Re: ESSAY: 'Debunking 'Hippy dippy moral philosophy'

From: Marc Geddes (
Date: Wed Jun 16 2004 - 02:07:14 MDT

>You can't have it both ways, if humans are moral then morality is
what they want >and morality is subjective. Talk about circular

What I said was that it is reasonable to assume that SOME human
impulses are moral. So sometimes the meter would correspond to human
wants and sometimes it wouldn't. Or do you claim that humans are
totally evil?

Subjective thoughts will sometimes match objective knowledge.
Randalls analogy showed this. For instance subjective estimates of
the distance to the edge of the cliff can sometimes be right.

You were assuming that there would be absolutely no correlation
between objective morality and human wants. This assumption is not

>If I estimate that the edge of a cliff is 100 feet away and I walk 60
feet towards it >there will be consequences if the edge is really only
60 feet away; but if the meter >says putting a green hat on Thursday
is horribly evil and I do it any way there are >no consequences to me
or anyone else
>John K Clarke

To borrow an analogy of Eliezer's, this is about as sensible as
arguing that a super Ghandi might start letting down everyone's tyres.

The meter is supposed to indicate objective morality. By definition
it would not indicate that something is 'horribly evil' without very
good reasons. If putting on a green hat on Thursday really had no
consequences for you or anyone else, the meter could not possibly
designate this as 'horribly evil'.

And note that many values that people have held DO result in
destructive consequences. For instance a German living in Nazi
Germany might have checked the meter about Nazism and the dial might
have swung to 'horribly evil'. If the German ignored what the meter
said and went on to join the Nazi party, his value system would indeed
have lead to disaster.

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