- No moral statements are true.
- There are no moral features of the world.
- Our sincere moral judgements try, and always fail, to describe moral features of things.
- There is no moral knowledge.
Let's say that you work at a bank and have the opportunity to steal a lot of money - it's just sitting there. Do you be honest and not take the money or be dishonest and pocket the cash? Categorical reasons will tell you not to take the money, regardless of if it will benefit you BUT IF there are no categorical reasons, whether or not you benefit from stealing the cash matters.
Or, say a child steals chocolate bar from the supermarket.. the parent will probably say something like... "Stealing is wrong" "you should not steal" ... the kid might say "why is stealing wrong?" The mum says "Because people don't like a dishonest person", "you will not be trusted" and "you will get into trouble with the police" etc etc... the mum says, the kid replies "you haven't told me why stealing is wrong, all you have told me is the consequences of stealing.."
It reminds me of this..
"How do you know whether we are moral because we desire to be good, full stop or do we only desire to be moral because it's seen as good by other people?"
Anyways Moral Error Theory denies the truth to all ethical claims. It's not an ethical system but a metaphysical system: a theory about what the world is truly like.. see here are two out of the four main arguments in support of moral error theory:
- 1. The argument from disagreement
- 2. The argument from atheism
There are widespread disagreements about human values, the best explanation of this widespread disagreement is the moral code we live by - there are no objective values for us to converge on.
2) It's the opinion of J.L. Mackie that objective morality can only exist if God exists and because God does not exist - objective morality cannot exist. For a moral system to be truly objective, moral law must stem from a source external to humanity.
More to come..
Oh just because I don't believe murder is immoral, that doesn't mean I can't believe that murder is unacceptable.