Or more broadly, should we optimise over any sort of objective or utility of other people - expressed in any form (utilitarian, deontological) in any timeframe - unless these objectives are expressed by the persons themselves?
I ask because there is a clear paternalistic tendency here, which could be good or bad. It has happened throughout human history. Some examples:
- Bad - racism is justified as means to civilise people for their own good
- Controversial - governments and societies deny people the right or means to commit suicide for their own good
- Good - ??
I also ask because one can observe such tendencies in some of the people espousing various forms of long-termism, utilitarianism, and so on on this site. Should you create anti-ageing tech and claim it a good for others if most people don't want it? Should you try to ensure long-term survival of civilisation if most of civilisation isn't interested in long-term survival? (Or even if they are interested, if it's not their primary concern) Should you code utilitarian policies into public policy if most people are not utilitarian nor have a particular preference that their government be utilitarian?
I don't have a strong opinion on it yet, but I do see it as an important question to ask - lest we provide the wrong people or ideas with too much weight - power, knowledge, culture, etc.