Do percentages of negative things in a given sample matter more or less than the quantity of negative things? And is there a name for this concept? Is it some sort of fallacy to appeal to percentages?
Consider the argument that the issue of human slavery is better today than in the past because the percentage of people in slavery relative to the human population has gone down over time. However the total number of human individuals who are slaves has increased over time. This has happened because of population growth, such that there are more slaves today than there have ever been in human history even though the percentage of people who are slaves is lower than previously.
My feeling is that if you see the decline in the percentage of slavery as a positive while at the same time ignoring the increase in the number of slaves you are missing something in the moral equation but I can't point to what that specific logic is. Does this have some connection to and change based on what moral framework it is seen through?