Bruno Marchal wrote:



Le 19-déc.-06, à 21:32, Brent Meeker a écrit :


Bruno Marchal wrote:
I know it seems a little bit paradoxical, but then it is my methodology
to take seriously the interview of the lobian machine, which is
"famous" for its many paradoxical thoughts.
It is certainly not a reductio against comp, given that we are not
arriving at a genuine contradiction. It just happens that "goodness" is
as unnameable as truth.
Now, concerning this paradox, it seems to me intuitively
comprehensible. If someone saves me from some horrible pain, then that
is (arguably) good; but if he does that in the *name* of "good", I can
understand that this naming depreciates its action. Even if personally
I am still benefiting from that situation, the naming could make me
uneasy, and who knows what will be done under that or any name.

A little uneasiness about what someone might do in the future is hardly enough to transform a good act into a bad one. It seems you are saying that if the good samaritan claimed to have performed his kind act *for any reason whatsoever* it would become a bad act. That sounds like a reductio to me.


Not at all. It becomes bad when he refers or "justify" his act in the *name* of any "unnameable virtue".

It's not clear what "bad" refers to in the above.  It seems as though you are asserting an absolute standard 
of "bad" while claiming there can be no absolute standard of "good".  My personal judgment of good 
or bad would not be so clear cut.  If someone does me an act of kindness I consider that good.  If he refers it to some 
"unameable virtue", e.g. he says he did it in the name of God or Capitalism, then I may consider it a little 
less good - but not bad.

It is hard to define those unnanmeable virtue except that "true" is already one of those and "good", "just" etc. are obvious derivative of "true". But I must say that I am talking about some ideal case, and I can imagine context where nuance should be added. You can, for example, give a vaccine to a child. The child is unhappy about that because the vaccine has some distasteful taste or because he is afraid of needles, and you can make short your justification by saying "it is for your own good". Here you don't act in the name of good, you just sum up a long explanation based on the idea that a disease is not good for your child. Well even here the complete explanation is better in the case the child has no idea of any relationship between the vaccine and the disease.

But even the most complete possible explanation must end at some point with 
something that is explicitly or implicitly good.  But I think we agree that 
this good, in the explanation, must be something the child accepts as a 
personal good.  Even if it is presented as good for society, the child may 
accept that because of feelings of empathy for others.

Brent Meeker

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