The setting? Madrid. The food? Vegan paella. The quality? Not great. And it really doesn't take much to satisfy me when it comes to vegan food, like I'm really happy to just have options. But so I'm going to leave this place a review, because I consider reviews to be kind of a common good that I make use of a lot and want to contribute to as such, but as I'm about to post it I'm having second thoughts.
The consequentialist: What if this lowers the restaurant 0.1 stars and then causes people to choose a non-vegan option 1% of the time?
The deontologist: "Well you can't leave a fake review, if it wasn't good it wasn't good"
The consequentialist: "Well what do you want me to do, not leave a review? Or well, maybe this can work out. Because what if people come here, and use this as an exemplar for vegan food, then getting the paella and deciding that vegan food is nasty and not for them?"
The rationalist: "Sure, but do you really think that's more likely than the 1% reduction?"
The consequentialist: "Possibly. I mean it would be one thing if we were in a vegan restaurant desert, but we're not, so the group you're really concerned with is a subset of the original, those who are geographically constrained to a tiny area in which there would not be other vegan options, which then sounds a lot less like someone who would meticulously plan their eating by researching online and more of a go-with-the-flow sort of person who will likely eat at whatever looks best in the real world."
The deontologist: "How much are you willing to compromise on things you enjoy because of a potential, hard to quantify, negative effect? A lot of what you're saying feels kind of manipulatish to me, like you're trying to think about how you can change other people's actions not exactly by lying but by hiding the truth from view. Sure this is small, but how many times have you thought about other small actions like this? How much of how you interact with the real world has been distorted by visions of what you think it should be ?
The consequentialist: "Jesus dude it really is just a review, you really think I'm out of touch if I don't toss another opinion into the ring? You're not concerned with the truth, just a facade for a basic desire to do something that makes us happy, to leave a review. But why does it make us happy? Sure, in part because we now have a trove of memories, a piece of an externalized self to come back to, but it's really to give back and help others as we have been helped so why can't we just be sure we are actually helping others, and the world, and not blindly following rules that we have never been sure of in the first place?"
The debate goes on, without winner, so I come to consult the masses, to see what input you might have for this internal debate I'm currently having. Comments welcome at both the specific level (should I leave the review) and more general level (how do others that feel they contain both deontology and consequentalism within them adjudicate hard decisions.
Update: The review has been left (in Spanish)