- (P5) Much of the consequentialist literature is either immoral or consequentialism is false. (From P3 and P4)
Our consequentialist is now bleeding from cuts inflicted by her own sword. While her wounds are not necessarily fatal, I suggest that she is significantly incapacitated by the fact that inasmuch as one of her more potent battle strategies is not morally sidelined altogether it seems to work against her. To the extent that the consequentialist sword just is a tool for cutting down moral rules to their true size, the rules of liberal science which constitute the sword must themselves be cut down. This is to say that according to consequentialism, the tools for preaching it will be cut down by the tools for practicing it rather than the other way around as Connie had hoped.
Given her strategy detailed in (P1), Connie has thus morally painted herself into a corner from which escape will be difficult. She has asked the moderate to present strongly compelling rules which apparently constrain consequentialism. Either such rules actually will constrain consequentialism, or the consequentialist will be morally compelled to act as if they did by endorsing them. This Godelian predicament is the exact dilemma in which the consequentialist reader of this paper was placed in (P3). Any attempt on her part to fully endorse the moral rules, as consequentialism requires, will constrain the rules of liberal science for clarity, etc. On the other hand, any attempt to clearly constrain the moral rules, as any strong defense of consequentialism must, is morally forbidden. Her defense against the moderate can be either consistent or complete, but not both.
We are thus pulled by charity of interpretation in two separate directions. If we assume the consequentialist literature to be as true as possible then we are forced to conclude that it is to some degree immoral and deserving of neglect or perhaps censorship in order to isolate the bad consequences to which it leads. If, on the other hand, we assume the consequentialist literature to be as moral as possible and worthy of widespread attention and careful consideration, then we are forced to conclude that the rules of liberal science morally constrain consequentialism, a claim which falsifies it. I suggest, however, that both moral intuition and charitable inclinations alike rebel against our bringing any moral accusation against the consequentialist and her literature. Indeed, since many of the claims made in this paper must, by consequentialist reasoning, be either true or good but not both, I would greatly prefer the reader to believe that, like the consequentialist, I too have tacitly committed myself to the falsity of consequentialism rather than the immorality of engaging it.