I had an interesting discussion with a friend recently about how much the potential desires of future generations should shape our current actions.
On the face of it, there are many cases where the decision appears fairly obvious.
But there are a number of instances which aren’t so clear.
To what extent ought we to make concessions for the people in a hypothetical future? Should we be willing to sacrifice our current activities for those who will come after us?
How selfish does one have to be to act purely in a manner of self interest with no thought for anybody else?
Numerous choices we make involve a judgment of this kind and even when we don’t examine it on a philosophical level, the impact is still there.
I admitted that I’ve never really considered the nuances of this issue. I have taken some interest but not fully applied myself. If pressed I could give a response, but it would probably be somewhat rash and ill-thought-out.
So for now, the answer to these questions is I don’t know.
Time to explore and formulate a more deliberate opinion.