Er, what was the point of adding in mathematical notation? It didn't do much besides adding a layer of confusion, even though your words were enough to say the same. Despite which though, I do find it a fascinating brainstorm.
Anyway, you do fall prey to oversimplification in your descriptions, tk102. For instance, what is distress? Is it simply the avoidance of pain? Or is it the avoidance of anything that causes pain? For instance, it would be the difference of finding a bee on a window still and either avoiding it or squashing it; the former would cause one to be cautious and perhaps retreat to another room, while the latter might compel one to destroy the bee in his vicinity. In other words, despite both options resulting in the same amount of pain to the human, people would still go to the stretch of killing the bee. Why one would act upon killing the bee would depend on a variety of reasons; phobia, paranoia, bad experiences, curiosity, ect. Such emotions, particularly curiosity, do not fall under direct pain and give ambiguity to the notion of distress as the sole moral impetus.
(There are other factors besides distress, such as knowledge and ignorance. A little kid could flood an ant farm with no concept of the fact that ants are dying and are in pain, while a teenager could very well do the same with malevolent intent. Despite the fact that both cause the same level of distress to the ants and to the participants, most would say that the kid would be less evil because he had ignorance of his actions. How would you apply that to the equation?)
Also, the main problem I have with moral objectivity is that humans can never be truly objective; we always have some bias because we always have an opinion and a limited view of existence. Without knowing all of the ramifications that actions can have, and without knowing all the possible sides to a given argument or idea, morality is based less on ultimate distress caused and instead cut off by some arbitrary level depending on the person. For instance, killing a Jew is different to a Christian to a Nazi to a Muslim to a Jew to a Humanist, ad infinitum. Killing a Jew would depend on the person's past, ideas, point of view, knowledge and ignorance, mental wellbeing and mood, ect ecetera; such things are inescapable, and so it would impossible for humans to ever create a totally objective moral system. Therefore, it's pointless to bring up a particular formula for morality as all variables would be to the whim of the person with the pen.
That's just my opinion, though. I could be wrong.
Last edited by Tyrion; 04-15-2007 at 03:12 AM.