[extropy-chat] A crushing defense of objective ethics. Universal Volition and 'Ought' from 'is'.

Marc Geddes marc_geddes at yahoo.co.nz
Sat May 7 06:39:02 UTC 2005

>I would wish to live in a universe which terminates
>in an omega point,
>and can see how you could perhaps derive correct
>moral behaviours
>assuming an omega point scenario.
>But unfortunately wishing something does not make it
>actual, and as
>Eugen says available scientific evidence points
>against Tipler.

Well, my argument does not require the Omega Point
scenario as such (although the Omega Point scenario is
currently my best guess).

My argument only requires that the ultimate fate of
the universe be indeterminate and could be changed
though the actions we take.

You agree that people (subjective experience) is of
supreme important right?  Well, if the universe ever
ends, then all people in it will die and all
subjective experience will end as well.

Therefore it follows that we *ought* to take the
actions required to keep the universe existing in the
long run.  And which actions these are is entirely a
matter which could be determined through an empirical
investigation of the state in which the universe
currently *is*

>Of course this may change with new experiments and
>But this is precisely one of the points that I am
>trying to make.
>Morality is *IMPORTANT* to us human beings, so we
>should really base
>it on something solid that is not invalidated when
>experiment shows
>that the mass of the hchsgahcgion is 5% higher that

I entirely agree that morality is important to us
human beings, and should be based on something solid. 
But the alternative to basing morality on empirical
data is to base it on 'social consensus', as you admit
below.  Do you really call social consensus 'solid'? 
I'd say its far more unreliable and changeable than
empirical data!  

>So, I join moral relativists in trying to base
>morality on social
>consensus achieved through a painful and erratic
>trial and error
>process. This does not have the pristine simplicity
>and beauty of
>2=2=4, but is the best we can do.

The trouble with basing morality on 'social consensus'
is that this reduces morality to simple 'might makes
right'.  If there is no other standard of judgement
outside 'social consensus' then obviously what the
majority say must be taken as right.  A very dubious
position indeed...

Still, there the debate must rest for now.  As I said
on wta-talk, the debate could rage on forever.


THE BRAIN is wider than the sky,  
  For, put them side by side,  
The one the other will include  
  With ease, and you beside. 

-Emily Dickinson

'The brain is wider than the sky'


Please visit my web-site:

Mathematics, Mind and Matter


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