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Study finds intoxicated people tend towards utilitarian ideolgy

Stashed in: Philosophy, Philosophy

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"There's this argument that utilitarian ethics are correct; they're associated with people who are less emotional. Our finding was that this may not necessarily be the case," Duke said.

This study is rather odd and misleading in so many ways. The authors appear to be starting with the hypothesis that many people believe "utilitarian ethics are correct" and then ask pointed questions to a random subset of drunk people to elicit responses that make them seem pro-utilitarian. I gather the authors assume (at least for purposes of the study) that drunk people are irrational and therefore they are wrong about utilitarianism as a philosophy.  Unless I missed it there is no mention of a control group, or even different types of questions being asked to drunk people.  I am not a utilitarian but I cannot imagine a scenario where I would use this article as support in a philosophical debate. Come to think of it, reading the article and writing this note was a waste of time, but what's done is done :)

Like most philosophy, it's an interesting thought exercise, but ultimately not prescriptive.

The point is to examine life, not find the answers.

'The point is to examine life, not find the answers." - This is a nice sentiment that I agree with in general.  Very zen :)  Obviously I was not a philosophy major!

I believe that was Socrates, though I could see how it could be Zen too!

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