I wan't sure whether to post this here or in Value Theory. I meant to post it in Value Theory so the moderators can move it if they wish. I have no preference personally. What does everyone think of hypothetical fear as a basis for decision making? Examples: I don't want to kill an animal because "I wouldn't want them to treat me like we treat them - if our roles were reversed". You shouldn't hurt other people because "you wouldn't want them to hurt you - even if they can't". People should buy life insurance because "they could die and leave their family with nothing". Is hypothetical fear ever a justification for doing something? Should the instance of acting on hypothetical fear be based on probability, or the theory being the hypothetical situation itself? Thoughts?