Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
Peter Jones writes: > It is indisputable that morality varies in practice across communities. > But the contention of ethical objectivism is not that everyone actually > does hold to a single objective system of ethics; it is only that > ethical questions can be resolved objectively in principle. The > existence of an objective solution to any kind of problem is always > compatible with the existence of people who, for whatever reason, do > not subscribe. The roundness of the Earth is no less an objective fact > for the existence of believers in the Flat Earth theory.(It is odd that > the single most popular argument for ethical subjectivism has so little > logical force). The Flat Earther is *wrong*. He claims that if you sail in a straight line you will eventually fall off the edge. But if you do sail in a straight line, you don't don't fall off the edge; lots of people have done it. The psychopath, on the other hand, merely claims that if he kills someone, he does not think it is a bad thing.
That is no problem for objective ethics. The fact that someone "thinks" not-X is always comaptible with the objective truth of X.
And indeed, he kills someone, and he does not think it is a bad thing. He is *not* wrong; there is no way you could even claim he is wrong,
He is not wrong about what he thinks. He is wrong about what is true,. ethically.
like the Flat Earther claiming that sailors have lied about circumnavigating the globe. You could argue that if everyone were a psychopath we would all be dead, and he might even agree with you that that would be the case, but then turn around and say, "So what? Better dead than cissies!" As Jamie Rose said, there were societies such as the Shakers who didn't mind if they died out and in fact did die out, and they are not usually considered immoral.
That's not the issue. It's not negotiable whether ethics is supposed to lead to death and misery rather than life and happiness, any more than there is a valid form of economics which is designed to achieve abject poverty and societal breakdown in the shortest possible time.
Stathis Papaioannou _________________________________________________________________ Be one of the first to try Windows Live Mail. http://ideas.live.com/programpage.aspx?versionId=5d21c51a-b161-4314-9b0e-4911fb2b2e6d
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