So let's Start in order to refute your points.

1. A. [World without any rights] This point is clearly true - assuming that you don't simply declare happiness and absence of suffering as rights in themselves, there are clearly non-rights things that matter.

1. B. [Robot] A robot that does not experience happiness or suffering would still have rights. I'm not sure where you get the idea that such would not be the case. If you mean that the robot is not *conscious*, (whatever that means), then sure, it's not a being and so has no rights.

1. C. [Emergence] Your refutation of this cannot be described as a real argument. Your only actual analysis here is that "no amount of happiness magically turns into a right". That's asserting away the objection. Regardless, the question isn't a threshold of happiness for a right, it would be that *any* Happiness suffices to create rights, which seems plausible because happiness is a product of consciousness, which is strongly emergent. Regardless, even if you're right here, it doesn't matter because happiness is not essential to rights.

2. A. [Right to Life] We don't only think that life should be preserved as a means to produce happiness. If you were told that a person had a 60% chance of living a life with -1 happiness and a 40% chance of living a life of 1.4 happiness, you would not be authorized to kill them.

2. B. [Shooting small children] This argument makes no sense. Shooting people violates their right to bodily autonomy and to life. Soundwaves to not impact either of those rights, and we usually have implicit permission to speak to people by virtue of living in a society. Speaking to someone who does not want to be spoken to may be a rights violation as well.

2. C. [Climate Change] Rights apply to hurting people. Killing 1 million people violates their right to life. Lighting a candle hurting no one, does not.

2. D. [Looking at People] The premise is incorrect. It's not a right violation to look at people because we either have implicit permission to stare or they're in an area where they don't have a privacy right. Looking at someone in their home, even if they don't know, could be a rights violation. Similarly, looking at child pornography, even if the person doesn't know, is probably also a rights violation.

3. A. [Leg Grabbing Aliens] This scenario is incoherent. A person's leg cannot be grabbed without their knowledge or consent. Assuming that minor problem away (somehow), furthermore, if the torture was severe enough, then grabbing legs may be justified, even if it is a rights violation, because leg-grabbing is not an absolute rule to avoid. If the scenario assumes that a truly, absurdly, incomprehensibly vast number of legs need to be grabbed to alleviate the torture, then I would bite the bullet and say that the grabbing is wrong.

3. B. [World with lots of rights violations] I agree. I would consider a world where everyone was forcibly subjected to wireheading a worse world.

4. [Innocent until proven Guilty] This is comparing apples to oranges. No one says the rules describe reality, but rather that when we are deciding if someone is innocent or guilty we should start with the assumption of innocence and work our way to Guilt. I doubt that this is even a "right" in the sense that you use elsewhere.

5. A [Satanic Circle of Death] In this case preventing two guns from shooting would be the right decision, because it's the *only* way to save that person's life. In contrast to the usual trolley problem, the "one" person who you normally have to kill, is guaranteed to die unless you pick the other choice. This is the same reason why it's a good thing to shove someone out of the way of an oncoming train.

5. B [Medical Malpractice] You're trying to tie in two separate actions here. Once you have taken the active step of poisoning, you should view all six people equally to be saved. Regardless, I don't think that an objection that presupposes you having a radical change in ethical views is an effective response to a system of ethics.

6. [What if Talking killed] In this case we don't have to define a "new" right. The right to your own person and not getting your eardrums blown out, combined with the nonexistence of the implicit license to talk that exists in such a world, would render this the same rights violation that it is now. Your assertion that being conductive to utility is necessary for right has no backing whatsoever. A person has a right to not be thrown into a wireheading Machine.

7. [Human Bias] This is all irrelevant to the actual question, though I will note that the Author of this blog post has equal, if not more personal baggage behind them than these generic studies have on deontologists.

8. [3rd Party Observer] This assumes that a 3rd Party observer would want a "better world" and that is how they make judgements. However under a human rights Framework such an observer would not observe worlds in toto, but instead judge actions. In that case, they could very well say that all 6 killings are bad acts.

9. [SUPER DUPER SATANIC CIRCLE(S)] This scenario is incoherent - if option two were given to the 98th circle, they would be unable to choose it, because then the 99th circle would be allowed to give the 100th circle both options, which is contradicted by the question itself. If you try to immunize the argument by amendment the second thing to be "2 options unless they are on the outside", then I would say that it's still incoherent, because the people in the 3rd circle wouldn't have the actual sae option, even if the text of the option was the same (for them the people who wouldn't get the choice are only 97 steps away, instead of 98). Furthermore, it is clear to the person in the middle that since everyone in the circle is moral, they will choose the same kind of option as them. Therefore if they pick option two, they know that 1.5777218 x 10^69 people will die. Comparatively, they know that if they kill 1 person, only 1 person will die. Therefore, since rights are not necessarily infinitely valuable, they should choose to kill 1.

9. B. [Family Members] I don't understand your point here. The only reason that family could be relevant is the intuition that someone may want to sacrifice themselves to save others. To the extent that's correct, and they waive their rights, you can ask them. If they say no however, then killing them is just as wrong as usual. If *all* of them would die unless you killed one, then I think that the situation is different, since someone is going to immediately die either way, then the rights violation to you doing the killing would be relatively minor, and probably outweighed by saving 5 lives.

9. C. [Roadside Murder] You aren't the one doing the murdering, thus you are not violating anyone's rights by saving 5. Additionally, those five people probably have a right to Medical care that they are relying on from you.

9. D. [90% of people need Organs] This is simply you restating the original thesis of utilitarianism in a different way. Maybe killing 1 to save 9 is justified under a rights mode, but if it isn't, merely stating the question doesn't get you anywhere.

10. [AlphaZero] A smart person has told me that AI will destroy the world and lead to unimaginable suffering. It seems that Utilitarianism will do so as well.

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We are agreed on point 1A. On point 1B, it seems rather clear that a being who couldn't experience well-being or suffering, such that all of its experiences were equally preferrable wouldn't have rights. If you don't have that intuition then your theory is still left explaining why being a sentient agent is a prerequisite for value. On point 1C, I'd urge you to read the objection more carefully. You may think that rights are conferred when being can experience utility, but utility does not directly become a right. It would have to be an extra property that emerges when there is a being that can experience utility. However, this is prima facie implausible for the reasons described.

2A the point was to explain the underlying structure of rights--I agree that we sometimes think they should be applied in ways that don't maximize utility.

2B Not all rights are reduceable to the right to life. In terms of the bodily autonomy point, it's hard to give a non consequentialist account of why shooting soundwaves into people's ears doesn't violate it. Tacit consent does not make sense given that no person actually consents to allowing other people to speak.

2C If rights apply to hurting people, that's a consequentialist account.

2D the cases you gave have a consequentialist explanation. It's hard to provide a non consequentialist account of why we consent to hear noise in public but not to be attacked in public.

3A that's quite a bullet to bite. We can suppose that the leg grabbing happens instantaneously when time is frozen so that the person isn't affected.

3B I'm unclear why wireheading has anything to do with this. It's just a question of whether brutal torture alleviation is worth lots of harmless rights violations.

4 I didn't claim that it was a right (Though it seems like it is) merely that I think it's analogous to lots of rights.

5A You can either prevent one rights violation from youreslf or two from others. It's not clear why this is different from other cases.

5B Ethical theorems should govern all possible cases. If you do something that would poison someone but then prevent it prior to them consuming the poison, that obviously wouldn't be a rights violation.

6 The point here was to show that being optimific seems a necessary and sufficient condition for enshrining something as a right.

7 Not sure what that is supposed to mean. The point was just to show that our rights intuitions are the byproduct of emotion and are evolutionarily debunkable.

8 It seems true by definition that a third party would want a better world if they're benevolent. Otherwise I'm not sure what better world means if it's not preferrable according to a moral standard. However, we can just replace the word better world with world that would be preferred by a third party to generate an equally forceful argument.

9A we argued about this below a different post.

9B The family intuition shows that if we look at things from the perspective of an affected party it becomes more intuitive to kill one and save five. I have the intuition in the family case, regardless of who consents.

9C This just shows that saving 5 lives is more valuable than preventing a murder.

9D Well, I have the intuition that if the situation was iterated to apply to nearly everyone, it would be good to kill one to save 5.

10 This was just to illustrate the point that a good system sometimes diverges from our intuitions.

I appreciate the feedback though.


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Thanks for the Thought-Food Mr. Bulldog

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