Hedonic Calculus

What is it? Is it flawed?
I saw an example, hedonic tally comparing “Study” and “Beer”.

Personally, I deduced the example as Beer being more beneficial than Study. (But the variables are pretty arbitrary, no?)

Also, are Dianetics and Dianetic auditing a form of Hedonic Calculus?

  • probably better off in GD *

The basic principle of the Hedonic Calculus approach to morality is that an action is “good” or “morally justified” if it produces, on balance, more pleasure than it does pain. There are two major problems to a simplistic approach to it:

  1. How do we define and measure “pleasure”? If it just means “physical pleasure”, then the most moral thing to do would be to issue everyone with large amounts of heroin.
  2. It implies that it’s morally justified to subject a small number of people to extreme levels of pain and suffering, provided that it leads to an increase in pleasure for a larger number of people.

I’m afraid I don’t know enough about Scientology to comment on the second question.

Ooops, sorry, wrong URL in my last post. Should have been http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felicific_calculus.