I’m wondering if people think there are plausible cases in which a person’s life would be prudentially better if they were to turn out to be a brain in a vat. Obviously there could be some possible rosy situations in a vat that would be prudentially better than the worst possible life in reality. But I have in mind pairs of cases that are experientially identical and yet we think it better to be a brain in a vat. Is it plausible that there are such cases?
Here is one such possibility. It is not uncommon to think that significant immorality is a prudential harm to the immoral person. And if so, it is plausible that the degree of immorality is correlated with the degree of harm. It is also plausible that it is morally worse to be a murderer than an attempted murderer, other things equal. If we combine such claims, we seem to get the result that a serial killer would be benefitted, at least in this respect, to be a brain in a vat rather than living in reality. Is that an implication of such views? Are there other plausible cases where is is prudentially better to be a brain in a vat (keeping one’s experiences otherwise equal)?