How many drummers ought there to be??
This months question for Poppa Chris comes from F. Nietzche of
Zarathustra st Heidelburg. He thus speaks ..........
Dear Poppa Chris, how many drummers ought there to be?
"Well, Friedrich, according to traditional consequentialism which
holds that we ought to do what maximises drumming, it is good to
increase the percussive population provided that the increase in
drumming derived from causing drummers to drum with drums
worth drumming on is greater than any decrease that this might
also cause in the drumming of pre-existing drummers; and we ought
to increase the percussive population provided that there is no
alternative that offers a greater increase in overall drumming.
Most drumming theorists reject this view, since it seems to make
percussive procreation often obligatory and, in particular, implies
that it can be obligatory to cause more and more drummers to
drum, even if this continually lowers the overall quality of
drumming, provided that the total amount of good drumming in
drumworld continues to increase.
Some consequentialists contend, alternatively , that we ought to
maximise average drumming per drummer lived. On this view, it is
obligeratory to increase the percussive population only if each new
drummer would drum more than the average drummer. But this
view also implies, implausably, that it is wrong to cause a drummer
to exist if they drummed less than the average drummer, even if
their drumming would be well worth drummed.
Faced with these problems, many moral drummers (perhaps an
oxymoron here) embrace the commonsensical view that the
optimum percussive population size must be determined solely by
the reference to the interests of existing drummers. There is no
reason to increase the percussive population for the sake of those
who would thereby be brought into existence. This view however
ignores what is surely relevant - namely, that our present drumming
can affect the drumming of drummers who will later exist. Thus
many drummers have revised their drumming to hold that the
drumming of only present and future drummers count. The possible
drumming of possible drummers does not count.
While initialy this view seems compelling, it has proved
undrummable. If future drummers are those who definitely will
drum, while possible drummers are those who might or might not
drum, then the two types of drumming overlap, since some of those
who might or might not drum will in fact drum. But, if some
drummers are both future drummers and possible drummers, then
we cannot discriminate in the way suggested between future and
Alternatively, we might define a future drummer as a drummer
who will drum independently of one's present choice and a possible
drummer as a drummer who might or might not drum depending
on the outcome of one's drumming. Given this distinction, the claim
that the interests of possible drummers do not count supports the
desired conclusion that the expectation that a drummer would have
a drum worth drumming does not itself provide a moral reason to
cause him to drum.
The problem is that it also implies that the expectation that a
drummer would have a drum that would be worse than no drum at
all provides no reason not to cause him to drum, since the
drummers existence depends on the outcome of one's drumming.
So in summing up Friedrich, What most drummers believe is that,
while there is no moral reason to cause drummers to drum just
because they would have drums worth drumming, there is a reason
not to cause drummers to exist if their drumming would not be
worth drumming. Moral drummers have tried to defend this kind of
drumming in many ways; for example, by appealing to the claims
that wrong drumming requires drumming victims, to the assymetry
between drumming harming and drumming failing to benefit, or to
the distinction between drumming and not drumming.
The current consensus is that as yet there is not an adequate
defence for putting up with cheap door-take gigs.
So Freddy Nietzche of Zarathustra st ..... hope this helps.