Daily Anarchist Forum
October 18, 2019, 04:50:52 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Welcome to the Daily Anarchist Forum!
 
   Home   Help Search Members Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: How do you breach the is-ought gap?  (Read 6673 times)
Victor
Full Member
***
Posts: 227


View Profile
« on: May 24, 2014, 11:13:57 AM »

By which I refer to Hume's Law.

I.e. how do you demonstrate the truth of moral claims based on empirically demonstrable premises?

Or do you think this is possible?
Logged

'To be happy, stay hidden.'
~Yopie, quoted in Under Paris by Neil Shea and Stephen Alvarez.
My Bitmessage Address: BM-NBofBs1WsHq4Z1MsS9CFEhistf8kLBy9
Syock
Epic
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 2427


Existing Beyond Time


View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2014, 12:38:54 PM »

By which I refer to Hume's Law.

I.e. how do you demonstrate the truth of moral claims based on empirically demonstrable premises?

Or do you think this is possible?

I believe this is in reference to appeals such as the NAP.  I believe the only way is by enforcing the ought, so it becomes the is.  You ought not try to mug a cop, because you will be arrested or shot.  You ought not initiate force, because someone will make you regret it.  That isn't really enforced, so it can't be bridged. 
Logged

Victor
Full Member
***
Posts: 227


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2014, 12:57:35 PM »

By which I refer to Hume's Law.

I.e. how do you demonstrate the truth of moral claims based on empirically demonstrable premises?

Or do you think this is possible?

I believe this is in reference to appeals such as the NAP.  I believe the only way is by enforcing the ought, so it becomes the is.  You ought not try to mug a cop, because you will be arrested or shot.  You ought not initiate force, because someone will make you regret it.  That isn't really enforced, so it can't be bridged. 

For ancaps, it would be in reference to that, yes. You seem to be either saying that a thing is "right" if people  are forced to do it, or that a thing is "right" if there are painful consequences for not doing it. Am I understanding you correctly?
Logged

'To be happy, stay hidden.'
~Yopie, quoted in Under Paris by Neil Shea and Stephen Alvarez.
My Bitmessage Address: BM-NBofBs1WsHq4Z1MsS9CFEhistf8kLBy9
Syock
Epic
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 2427


Existing Beyond Time


View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2014, 01:49:40 PM »

For ancaps, it would be in reference to that, yes. You seem to be either saying that a thing is "right" if people  are forced to do it, or that a thing is "right" if there are painful consequences for not doing it. Am I understanding you correctly?

"Right" is not necessarily the same as 'ought' or 'is' in my opinion.  The common or ideal 'ought' is different for different people. 
« Last Edit: May 24, 2014, 01:52:15 PM by Syock » Logged

Victor
Full Member
***
Posts: 227


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2014, 12:46:43 PM »

For ancaps, it would be in reference to that, yes. You seem to be either saying that a thing is "right" if people  are forced to do it, or that a thing is "right" if there are painful consequences for not doing it. Am I understanding you correctly?

"Right" is not necessarily the same as 'ought' or 'is' in my opinion.  The common or ideal 'ought' is different for different people. 

Hmm...

Well, basically the trouble I'm having is, I try to use an empiricist epistemology, in which claims are true if they accurately relate to some bit of empirical data, (I accept introspective information too, though that's less useful in the sense that only I have access to my own mind, others can only observe my actions), but it doesn't seem like there's a consistent, common definition of right and wrong that produces empirically testable claims. It seems to me more like moral claims are memes, they are neither true nor false, but people still act on them and certain moral principles end up spreading to different people, either because they help people survive or they're easier to spread.

In other words, I come fairly close to what David Friedman calls "moral nihilism", or what Michael Huemer calls "moral skepticism", even though I've never studied those philosophies. At best, maybe you can say moral claims refer to how we react emotionally to things, but that doesn't seem to be how people use the words. People think of moral principles as abstract, disembodied truths, and that makes no sense to me. So I end up rejecting all of moral philosophy completely; I don't know what in the real world people are pointing to when they talk about right and wrong, so I have no ability to accept their claims or conceptual framework.
Logged

'To be happy, stay hidden.'
~Yopie, quoted in Under Paris by Neil Shea and Stephen Alvarez.
My Bitmessage Address: BM-NBofBs1WsHq4Z1MsS9CFEhistf8kLBy9
Syock
Epic
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 2427


Existing Beyond Time


View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2014, 02:05:54 PM »

Why did you bring morality into the question then?  It wasn't a moral statement I was making.  

To put them all together, with the subjective morality of 'right':

We 'ought' to reduce poverty.  I don't believe it is 'right' to steal to do so, but others believe it is 'right'.  Either way, it 'is' what happens.  
« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 02:09:08 PM by Syock » Logged

MAM
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 2357


Life is Sacred


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2014, 05:25:27 PM »

http://dailyanarchist.com/2013/05/22/applying-diaxs-rake-to-theories-of-objective-value/

Same with morality.
Logged

"A stone is heavy and the sand is weighty but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both"-Tuek

"Knowledge is power, and it's light weight. The more you know the less you need."-Cody Lundin

"Hey... it's a haiku

Democracy is
Two Zombies and a Sheriff
Deciding on Lunch."-Davi Barker
Victor
Full Member
***
Posts: 227


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2014, 01:59:19 PM »

Why did you bring morality into the question then?  It wasn't a moral statement I was making.  

To put them all together, with the subjective morality of 'right':

We 'ought' to reduce poverty.  I don't believe it is 'right' to steal to do so, but others believe it is 'right'.  Either way, it 'is' what happens.  

I guess I asked the wrong question in the beginning then. I was speaking under the assumption that an "ought" statement and a moral claim were equivalent; someone telling me it's moral or immoral for me to do something is telling me I ought or ought not to do that thing, and vice versa. My impression is that that's how moral philosophers use the word "ought".

Can you help me understand the difference in how we're using the word?
Logged

'To be happy, stay hidden.'
~Yopie, quoted in Under Paris by Neil Shea and Stephen Alvarez.
My Bitmessage Address: BM-NBofBs1WsHq4Z1MsS9CFEhistf8kLBy9
Syock
Epic
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 2427


Existing Beyond Time


View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2014, 03:52:31 PM »

I guess I asked the wrong question in the beginning then. I was speaking under the assumption that an "ought" statement and a moral claim were equivalent; someone telling me it's moral or immoral for me to do something is telling me I ought or ought not to do that thing, and vice versa. My impression is that that's how moral philosophers use the word "ought".

Can you help me understand the difference in how we're using the word?

It is because other things add more layers to the problem for me.  

There are basic things pretty much everyone agrees on, such as in my last example of reducing poverty.  It is just generally a helpful thing to everyone on the planet.  I don't see the basic things as moral or not by themselves.  I wouldn't consider it immoral to not actively do something to reduce poverty, even though it is a desired effect.  It is the ought, we ought do something.  

Then there are the means to achieve it.  Some people will initiate violence to reduce poverty, others will not.  That decision of how to achieve it is where morality comes into play in my opinion.  

It is the old question of do the ends justify the means.  Many people would say yes, which is where the NAP falls apart.  It is exaggerated when they can farm out the violence to the government.  

In my first example about the NAP, the example with the cop shows that there can be different results, depending on the actions of those involved.  Someone is determining whom to mug either way.  They ought not (not right to) mug, but the reality is they will unless the expected results have them decide against it, or they try and fail.  They already determined that their actions are positive, at least for them.  To them the ends of them having more money justify the means of the mugging.  To them, they ought to mug, to them it is the right thing to do, it reduces their poverty.  If there is no consequence to their action, they will mug everyone they come across.  

If however they determine that they are unable to mug anyone, the entire issue is moot.  The NAP is merely people refusing to initiate vicious means against others.  That is not forcing others to follow the NAP.  They can still try to mug the cop or random person, and likely will.  Without a disincentive, it will happen all the time, and the ought-(right)-is bridge of mugging will never close because not everyone agrees on the moral action.  

So the first post from me was about the consequences side of the discussion.  It wasn't moral or immoral in my opinion to defend yourself or not.  It just is a decision someone has to make. 
« Last Edit: May 27, 2014, 03:55:59 PM by Syock » Logged

Victor
Full Member
***
Posts: 227


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2014, 08:02:17 PM »

Thanks for your response Syock. (And MAM too.)

It's occurred to me since my posts above that I could think of a moral code as part of one's world model in a similar way to one's idea of how matter behaves or how gravity works, or just how the universe is structured. I don't "know" that the universe is structured a certain way or that the laws of physics are correct in any platonic sort of sense, I just benefit from imagining that the world works a certain way, because working within that world model helps me make predictions about observations I'll make in the future. A moral code could, perhaps, serve the same function, only with regard to one's internal emotional states as well as things one observes through extrospection. It's just a useful fantasy, an easy way to think about people which helps me make predictions.

I don't think that gets me over the is-ought gap, actually, but it's a thought.

I'll keep thinking about this and maybe come back to it later.
Logged

'To be happy, stay hidden.'
~Yopie, quoted in Under Paris by Neil Shea and Stephen Alvarez.
My Bitmessage Address: BM-NBofBs1WsHq4Z1MsS9CFEhistf8kLBy9
MAM
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 2357


Life is Sacred


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2014, 12:10:41 AM »

Lately I've been using the mutualist principle and just trying to be a good man. Most days I succeed but some day I fail.

I favor democratic processes nowadays. Still using the credit union/ democratic (I get to vote for who's in charge) socialist (profits distributed to members) model.

Leanin community oriented/ social anarchist.
Logged

"A stone is heavy and the sand is weighty but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both"-Tuek

"Knowledge is power, and it's light weight. The more you know the less you need."-Cody Lundin

"Hey... it's a haiku

Democracy is
Two Zombies and a Sheriff
Deciding on Lunch."-Davi Barker
macsnafu
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 422


Situation Normal--all fouled up!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2014, 12:48:09 PM »

By which I refer to Hume's Law.

I.e. how do you demonstrate the truth of moral claims based on empirically demonstrable premises?

Or do you think this is possible?

Since value is subjective, there is no universal way that everyone ought to act.  Instead you should act in certain ways after you have decided what goal or end you want to achieve.  To use the example from the linked Wikipedia article, if one wants to win a foot-race, then one ought to train, get into physical shape, and run fast, faster than any of the other runners.  But that "ought" only applies if one decides he wants to race.  There is no "ought" requiring that he should run the race--that's dependent on the individual's subjective preferences.

This issue also applies to larger society, although it may be a little more difficult to discern.  If you want a peaceful, progressive society, then you ought to associate peacefully with other people, not engage in criminal activity, engage in voluntary exchange (capitalism and the market) and encourage other people to do the same things.  But there is no "ought" that says we *have* to have a peaceful, progressive society--the constraints only exist after the goal or end has been chosen. 

Thus, the is-ought gap is bridged only in conditional situations, and is not universal. If you want this, then you ought to do this.  If you want something else, then different oughts apply.  If you truly don't want anything, though, you're probably dead or in a coma!  So the real problem is trying to reach a consensus with other people about what we all want for our society.



Logged

"I love mankind.  It's people I can't stand!"
rothbardgroupie
Newbie
*
Posts: 16


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2014, 12:30:39 PM »

I use a means-ends framework.  Or, in other words, I adopt a praxeological meta-ethic:

http://intentionalworldview.com/Deontology
Logged
MAM
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 2357


Life is Sacred


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2014, 12:47:52 PM »

I use a means-ends framework.  Or, in other words, I adopt a praxeological meta-ethic:

http://intentionalworldview.com/Deontology

Attaching means to ends is strategy.

My impression while reading Human Action was that Praxeology essentially states that economics is a strategic displine more than a scientific one.

I wonder if strategy can be considered scientific? I don't think so.
Logged

"A stone is heavy and the sand is weighty but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both"-Tuek

"Knowledge is power, and it's light weight. The more you know the less you need."-Cody Lundin

"Hey... it's a haiku

Democracy is
Two Zombies and a Sheriff
Deciding on Lunch."-Davi Barker
macsnafu
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 422


Situation Normal--all fouled up!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2015, 01:28:38 PM »

I use a means-ends framework.  Or, in other words, I adopt a praxeological meta-ethic:

http://intentionalworldview.com/Deontology

Attaching means to ends is strategy.


Not if my comments above are right.  Means are attached to ends by nature, not by man.  Where human subjectivity and free will enter into it is in determining which ends we wish to achieve. And also a matter of knowledge and understanding, as in, knowing which means will achieve a desired end, and not mistakenly choosing a means that will not achieve a desired end.

To use an example presented earlier in this thread, can a coercive means be used to end poverty?  Obviously, a successful thief can relieve his personal poverty, at least temporarily.  But in the long run, a thief's poverty is only relieved by getting a sustainable income, most likely a steady job.  Governments have long instituted welfare programs, but poverty remains a pervading feature of modern societies, indicating that such coercive policies are *not* an effective means for ending poverty, regardless of what some people may think.
Logged

"I love mankind.  It's people I can't stand!"
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!