The is/ought thing

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The is/ought thing

Post by Metacrock » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:47 am

I wanted to put up that thing in answer to the guy on carm but he never posted his article on how to derive ought form is. I know Harris argues that you can. I think the rationale Fleet told us about was that he does it by making conventionalist assumptions. I will let Fleet speak for himself. I don't want to second guess what he really has to say.

Isn't it a good point that consequential ethics gives the groudning for ought from is?

that's the questoin. opinions please?

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Re: The is/ought thing

Post by mdsimpson92 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:47 am

Well, Teleological ethics can under the right circumstances. At least in terms of value judgments.
But do we have evidence for such a change of meaning? To answer this question it is helpful to consider another type of counter-example to the "No-ought" conclusions from "is" premises' thesis. From such practical premises as "This watch is grossly inaccurate and irregular in time keeping" and "This watch is too heavy to carry around comfortably', the evaluative conclusion validly follows that "This is a bad watch". From such factual premises such as "He gets a better yield for this crop per acre than any than any farmer in the district", . . .. the evaluative conclusion is that "He is a good farmer." Both of these arguments are valid because of the special character of the concepts of a watch and farmer. Such concepts are functional concepts. . . . .
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Re: The is/ought thing

Post by fleetmouse » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:52 am

My first question is, are moral propositions truth-apt?

I'm pretty sure most of you will say they're truth-apt because you're not nihilists or non-cognitivists.

Then my second question is, if moral propositions are truth apt then they are either necessarily true/false or contingently true/false, right?

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Re: The is/ought thing

Post by Metacrock » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:42 pm

fleetmouse wrote:My first question is, are moral propositions truth-apt?

I'm pretty sure most of you will say they're truth-apt because you're not nihilists or non-cognitivists.

Then my second question is, if moral propositions are truth apt then they are either necessarily true/false or contingently true/false, right?

that doesn't mean we can necessarily ground them apart form appeal to higher truth or revelation. anyone can name a list of approbations and disapprobation and claim some special status for them on the gourds hat "I fee this." "I value this." How do you really know your values are on target?
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Re: The is/ought thing

Post by Metacrock » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:43 pm

mdsimpson92 wrote:Well, Teleological ethics can under the right circumstances. At least in terms of value judgments.
But do we have evidence for such a change of meaning? To answer this question it is helpful to consider another type of counter-example to the "No-ought" conclusions from "is" premises' thesis. From such practical premises as "This watch is grossly inaccurate and irregular in time keeping" and "This watch is too heavy to carry around comfortably', the evaluative conclusion validly follows that "This is a bad watch". From such factual premises such as "He gets a better yield for this crop per acre than any than any farmer in the district", . . .. the evaluative conclusion is that "He is a good farmer." Both of these arguments are valid because of the special character of the concepts of a watch and farmer. Such concepts are functional concepts. . . . .

yea if you don't launch into a thing on the short coming of consequential.
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Re: The is/ought thing

Post by fleetmouse » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:19 am

Metacrock wrote:
fleetmouse wrote:My first question is, are moral propositions truth-apt?

I'm pretty sure most of you will say they're truth-apt because you're not nihilists or non-cognitivists.

Then my second question is, if moral propositions are truth apt then they are either necessarily true/false or contingently true/false, right?

that doesn't mean we can necessarily ground them apart form appeal to higher truth or revelation. anyone can name a list of approbations and disapprobation and claim some special status for them on the gourds hat "I fee this." "I value this." How do you really know your values are on target?
I think we both agree then that moral propositions must have the force of more than simply emotional appeal - they have to be truth-bearers. This is what you mean by "on target", I believe.

Now can you please address my point - that if they are truth bearers, if they are truth-apt, they must be either necessarily true or contingently true? Do you agree or disagree? I think that's a valid dichotomy.

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Re: The is/ought thing

Post by Metacrock » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:53 pm

fleetmouse wrote:
Metacrock wrote:
fleetmouse wrote:My first question is, are moral propositions truth-apt?

I'm pretty sure most of you will say they're truth-apt because you're not nihilists or non-cognitivists.

Then my second question is, if moral propositions are truth apt then they are either necessarily true/false or contingently true/false, right?

that doesn't mean we can necessarily ground them apart form appeal to higher truth or revelation. anyone can name a list of approbations and disapprobation and claim some special status for them on the gourds hat "I fee this." "I value this." How do you really know your values are on target?
I think we both agree then that moral propositions must have the force of more than simply emotional appeal - they have to be truth-bearers. This is what you mean by "on target", I believe.

Now can you please address my point - that if they are truth bearers, if they are truth-apt, they must be either necessarily true or contingently true? Do you agree or disagree? I think that's a valid dichotomy.
All truth is contingent upon God. The universe wouldn't be here otherwise unless doesn't' exist in which case, you know the drill, he would be impossible.

particular moral truths are "truth bearers" but what are we saying when we talk about 'truth?" St. Augie thought we are talking about God. when you say "truth apt" you are saying God apt. Nothing is God apt without God. All things begins creatures of God are contingent upon God.

where I agree with you is that if one were to wake up in the day and say 'O hey I don't really see how all of this stacks up to support a belief in god, maybe there is no God." I would feel this guy is foolish you would not, but one thing we could agree upon is there's no reason for him to decide therefore there's no moral truth.

Even though God = turth and all morality is contingent upon God to that extent there's no reason to conclude that there's no basis in goodness unless God says "this is good."

Where we disagree is that I think its' a lot easily to determine and to support if one believes in God. otherwise it's relative and It's hard to show why competing values should out weigh or not outweigh a given value.

Of my view is that love is the background of the moral universe. Of course I'm just a weirdo so I link love, truth, and being all three to God. God = love, truth, and being itself. All of those questions about competing values, realities and meta ethics can settled by understanding love.

If you want to be an atheist and say "I appreciate love most of all but I don't want to call it God" ok. then you maybe don't want to call me Joe. Maya be I'll always be Metacrock to you but I know I'm Joe. I know love is God.
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Re: The is/ought thing

Post by met » Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:45 pm

As for me, when I hear fleet and Lance make claims that there are moral propositions that are just necessarily true, my first impulse is to resort to identity politics. Along these lines: as Lance said, there may be a academic convention to agree with that claim, but to me that only demonstrates that there is probably much agreement on morality among a group - the academics -that in the larger world-picture must be seen as a fairly homogenous bunch - A group of well-educated, fairly materially-comfortable and secure people, who are probably mostly westerners, or at least beholding one way or another to the existing Euro-dominant situation. I think, outside of those ivory-tower confines, it would be questionable that we could come up with a set of "moral" propostions for which the vast majority of the planet would have agreement, unless the majority of the statements were so vague and/or so syrupy that they would have not much real punch at all in real life.

Eg, most everyone in the world might agree....
Every sentient life has value.
But then we all might argue endlessly about the definitions of "life," "sentient," and under what circumstances there are mitigating conditions in which we can ignore the supposed "value" of some human lives. In short, I think there's insufficient empirical evidence to take as a given that any "just true" statements about "right" and 'wrong" exist, except for perhaps some insipid ones that sound more like platitudes than propositions. That's, for me, the bottom line on why moral systems need grounding in some solider concept(s) You need to show WHY anything is "true" in the first place, if you gonna make a claim that some statements about what "ought" to are actually truths. Ie, No "is," no "ought".

Sorry about this, fleet! I'ma not just trying to be disagreeable.... really! :P
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Re: The is/ought thing

Post by Metacrock » Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:03 am

met wrote:As for me, when I hear fleet and Lance make claims that there are moral propositions that are just necessarily true, my first impulse is to resort to identity politics. Along these lines: as Lance said, there may be a academic convention to agree with that claim, but to me that only demonstrates that there is probably much agreement on morality among a group - the academics -that in the larger world-picture must be seen as a fairly homogenous bunch - A group of well-educated, fairly materially-comfortable and secure people, who are probably mostly westerners, or at least beholding one way or another to the existing Euro-dominant situation. I think, outside of those ivory-tower confines, it would be questionable that we could come up with a set of "moral" propostions for which the vast majority of the planet would have agreement, unless the majority of the statements were so vague and/or so syrupy that they would have not much real punch at all in real life.

Eg, most everyone in the world might agree....
Every sentient life has value.
But then we all might argue endlessly about the definitions of "life," "sentient," and under what circumstances there are mitigating conditions in which we can ignore the supposed "value" of some human lives. In short, I think there's insufficient empirical evidence to take as a given that any "just true" statements about "right" and 'wrong" exist, except for perhaps some insipid ones that sound more like platitudes than propositions. That's, for me, the bottom line on why moral systems need grounding in some solider concept(s) You need to show WHY anything is "true" in the first place, if you gonna make a claim that some statements about what "ought" to are actually truths. Ie, No "is," no "ought".

Sorry about this, fleet! I'ma not just trying to be disagreeable.... really! :P

I think the points you make are fine. we need to be challenged. I do agree with them to an extent, but you make an excellent point that once you even accept such a doxasitic practise as giving sentient life value you have to ask what do you mean by sentient (?), what by life (?), why by value?

There's a philosopher Miles and I have discussed and whose name we drop from time to time called Alisdair McIntyre who wrote a book that was big in the 90s called After Virtue (It may have come out in the late 80s). It was a strange case because he was a conservative and he thought he was arguing for solid universal values but his book was embraced by liberals who claimed that what he proved was that there were universal values because even those we agree upon have different faces in different communities. It's not that Athenians, Americans and Chinese all agree that Justice is great but that Athenians, Americans and Chinese each have their own community understanding of what those words mean and they don't necessarily mean the same thing to each group. So there's the Athenian idea of justice and the American idea of justice ect ect.
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Re: The is/ought thing

Post by fleetmouse » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:56 pm

Metacrock wrote:All truth is contingent upon God. The universe wouldn't be here otherwise unless doesn't' exist in which case, you know the drill, he would be impossible.
The conventional distinction between necessary and contingent truth is entirely neutral with regards to the existence of God. It's not an atheistic idea or a theistic idea. It's a philosophical idea. You don't need to defensively whip out a permutation of the ground-of-being argument to counter it.

Anyways, getting back to moral propositions, they're either true in all possible situations (necessary) or only some situations (contingent), or else it's wrong to speak of them in terms of truth or falsity at all, because (for example) they express feelings and not facts. So which is it?

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