being on the scale in any way shape or form is bad, then you have to prove the assertion that slavery in this kind is objectively bad in every form.
>Well, that's compatible with the NAP, but rules out the end justifying the means. He wasn't very consistent then.
It can be consistent, sure, but it's also consistent with other ethical systems which doesn't necessitate them to be true. As for "the ends justifying the means" he is being consistent because he's saying that happiness is maximized when liberty is preserved.
>A moral system that's based on subjective evaluations of the morality of various actions is, by its very nature, not objective.
You're still saying that we can't determine outcomes, and happiness perfectly which is irrelevant. That doesn't make the choice for a particular action subjective in its goodness. It just means that we would have trouble at times finding the right action.
>"Happiness" is subjective too.
Subjective in that an individual is experiencing it at any one time. But happiness is a very real phenomena. Assuming everything in this world is physical (which there is no proof to the contrary), then happiness too is physical. It is most likely a complex system of chemicals and neurons firing in the brain in a particular pattern and order. So happiness is an objective quantity. Am I saying we can measure this with today's science? Definitely not, but this is a strong enough argument to support the claim that happiness is an objective value. That being established, if you define the good action as that which maximizes happiness, then in the cenario where only one person is affected (for the sake of simplicity), then right action is the one that maximized that objective value of happiness. And to reiterate, just because we cannot perceive this measure either through technology or through our own senses, doesn't mean the right, objective action doesn't exist.
>If they're both healthy and sane, it's just so extremely unlikely to happen that it's irrelevant to this discussion.
By that logic, everyone would choose the same action in a moral situation because we're all guided by some universal moral system that speaks to us in the form of our conscious. If so, why do people choose different actions for the trolley problem? is everyone who's not choosing the right action not healthy and sane?
>I think we've established that this is not the case.
You only claimed this isn't true by dismissing any alternative moral choices steered by consciousness because of lack of "health" or "sanity"
>Well, you might note that this is a perfect fit for the NAP.
I was just throwing that out there. While the NAP does seem like a simple one size fits all theory for morality, i would rather subscribe to the moral system that has the most logical support behind it.
>Do you really need me to back up the idea that it's immoral to aggress against people? :D
Yes. Because you're assuming that harm or aggression is instrincally bad. It's therefore logical to assume that the opposite of harm (wellbeing, support, etc.) is good. But you're denying that claim by rejecting Utilitarianism. That way, if you want to stay consistent you must accept both sides to this coin by saying happiness is also an objective good.