Another attack on moral subjectivism
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24-07-2015, 07:49 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(24-07-2015 07:47 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  That's a fallacy.

You don't have to like every government and every law, to like having a government and laws.

Where did I say you have to like every goverment or law?
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24-07-2015, 08:09 PM (This post was last modified: 24-07-2015 08:25 PM by Matt Finney.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(24-07-2015 07:32 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Rapping and killing is unsafe for members of society, it leads to an unstable society, where people will seek bloody vengence, will create gangs and gang warefare.

In contrast, caged chickens isn't unsafe for members of society. Society continues peacefully even when chickens are caged, even when interracial marriages occur, even when gay marriages occur, even when prostitution occurs.

Ok, so you would you be fine if your society decided to perform genocide on another weaker society that had no chance of retaliation?

(24-07-2015 07:32 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(24-07-2015 03:10 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Isn't a safe and stable society merely a "like"? Couldn't someone desire a chaotic and violent society?
Not really, no.

You're really saying that it's impossible for a person to desire chaos and violence in a society?

[Image: Columbine_Shooting_Security_Camera.jpg]

(24-07-2015 07:32 PM)Stevil Wrote:  A government is merely a representative of a society, charged with helping the society to persist and thrive.

This doesn't seem right. Sure in the case of a democracy, but that's only one type of government.

(24-07-2015 07:32 PM)Stevil Wrote:  If the government valued a chaotic and violent society then the society won't last and they will lose their throne.

Sure, I will give you that, but that doesn't mean that a government can't value them. History will tell us that governments can value the destruction of other societies and be very successful, and of course we know of governments abusing their own citizens even in modern times.
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24-07-2015, 08:21 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(24-07-2015 07:49 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(24-07-2015 07:47 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  That's a fallacy.

You don't have to like every government and every law, to like having a government and laws.

Where did I say you have to like every goverment or law?

I assumed that was the implication with this question (below), my apologies if I misinterpreted.

(24-07-2015 07:49 PM)Stevil Wrote:  How can you complain if you agree that it is fine for the governing power to force their own likes and dislikes onto the populus?

I guess my rebuttal is that "forcing their own likes and dislikes onto the populus" is simply what governments do. It's what all governments in the past have done. If you don't like government forcing likes and dislikes, then you don't like government.

At some point you have to interfere. You spoke of interference of interracial marriage? You seem to place a high value on non-interference, but I have to ask, would you also not interfere with a racist organization (such as kkk) who had a plan to kill all of those involved in interracial marriages? What about if it's going on in the society next door (not your society)?
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25-07-2015, 02:38 PM (This post was last modified: 25-07-2015 03:43 PM by Stevil.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(24-07-2015 08:09 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Ok, so you would you be fine if your society decided to perform genocide on another weaker society that had no chance of retaliation?
Have I said that I would be OK?

Perhaps if I lived in a village and we were struggling to survive because we had no water and food and a neighboring weaker village had heaps of water and food and wouldn't share with us, then perhaps I'd favour killing them and taking their stuff.

But generally I don't favour NZ attacking other countries. I like that we generally take on a peace keeper role. The Islamic militants who hate the West they have more hate for USA and Australia than they do for NZ hence they are more motivated to do acts of terrorism on them than us.
(24-07-2015 08:09 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(24-07-2015 07:32 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Not really, no.

You're really saying that it's impossible for a person to desire chaos and violence in a society?
I've not said that.

What I've said is that I favour a government which focuses on a safe, stable and thriving society rather than a moral one. I don't care for morals and if a government is to force morality onto us then the question is "Whose morality is to be forced onto us?"
Your system of "likes" doesn't appear much different to a system based on morality. If you want a government to force their "likes" onto society, then "whose likes are going to be forced onto us?" It then seems the only justification that government needs to implement a law is by the person in charge to say "I'm outlawing X because I don't like X". I see this equally as horrid as a law system based on morality.

My system at least means that the government needs to justify the law based on the safety and stability of society. They would have to explain why society would become unsafe and unstable if gays were allowed to marry. Are they going to tell us that their god will come down in anger and hit us with volcano eruptions, plagues and floods? They would be laughed out of government.


(24-07-2015 08:09 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(24-07-2015 07:32 PM)Stevil Wrote:  A government is merely a representative of a society, charged with helping the society to persist and thrive.

This doesn't seem right. Sure in the case of a democracy, but that's only one type of government.
I'm talking about the situations where the members of society have a say in who their ruling power is. I'm speaking as a member of society, speaking about what I want. I want a government to represent me rather than to malevolent rule me.


(24-07-2015 08:09 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(24-07-2015 07:32 PM)Stevil Wrote:  If the government valued a chaotic and violent society then the society won't last and they will lose their throne.

Sure, I will give you that, but that doesn't mean that a government can't value them. History will tell us that governments can value the destruction of other societies and be very successful, and of course we know of governments abusing their own citizens even in modern times.
Sure, so what is your point?
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25-07-2015, 02:44 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(24-07-2015 08:21 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(24-07-2015 07:49 PM)Stevil Wrote:  How can you complain if you agree that it is fine for the governing power to force their own likes and dislikes onto the populus?

I guess my rebuttal is that "forcing their own likes and dislikes onto the populus" is simply what governments do.
Yes, I agree, many governments currently do this, even democratic governments. They are able to do this because many voters want a moral society.
This becomes a blank cheque because what is "morally right" is a personal opinion, so then it becomes upto the opinions of those in power. They can then make X illegal and justifiy the law by saying that X is immoral (in their opinion).

With something like that a person can't debate it, a person can't show evidence that X isn't immoral.

However if the goal was a safe and stable society then a person can debate it, they can show evidence that countries that allow gay marriage are still safe and stable.

That's all I am saying. Set up a purpose for government. A clear and specific purpose rather than a vague (open cheque) purpose such as moral society.

If you don't like the purpose of "safe and stable society" I am happy to debate an alternative as long as your defined purpose is clear and specific and avoids "open cheque" scenario that gives government carte blanche rule over the populous.
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25-07-2015, 07:10 PM (This post was last modified: 25-07-2015 08:30 PM by Matt Finney.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
Hey Stevil,

The problem is that you can never escape "likes". The government you're describing is merely your preference, as I can prefer a different government without any hypocrisy or contradiction to nihilism. I find it a little funny that you call my preferences similar to morality, because your hypothetical government seems to have the commandment "thou shall not interfere in the lives of others unless needed for survival." Of course if you admit that it's just your preference to only interfere in the lives of others when needed for the survival of the society, then we are no different in that we each have our own preferences. I could have the preference to interfere with others when needed to stop genocide, and all that we would have is different preferences.

Let's talk further about your hypothetical government that avoids "likes". Who gets to decide which laws contribute to a safe and stable society? I assume you would have a vote, but who gets to decide who gets to vote? Do children get to vote? Do criminals get to vote? Do the mentally ill get to vote? How old do people need to be to be able to vote? 15? 18? 21? 25? All of this would have to be decided before any voting could even take place. All of this can be nothing more than preference. And aside from that, everyone is going to be voting based on their preference anyways, we can't escape it.

I guess my question to you is, how are we different? Can you show why I am a hypocrite, and how you somehow escape hypocrisy (if you escape hypocrisy)?
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26-07-2015, 02:02 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(25-07-2015 07:10 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  The problem is that you can never escape "likes". The government you're describing is merely your preference, as I can prefer a different government without any hypocrisy or contradiction to nihilism.
But I have.

I have suggested a purpose for government to support a safe and stable society.
With this in purpose in place it doesn't matter what my likes are.
Perhaps I dislike caged chickens, perhaps I dislike religious indoctronation.
Under my proposed system, even if I were in control, I couldn't justify against the purpose for government, a law making caged chickens against the law.

I have to work towards this clear purpose.

If I wasn't in power and a government imposed a law that doesn't support this purpose then I can (without hypocracy) complain about the oppressive law.

Sure you can challenge the purpose that I have suggested. And I am willing to debate that one. If you can think of an alternative one that also prevents the governing body from implementing whatever laws they want then I would like to hear it. We could discuss the pros and cons and put it to a vote.

But once we come up with the winning purpose then we must force the government to justify all laws based on that purpose.

(25-07-2015 07:10 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I guess my question to you is, how are we different? Can you show why I am a hypocrite, and how you somehow escape hypocrisy (if you escape hypocrisy)?
You suggested that you would happily force your likes onto others.
I assumed you wouldn't be happy for others to force their likes onto you.

Some people want a government supporting a moral society (based on the likes/dislikes of someone or some organisation. You implied you want society based on your likes. I suggested that my likes are unimportant, that instead I want government pinned down to a clear and specific purpose. I proposed that purpose to be the safety and stability of society, because after all, I assume that people (including myself) want a governing body that represents the members of society and is in place to support the society.
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26-07-2015, 05:44 AM (This post was last modified: 26-07-2015 06:00 AM by Matt Finney.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(26-07-2015 02:02 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(25-07-2015 07:10 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  The problem is that you can never escape "likes". The government you're describing is merely your preference, as I can prefer a different government without any hypocrisy or contradiction to nihilism.
But I have.

I have suggested a purpose for government to support a safe and stable society.
With this in purpose in place it doesn't matter what my likes are.
Perhaps I dislike caged chickens, perhaps I dislike religious indoctronation.

Couldn't a case that religious indoctrination leads to an unsafe and unstable society be made?

http://mrdemocratic.com/2015/06/1000-mus...y-graphic/

Who would get to decide which laws are justified or not?

(26-07-2015 02:02 AM)Stevil Wrote:  Under my proposed system, even if I were in control, I couldn't justify against the purpose for government, a law making caged chickens against the law.

What about a law making caged children against the law? Or a law making caged mentally ill people against the law? And since we're talking hypotheticals, how about a law making caging human-chimp hybrids against the law?

(26-07-2015 02:02 AM)Stevil Wrote:  If I wasn't in power and a government imposed a law that doesn't support this purpose then I can (without hypocracy) complain about the oppressive law.

I also can complain without hypocrisy about laws that don't match my preference, even though I support laws that do match my preference.

(26-07-2015 02:02 AM)Stevil Wrote:  Sure you can challenge the purpose that I have suggested.

You mean the purpose you prefer (like)?

(26-07-2015 02:02 AM)Stevil Wrote:  And I am willing to debate that one. If you can think of an alternative one that also prevents the governing body from implementing whatever laws they want then I would like to hear it. We could discuss the pros and cons and put it to a vote.

How about a democracy? Doesn't it do that?

(26-07-2015 02:02 AM)Stevil Wrote:  But once we come up with the winning purpose then we must force the government to justify all laws based on that purpose.

No we don't, that's not a true statement.

It can be your preference to force the government to justify all laws based on that purpose, but it is not a fact that we have to force the government to justify all laws. Even so, who decides what is/isn't justified?

(26-07-2015 02:02 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(25-07-2015 07:10 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I guess my question to you is, how are we different? Can you show why I am a hypocrite, and how you somehow escape hypocrisy (if you escape hypocrisy)?
You suggested that you would happily force your likes onto others.
I assumed you wouldn't be happy for others to force their likes onto you.

Right, but I never claimed it is wrong to force one's likes onto others, and I never claimed that I don't like forcing my likes onto others. Therefore, I cannot meet the definition of hypocrisy.

Go back to the deer hunter scenario. Is the deer hunter a hypocrite because he doesn't want to be hunted himself?

(26-07-2015 02:02 AM)Stevil Wrote:  Some people want a government supporting a moral society (based on the likes/dislikes of someone or some organisation. You implied you want society based on your likes. I suggested that my likes are unimportant, that instead I want government pinned down to a clear and specific purpose. I proposed that purpose to be the safety and stability of society, because after all, I assume that people (including myself) want a governing body that represents the members of society and is in place to support the society.

What you seem to be missing is that safety and stability are things you like. They aren't things that ought to be.
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26-07-2015, 02:02 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(26-07-2015 05:44 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Couldn't a case that religious indoctrination leads to an unsafe and unstable society be made?
Yes it would be up for a focused debate.
The debate points would have to tie back to the safety and stability of society rather than tie back to the ethics of religion or the ethics of banning religion.

(26-07-2015 05:44 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Who would get to decide which laws are justified or not?
Ultimately it would be the government, howerver they would have the legal requirement of providing a written justification showing how this law ties back to the safety and stability of society. If their justifications are tenuous or laughable then likely they won't get re-elected again.

(26-07-2015 05:44 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(26-07-2015 02:02 AM)Stevil Wrote:  Under my proposed system, even if I were in control, I couldn't justify against the purpose for government, a law making caged chickens against the law.

What about a law making caged children against the law? Or a law making caged mentally ill people against the law? And since we're talking hypotheticals, how about a law making caging human-chimp hybrids against the law?
Yes, would have to debate based on the perspective of stability and safety of society. Can't debate from the perspective of ethics.

(26-07-2015 05:44 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(26-07-2015 02:02 AM)Stevil Wrote:  If I wasn't in power and a government imposed a law that doesn't support this purpose then I can (without hypocracy) complain about the oppressive law.

I also can complain without hypocrisy about laws that don't match my preference, even though I support laws that do match my preference.
That's a way to twist it.
But I hope you are smart enough to see that there is a big difference regarding a system that is based on Matt Finney's likes as opposed to a system that is based on the safety and stability of society.

(26-07-2015 05:44 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(26-07-2015 02:02 AM)Stevil Wrote:  Sure you can challenge the purpose that I have suggested.

You mean the purpose you prefer (like)?
Sure. But it doesn't then lead to me being allowed to implement laws according to my other likes and dislikes. It sets borders (boundaries) to the powers of government. If a different purpose is agreed upon then I would have to tailor all laws to that purpose despite my own agenda. However if you say that I am to support an ethical or moral society you might as well tell me that you are giving me cart blanch authority to create a society of my own liking. I would then be likely to go beyond the safety and stability of society and add more things. Perhaps I would outlaw caged chickens, perhaps I would outlaw organisations that discriminate against women and gays. Perhaps I would outlaw organisations that preach hatred such as Christian organisations that preach badly against gays. I could easily go overboard given enough power.


(26-07-2015 05:44 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(26-07-2015 02:02 AM)Stevil Wrote:  And I am willing to debate that one. If you can think of an alternative one that also prevents the governing body from implementing whatever laws they want then I would like to hear it. We could discuss the pros and cons and put it to a vote.

How about a democracy? Doesn't it do that?
No It doesn't
In many instances democratic countries cite ethical reasons to not allow certain things such as euthanasia, prostitution, stem cell research etc. Especially USA has this problem because they are so religious.

(26-07-2015 05:44 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(26-07-2015 02:02 AM)Stevil Wrote:  But once we come up with the winning purpose then we must force the government to justify all laws based on that purpose.

No we don't, that's not a true statement.

It can be your preference to force the government to justify all laws based on that purpose, but it is not a fact that we have to force the government to justify all laws. Even so, who decides what is/isn't justified?
You could build it into a constitution which would force government to release a documented statement of justification for implemented laws.

People will read the justification, they will form opinions, they will offer opinions, possibly take it to court, but definitely use it as information to support their decisions for the next election.

(26-07-2015 05:44 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(26-07-2015 02:02 AM)Stevil Wrote:  You suggested that you would happily force your likes onto others.
I assumed you wouldn't be happy for others to force their likes onto you.

Right, but I never claimed it is wrong to force one's likes onto others, and I never claimed that I don't like forcing my likes onto others. Therefore, I cannot meet the definition of hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy isn't always about rights and wrongs.
In this instance you are happy to force your likes and dislikes onto others but will likely complain if others force their likes and dislikes onto you.

(26-07-2015 05:44 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Go back to the deer hunter scenario. Is the deer hunter a hypocrite because he doesn't want to be hunted himself?
If the deer hunter thought it was OK for him to hunt deer but not for others to hunt deer then yes.

(26-07-2015 05:44 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  What you seem to be missing is that safety and stability are things you like. They aren't things that ought to be.
I'm not trying to define a system of oughts.
I'm defining a purpose for the leaders of society.
Safety and stability of society seems (to me) a very basic amoral function for the choosen leaders of society.
I'm not going any further than that. I'm not suggesting that anyone ought to behave morally or ethically.
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27-07-2015, 04:06 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
I found this on the internet and I think it's useful in this discussion

What is moral nihilism?

Moral nihilism is the meta-ethical view that nothing is moral or immoral; nothing is inherently right or wrong. It is the stance that there is nothing indicating that we ought to do any particular thing over another in any non-instrumental/non-conditional sense of the word ought.





What is moral nihilism not?

(1)Moral nihilism isn’t an ought claim. It is not the stance that we ought to act against or differently from what is claimed to be moral behavior.

(2)Moral nihilism isn’t contrary to (disinclined toward) wellbeing, happiness, social cohesion or anything else deemed to be moral (it is not a belief in behaving in line with what are deemed immoral behaviors.) It denies obligation, but not incentive, empathy or compassion.

(3)Moral nihilism isn’t a denial of descriptive moral truths. Moral nihilists recognize that moral beliefs exist and exert influence on human behavior just as other fictitious beliefs do.

(4)Moral nihilism isn’t a denial of instrumental value. Rather, moral nihilism takes instrumental claims to be nothing but scientific claims e.g. If you want to live, then you ought to drink water, amounts to no more than you will die if you don’t drink water. No moral nihilist denies such claims. There is no support --despite the oft attempted deference ad infinitum onto other instrumental claims-- that one ought to do what is claimed in the antecedent of the conditional statement (in this case that one ought to want to live.)

(5)Moral nihilism isn’t the stance that people aren’t inclined toward or against, biased toward or against or otherwise (un)attracted to certain behaviors. In fact, emotivism and expressivism, which are moral nihilist stances, reduce the meaning of moral statements to expressions of liking or disliking.





Common refutations to moral nihilism (and responses):

While it’s obviously true that there is no objective morality, we still each have our own subject morality.

This can mean one of 3 things:

a) People have their own moral beliefs.

If this is the case, then it is a descriptive statement and moral nihilists would agree, but this wouldn’t describe a subjective morality, just a subjective moral belief (of what is objectively right.) *See (3)

b) People are inclined or disinclined toward certain behaviors.

But this isn’t an example of morality, just preference. *See (5)

c) What is right is subjective.

This is just as epistemologically unfounded as the objective morality claim.



Morality doesn’t exist in a physical sense. You’re refuting a strawman.

Moral nihilism doesn’t refute a physical ought or assume that it must be such, it refutes the existence of any type of ought or obligation to act in any particular manner. There is no reason to believe that one ought to behave one way over another in any non-instrumental sense of the word ought.



Moral truths exist in the form of institutional facts. Murder is wrong is true the same way that a touchdown yields six points is true, or a king can only move one space in chess is true.

When someone says that murder is wrong they are not claiming that society X deems it so, or that society X is disinclined toward it. They are claiming that it is wrong. Being deemed wrong or against the rules or taste of a society is just descriptive, and therefore not contrary to moral nihilism. For it to be a moral claim one must declare that because it is deemed wrong or against the rules or taste of society X, one ought not do it. It is not implicit by the fact that a group of people have beliefs or conventions against the behavior that one ought not do it. It is not a prescriptive claim that a group of people have beliefs or conventions against the behavior, which moral claims necessarily are (prescriptive) by definition.

To compare back to the game analogy, there is no reason why one ought to play the game in the first place, or stay in the game by continuing to obey the rules of the game. If the ought is only as strong as the agreement to play by the rules of the game, then, following from the analogy, one only ought to act morally if they wish to obey the conventions of society (not really an ought if you ask me.) But there’s no reason why they ought to wish to do so (other than an instrumental value deference ad infinitum claim, *see (4).) So this argument is un-compelling if intended to imply an unconditional ought claim, and confused and irrelevant/inapplicable if not.



Moral realism is incoherent, therefore so is its denial.

Moral nihilists deny that anything is moral or immoral. Each camp of moral nihilism disagrees with aspects of moral realism (which entails more than one claim), but moral nihilism in toto doesn’t claim that moral realism in toto is false (cognitivist nihilists couldn’t.) Besides, to deny is to claim something is not true, which entails incoherent, false etc. Many camps of moral nihilism don’t claim that moral claims are false. Non-cognitivist moral nihilists, as an example, say that ethical sentences cannot be true or false because they are not even truth-apt. If we are to take ethical sentences at face value, however, I would say that moral claims are false. Take this (non-moral) statement as an example:

My candy loves me.

The previous statement is confused, but not incoherent. It applies an emotion to something which is incapable of having any. Seeing as we have a clear conception of candy and love, though, we can safely deny (and declare false) the claim that my candy loves me. That is a perfectly coherent/intelligible stance, as anyone with the capacity to observe can safely say that the emotion of love does not apply to the object candy. Being absurd or having all evidence to the contrary is different from being incoherent. The more something is absurd or has evidence to the contrary, the stronger its denial, not the other way around. A statement’s credibility does not determine its meaningfulness.

Calling a moral claim false is no different when taking it at face value. We have a clear understanding of what it means for something to be an obligation, as expressed in instrumental claims (e.g. if you want to live, then you ought to drink water.) We can then see if it applies to the actions referred to in any moral claim. All evidence is that this is not the case, so it is safe to say that it is false that there is such a thing as a moral or immoral behavior. So claims like one ought to study music and one ought not study music are both false, as all evidence shows that obligation applies to neither studying music nor not studying music.

It is once one responds to this by saying that they are using ought in a way that in no way resembles its traditional use that I go from viewing their claims as false to viewing them as incoherent, if cognitive. And I’m no less a moral nihilist for doing so.





So nothing is moral or immoral, how does this inform behavioral decisions and does it in any way help us effectively reach our desired goals of happiness and wellbeing? Why is moral nihilism relevant?

Human beings have the capacity to live in harmony with each other -to have mutually beneficial relationships. So why is it sometimes not the case that we live in the most enjoyable, adaptive manner?

Firstly, why is it sometimes the case that we have the sensation of obligation/duty (compulsion toward or against certain behaviors) in cases where there is clearly no obligation? Originally, our animal ancestors developed via natural selection these sensations because negative sensations in reaction to life threatening situations more often guided one toward life preserving decisions (from the fear of heights to the loneliness of isolation) and positive sensations in reaction to life preserving decisions more often motivated one toward life preserving decisions (from the pleasure of sex to the perception of cuteness in and high value of children.) Moral claims appeal to these sensations of obligation by making one fear doing contrary to their claim. This fear is of either social unacceptance or the punishment implied in the moral claim, such as religious punishment, or simply the implicit memory of parental punishment when acting against their desires. Likewise, sometimes one is motivated toward behaviors by being convinced of its reward (piety, heaven, etc.) And which behaviors the claims claim to apply to are unsurprisingly often in line with evolutionarily advantageous behaviors or evolutionarily advantageous impulses. Unfortunately, natural selection only requires that one live, not that one necessarily live happily, and the very emotions that kept our ancestors alive and eventually led to our lives today, also happen to be a great hindrance to our wellbeing at times.

While most people today won’t argue the merits of evolutionary psychology, most will perceive their morality as more civilized than the aggressive conditioning animals use on each other. After all, human moral theories are sophisticated and thoughtful. But however complex or thoughtful one’s method of deriving which actions or thoughts morality applies to, they are claiming one ought to behave that way, which is to say that they are appealing to the emotional center of the brain that relates to the sensation of obligation. It’s this appeal that I’ll be examining here in order make my case against the efficacy of moral doctrine toward even its own intended goal.

I don’t think I need to refer anyone to psychological research done on the desire for liberty, as everyone knows what it is like to not want to have to live according to another’s will (for the sake of it being their will.) Even if it is done with the best of intentions, clearly people don’t react positively to the notion of conforming to another’s will and so any obligation-based attempt to modify people’s behavior often fails, or worse, motivates the person to act in accordance with what is being forbidden just for the sake of declaring one’s independence (i.e. rebellion.)

On top of that, everything relating to intrinsic superiority and inferiority, including every cognitive bias (the desire to be right), desire for acceptance, or ego driven decision (note that these account for the vast majority of maladaptive behaviors) is necessarily morally informed. Why do I say this? I say this because these claims necessarily go above and beyond efficacy claims, as efficacy claims don’t tell us that because John is more intelligent than Nancy he is a superior person, they only tell us that he can more effectively solve problems. To declare anything more would require the belief that certain qualities are intrinsically (morally) superior.

And while moral claims often have good intentions, such as to work against other morally informed claims like those I mentioned above, solving the problem in moral terms only treats the symptom of the overarching problem which is the moral presupposition which such remedies share. Why validate morality in the process of condemning morally informed behaviors when you could work against the behaviors in non-moral ways and be less likely to have such morally informed claims to arise and be given credence in the future?

Wisdom and insight sell themselves. They don’t need to be enforced upon others; this is counter productive, as I’ve shown above. The best way of inspiring positive behavior is by giving reason for optimism (loving, expressing beauty e.g. art.) That is teaching. Showing the benefits of acting or perceiving a certain way, rather than enforcing it. Declaring things moral or immoral doesn’t solve problems, it just points fingers.

"A witty quote means nothing"
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