RE: Subjective Morality

Billy Brown (
Tue, 12 Jan 1999 08:42:02 -0600

Samael wrote:
> From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky <>
> >The three rules of my philosophy, Externalism:
> >
> >1. Morality is an objective, observer-independent reality
> external to
> >ourselves. Questions of right and wrong are questions of true and
> >false; there is no ontological distinction between "what is
> the mass of
> >this particle" and "what should I do now"..
> >From where do you derive this? Or did you just make it up?
> Samael

Its unavoidable, once you look at the problem from a certain perspective. Once you decide to look and see if there is an objective morality, you have (broadly speaking) three possible results:

  1. You find external, objectively verifiable proof that some particular moral system is correct. Then you're pretty much stuck with following it.
  2. You find external, objectively verifiable proof that there is no such moral system. You can do anything you like, and it doesn't mean anything.
  3. You find that you can't tell for sure if such a system exists or not. This is where most humans give up, because the problem seems intractable. However, in our current age the correct response would seem to be: "If I can't figure it out, I need to improve my ability to figure things out and then come back to the problem." With IE already on the horizon, it begins to make sense to think in terms of preparing to search for a real answer instead of just contemplating our navels.

Billy Brown, MCSE+I