The problem with moral arguments…

Moral arguments invoke a worldview. Consequently, most moral arguments attempt to demonstrate that the worldview is internally consistent and valid. This is deep philosophical territory, and so most moral arguments try to get mileage by being simple. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of simplification is that the arguer

is dismissed from questioning his worldview. Consequently, the argument's premises are often challenged by the opponent. [quote via BC Skeptics]

Scott Scheule proves the point above as he I et live spiller du mot ekte dealere, og du kan chatte med dine likesinnede. attempts to debunk utilitarianism: the concept that maximizing the good for the most people is a moral priority. But I, like Scott, favor casino online a natural rights-based moral philosophy.

Many people do indeed agree that some pleasure is good, but utilitarianism goes further than that: not only is pleasure good, but all pleasure is good, and it is to be maximized. And that view enjoys something far less than unanimity. I think most people would also agree that not only do women have a right not to be raped, but that that right exists no matter how much utility the rapist gets from the rape. And the idea that the pleasure from raping a woman is a good thing is quite controversial indeed. Mill appealed to commonly held intuitions…

but so did Nozick.

  • VRB

    If it is expected that a moral system would become part of a society, then its arguments could not be complicated. In your example, I don’t think most of the populace would understand Immanuel Kant without explanation. As a ordinary person, with an ordinary intelligence, the philosophers, Kant, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, were impossible to read. These were the philosophers to read in my youth (60’s). At least the ones who wanted you to know that they were more intelligent than you.

  • a Duoist

    Hello Robert,

    All moral systems are efforts to influence, if not completely alter, human nature. The more that a specific moral system distrusts the inherent nature of human beings, the more severe the moral system becomes. And since ‘trust’ is the measure of good mental health…

    Secondly: There is much to be said negatively about the psychology of those of us who construct or teach morality in a systematic, pedagological way.

  • Robert

    In the context of my post, I’m interested in the dichotomy between utilitarianism and natural rights, primarily because those two philosophies are the major players in the political arena today, which directly and indirectly affects us all.

    America’s philosophical foundation—and certainly the moral basis for its constitution—is the idea that natural rights (i.e. individual rights) are to be seen as sacrosanct and inviolable. Conversely, the rest of the world is increasingly embracing utilitarianism, which, in practical reality, reveals itself as some degree of socialism. The net effect of this paradigm shift is that lately, so-called “limited government” Republicans can’t seem to find a government program that they don’t like. So, I think that to “construct or teach morality in a systematic, pedagological way” is precisely the way to begin to reverse America’s slide to a full-blown social democracy…or worse.

  • Eric

    Interesting that “A Duoist” would align the idea of teaching individual rights with the idea of teaching religious morality. I think you’re barking up the wrong tree trying to show him other than what he believes Robert.