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Intentionalism

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TheAntidoter
By TheAntidoter | Nov 6 2013 4:59 PM
I decided to make the first philosophy thread, yay!

Anyways, I am personally an Intentionalist, and I was wondering how people determine whether their action is right or not, whether by consequences or intentions.
So this is how it works!
#Trump2014 12-0 The Dream
Nerd Politico
By Nerd Politico | Nov 6 2013 5:15 PM
TheAntidoter: I prefer consequences. Intentions are too much of a gray area for me, and aren't exactly reliable. For example, what if I wanted to solve homelessness because I don't think that anybody should have to live without a home. My intention is to solve homelessness, but really I just killed all of the homeless people in the world. Because I had good intent, does that make the action "right?"
bladerunner
By bladerunner | Nov 6 2013 6:53 PM
Nerd Politico: But you intended to kill the homeless people--at that point you have to use whatever moral calculus you're working under; that example only looks at one side of the intention.

The problem with pure consequentialism is that no action can be moral until it's done and the consequences are known--and the problem with pure intentionalism is, to my mind, that it doesn't address the "should have known better" problem, where your intentions are WHOLLY good, but you ignorantly miss something that makes the consequences abhorrent.
Nerd Politico
By Nerd Politico | Nov 6 2013 7:21 PM
bladerunner: I don't see that as a particular problem with consequentialism. The consequences can generally be predicted, to a certain extent.
bladerunner
By bladerunner | Nov 6 2013 7:51 PM
Nerd Politico: And it's the "to a certain extent" that I find troubling.

The man who wants to ONLY commit moral actions is stuck never deciding, since he cannot be certain, and the woman who decides to do her absolute best can still do something "immoral", despite having acted in a way she could not have possibly known would be wrong--from a pure consequentialist perspective, no matter what good reasons she had for doing an action that winds up having bad consequences, she's committed a moral wrong, because her reasons all factored into her *intention*, and her *consequence* was bad.

That's why, overall and personally, I think it's best to strike a balance between the two: To say that the consequences *must* factor into the decision, but also that if there was no way you could have known, you cannot be faulted.
Apeiron
By Apeiron | Nov 6 2013 8:06 PM
TheAntidoter: Internalism in the epistemological sense? As in the conditions of justification are always internal to the knower?
Nerd Politico
By Nerd Politico | Nov 6 2013 11:53 PM
bladerunner: I can get behind that. I guess that I tend to apply consequentialism more to policy, rather than to personal decisions.
Citrakayah
By Citrakayah | Nov 7 2013 1:16 AM
bladerunner: Part of consequentialism, for me, is admitting that we all have made decisions that were not the best ones we could have made, and that we must face the fact that those are the consequences of our actions. We are responsible for them. Being /angry/ at someone for something they couldn't have known about is pointless, of course.
connor
By connor | Nov 7 2013 2:17 AM
Citrakayah: Agreed.
TheAntidoter
By TheAntidoter | Nov 7 2013 3:02 PM
Citrakayah: I personally Say that you first check if the intentions are right, and if they are, then you determine between multiple choices that have good intentions by using consequential procedure.

An Ideal action after all would be to have both good intentions and consequences.
So this is how it works!
#Trump2014 12-0 The Dream
Apeiron
By Apeiron | Nov 7 2013 5:44 PM
TheAntidoter: I'll offer a mix of deontology + virtue ethics as a nice alternative.
Citrakayah
By Citrakayah | Nov 8 2013 4:13 PM
TheAntidoter: Dammit, accidentally hit the report post. Anyway, how does one define whether or not intentions are "right?"
cowboy0108
By cowboy0108 | Nov 8 2013 4:40 PM
TheAntidoter: I think that we should consider intentions more so than consequences. Society should do the same. However, since society is more consequence based, I feel that we have no choice but to conform to the beliefs of society.
TheAntidoter
By TheAntidoter | Nov 8 2013 6:31 PM
Citrakayah: By adhering to the Categorical Imperatives via the Universality test!

I really don't know, I still have to learn a ton about what I say before I come to a reasonable conclusion on the matter.
So this is how it works!
#Trump2014 12-0 The Dream
Citrakayah
By Citrakayah | Nov 8 2013 6:43 PM
TheAntidoter: But I'm a utilitarian--I don't believe in using the categorical imperatives.
drafterman
By drafterman | Nov 27 2013 1:32 PM
Once upon a time I create a whole meta-ethical calculus. Basically, both consequentialism and intentionalism are insufficient. Ultimately, "moral" behavior is that which we wish to promote and "immoral" behavior is that which we wish to prevent.

Obviously, we want to prevent all behavior which is rooted in ill intentions, as they only fail to result in ill consequences through chance or lack of ability, and that's not something we want to rely on in preventing immoral behavior.

However, that is not to say we simply want to leave the judgement of moral behavior on good intentions. As with immoral behavior, good intentions can fail to yield moral behavior through chance or lack of ability. While we don't fault people for chance, we can still fault them through lack of ability.

We can place burdens on people to take certain preparations in carrying out certain actions. If you fail to meet this burden, we can hold you at fault for the negative outcome of some action, even if you had good intentions.
Pinkie
By Pinkie | Jan 13 2014 8:11 PM
TheAntidoter: Cool.
Please excuse me as I'm not super creative when it comes to forum signatures.