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

Mike Lorrey mlorrey at yahoo.com
Thu May 5 15:07:50 UTC 2005

--- Giu1i0 Pri5c0 <pgptag at gmail.com> wrote:
> Not quite. Jeff's interpretation is correct: I am only challenging
> the
> notion of external, objective *morality*. You may have been misled by
> my using the term "Truth" in the sentence quoted below. I am using it
> as shorthand for "Moral Truth".
> I challenge the notion of external, objective morality because 1) it
> cannnot have any positive effect (demonstration: I try to be kind to
> children anyway without basing it on metaphysics), and 2) it can have
> strong negative effects (demonstration: read the first history book
> that you find).
> As far as the notion of external, objective reality is concerned, I
> do
> not doubt its usefulness and core validity (even if I think it may be
> a bit more complex than we currently appreciate). Regarding *specific
> statements* on external reality (e.g. the photon has zero mass, the
> Earth is flat, the temperature of the background microwave radiation
> is approximately 3K, the Moon is made of Emmenthal cheese, etc.), I
> follow the classic scientific method and consider them open to
> experimental confirmation or refutation. So I think a scientist is
> free to consider hypothesis and try to test them experimentally, but
> not free to murder fellow scientists who think differently.

The problem, Giulio, is that in stating that it is wrong to murder
fellow scientists who think differently, you are making an objective
moral judgement. You may claim you have no moral basis for doing so,
but that is merely a concious claim. The fact is that you have been
unconciously acculturated over your life in the western judeo-christian
post-enlightenment ethical outlook, tempered by a flavoring of other
philosophical systems, clearly belies the fact that you have been
programmed to feel the way you do. To paraphrase Ceasar describing
Brittannus, you take the prejudices of your tribe as universal truth,
despite denying such.

Making the leap from stating that other scientists are wrong to having
them executed for thinking 'improperly' requires acceptance of two
moral judgements as objective maxims which history clearly has shown
multiple times are most definitely NOT objective or even more objective
than others. Because history has shown this, it is therefore
objectively wrong to assert otherwise to rationalize unobjective acts
or policies.

Mike Lorrey
Vice-Chair, 2nd District, Libertarian Party of NH
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
                                      -William Pitt (1759-1806) 
Blog: http://intlib.blogspot.com

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