[extropy-chat] In defense of moral standards (Was: In defense of moral relativism)

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky sentience at pobox.com
Wed May 4 21:03:00 UTC 2005

John-C-Wright at sff.net wrote:
> Giu1io Prisco is convinced we should have no convictions. His standard is that
> we should have no standards.  
> He makes two arguments: first, he reasons that moral reasoning is unnecessary;
> second, that adherence to moral standards, being a person of character and
> conviction, always leads to mass-murder and atrocity. In other words, argues
> that moral relativism is good, (or, at least, acceptable) and that moral
> standards are bad. 

It was a tad worse than that.  I believe Giulio also said that believing in an 
external, objective reality leads to mass-murder and atrocity.

But as that is only Giulio's mere personal opinion, bearing no relation to 
(smirk smirk) any actual "reality" (if indeed such a concept is even coherent) 
we may safely ignore it.

(Though that refutation does not actually follow.  Giulio did not assert that 
reality was not objective; he merely said that entertaining the notion leads 
to homicide.  This assertion has no evidential bearing on whether reality is 

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                          http://singinst.org/
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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