i have a theory that it is possible to root our moral value statements in the soil of reason by identifying one goal that is not just common to all human beings, like hunger (we’re all aiming to fill different bellies), but is actually shared by at least the vast majority of our entire species (with dissent being statistically negligible).

our best options for moving toward this (practically) universal aim could be determined by considering relevant information provided through scientific inquiry, empirical observation, critical thinking, etc. (what i refer to as 'rationally obtained pertinent information' or ropi for short)

the universal aim, combined with ropi, together create a context, within which the truth or falsity (or truth-value) of all moral value statements can be determined. i refer to this unique yet ubiquitous context as the universal moral-value legitimizing context.

i then argue that the biologically inherent impulse of all forms of life to not just survive but thrive wherever possible constitutes just such a universal aim. (it has recently been brought to my attention that this concept of 'the universal aim' is basically identical, to albert schweitzer's concept of 'the will to live' which he employs toward similar--yet sufficiently dissimilar--ends.)

my argument is a direct response to hume's is/ought barrier (as implied by the title) and depends on the philosophically uncontroversial idea that value statements concerning goal oriented behavior can be unproblematically assigned truth value.

i'd really love to get any kind of feedback on this.

note: i wrote an article about this with a very wide audience in mind (not that i have an audience). so if you'd like more explanation of any of this, you can find the article on the front page of my blog, which i've tentatively named 'anomic'.

Tags: harris, hume, morality, sam, science

Views: 57

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

If we are in some way fundamentally unable to own our own minds, how do we truly own anything?

True enough. Every behavior is just one more domino falling in a chain reaction determined by the domino behind it.


© 2015   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service