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Reblogged:DeSantis's Crime-Family 'Values'

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On 4/21/2023 at 5:55 PM, DavidOdden said:

Without an actual argument showing why one should not vote for Reagan, we’d just be swinging at air trying to invent a line of logic and then discern two moral principles that yield different conclusions, where the proper hierarchy has “don’t vote for Reagan” as the moral conclusion. Reagan at least seemed more opposed to abortion (though he did sign the California law legalizing abortion). Carter’s economics and foreign policies were definitely worse compared to Reagan’s. Rand must have concluded that “living death” is a substantially worse (and realistic) outcome. I don’t disagree with that conclusion, except perhaps the question of likelihood. A related extremely valid concern is the threat of the religious right seizing political power, that is to say, the institution of a rigid doctrine of force and faith over a society of reason.

A hierarchy does not seem to be enough. As in, where does "likelihood" fit into the hierarchy? I would agree that by knowing all the facts, one should be able to construct a hierarchy. But similar to a chess game, the permutations can become too great if you want to know every eventual outcome.

And once you come up with what is better and what is better than that, on and on, in theory, you should be able to find "the best" or "the best ones" (as in most important). We have to choose when to stop asking.

I am sad to say that for myself, my decision ends up being somewhat emotional. As in "what feels right". And yes, I ought to get in trouble for saying that, but it is the truth.

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You are right that simply having a hierarchy of values does not tell you how you should act: that also requires knowedge of the relevant facts, which is where probability fits in. First, you have to know facts in order to build the correct hierarchy. Then, in any subsequent choice, you also have to take further knowledge to reach a conclusion, meaning that you have to know if it is probable or merely possible that some future outcome will be realized. In the 1980 knowledge context, the possibility that Reagan would bring about a national ban on abortion, or even an ad hoc overturning of Roe v. Wade, was very remote. Consequently, the abortion threat does not prefer Carter over Reagan

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