Lee Daniel Crocker (
Sat, 4 Oct 1997 23:48:12 -0700

>>You now know at least one. Though I try to base my actions on solid
>>rational thought as much as possible, it is not possible to derive
>>normative values from descriptive premises, so I must have some basic
>>normative values which I cannot rationally justify. In my case, that
>>value is life; I choose to value life, and to devalue death and
>>violence. I have no reasons to do so, only personal choice.
>>I can choose actions rationally to achieve my values, but one
>>cannot choose values by reason. I refuse on rational grounds to
>>speculate about supernatural beings, so I am left with personal
>>choice as my source of values. I choose life.
> Descriptive premises: Cops carry guns; I've personally
> seen cops "rough up" victims who "crossed" the cops;
> Via media, I've received many descriptions of cops
> "roughing up" victims, or worse; Because of my lifestyle
> "outside the system," I am more at risk from cops than
> most.
> Normative values: Don't "cross" cops; If confronted by
> a cop, e.g., if pulled over for allegedly speeding, I
> should play the role of an obedient supplicant.

That conclusion requires a premise you failed to state:
that you desire to stay alive. Those same descriptive
premises, combined with the normative premise of wanting
to die, would rationally lead you to conclude that you
/should/ piss off a cop. Without sneaking in the normative
premise, there's no way to reach a normative conclusion.