Does Everyone’s Happiness Count Equally?
There are a LOT of questions within this primary one….. Yet it seems so easy!
How far do you take the principle of equality? Do you think that men and women should be treated with the same care and deference? How about children? How about animals? How about AI?
Do you think it should be considered based on the ‘soul’ and it’s ability to reason? To care for itself? To live independently? To feel pleasure and pain?
Must the soul work ‘for the man’? Must the soul pay taxes? Must they employ other souls?
Depends where you are on the above questions, it might determine how much value you put on their lives when push comes to shove. But does it also determine how happy you want them to be and how willing you are to work for that happiness?
Does that change if you feel obliged or responsible for their happiness? If you are their parent, carer, guardian, boss, dominant…. creator, engineer, mechanic?
And how do you build a legal system that at least meets their needs? Or who do you prioritize? Do you consider the ones who have power and wealth first? Or the ones most in need of society’s care? Or the one who will vote for you? Or the one who will follow the law and/or comply with authority? Or the one who can be uploaded for a future iteration when it’s more conducive to their being safe(r)?
There has to be something in it for the person to fully comply with authority. Is belonging enough? Or do they want some benefit beyond that? Are people really idealistic or prosaic in their reasoning when push comes to shove? How linear is their reasoning? Are they capable of grasping your needs as their authority? How much trust do they have in you?
This is critical for medical and legal decisions, esp during a public health emergency. How do you enforce your values onto others during a time of crisis? Or do you? Do you convince/persuade? Or incarcerate/fine? Or perhaps limit their freedom rather than ask or demand? Or change their programming with drugs, education, rewiring if need be? Surgery? What is most likely to win the day?
It seems the questions will become MORE complex in the not too distant future, doesn’t it? And with the earth warming up and creating a situation where resources will be less available, more critical too. So these are questions that speak to our presence and quality of life as well as our resources and how they are allocated.
Would you want to be the decision maker?