Friday, May 19, 2017

Against Normative Realism

Justin Schieber is a moral realist who argues that "happiness" is "good in itself" and pain and suffering are "bad in themselves." That is, he claims that there is intrinsic goodness and badness.
He claims that suffering is a dis-value in itself.
He merely assumes this as an axiomatic truth.
He calls this "normative truth". In fact he calls his thesis "Normative Realism".

Why is pain and suffering intrinsically bad? Why is happiness good? His answer is that you cannot ask why because it is "philosophical bed rock". He likens it to questioning the laws of logic. However, unlike "the laws of logic" it is still possible for me to argue cogently without assuming "intrinsic value".
So, comparing his so called "normative truths" to "the laws of logic" falls apart. He has offered no cogent reason to assume his so called normative facts. Here, I can do that to, moral nihilism is axiomatic. Now what?
Also, to say that "X is a value" is to express a positive non cognitive attitude, or that it is a means to obtaining something you have a positive attitude about.
Value isn't mind-independent, it is what minds do.
Another way of putting it is, there are no values only valuers.

His assertion concerning a value or good or bad in itself is ofcourse, nothing more than peticio Príncipe (begging the question).
Such claims to intrinsic value is like arguing "God is good because God is good".
2 can play this game: So then, my response is that moral realism is false because moral realism is false.

He claims that some facts are sufficient reasons to motivate action.
He's wrong. If one is in a burning building and one correctly believes that they will die if they don't leave. This true belief would be insufficient to motivate action.
There must be a desire not to die or burn to death in order for a motivating to-be-done-ness to propel action.
(See Hume's Theory of motivation)
He claims that moral nihilism is false because there is no intrinsic value according to moral nihilism and thus no reason to value anything on moral nihilism.
This claim displays a profound misunderstanding of moral nihilism. Example, the reason we value life is because we evolved to. Is life an intrinsic (inherent value)? No, but on moral nihilism to say that 'X is a value' is to express a subjective desire for X.

I offered to debate him, but he declined my offer.

Your move Justin...