Not m*******!? was: q*****

Dan Fabulich (
Wed, 15 Dec 1999 01:39:16 -0500 (EST)

'What is your name?' 'Zeb Haradon.' 'Do you deny having written the following?':

> But why *should* you get out of the way? Why bother? Any human is
> capable of not moving out of the way of a moving vehicle. In fact, why
> move ever at all in any way.

Ahem. Moral imperatives can be (and, sadly, all too often ARE) stated in the 2nd or even the 3rd person. If I saw YOU standing in front of an oncoming car, I'd say "Mr. Haradon, you should get out of the way of that car!" or, more likely, I'd just use the imperative mood: "Haradon! Get out of the way of that car!" Note that I can say that meaningfully given NO access to you qualia. (trivially, if my argument holds)

Since I can apply moral words to you, and since I can, generally, apply moral words in the 3rd person, I see no reason why I can't apply them equally well in the 1st.

If you were asking for the ultimate moral justification for action, well, I have my hunches. "Desire" satisfaction determines the good for individuals and groups. Why desire satisfaction? Erm... Why not? :)

> My own argument is that it's not logically entailed from anything at
> all. It is, however, self evident. Without that self-evidence, there
> would be no reason to assert it since no other fact leads to it. The
> world is consistent with consciousness existing or with it not
> existing - does that make it a Godel statement?

Yeeeessss... But then I invoke Occam's Razor and the game's over. :) Occam's Razor, incidentally, is usually stated in the imperative mood: "Do not multiply entities unnecessarily." In that respect, it's analogous to a moral statement (if it isn't a moral statement altogether).

Notice that the "angels-push-the-planets" theory of astronomy is consistent with the world as we see it, too. That makes it a kind of a Godel statement as well. Occam's Razor is what settles the matter, just as in this case.


-unless you love someone-
-nothing else makes any sense-

e.e. cummings