Wednesday, June 18, 2008
A brief comparison
"Then I learned that all moral judgments are 'value judgments,' that all value judgments are subjective, and that none can be proved to be either 'right' or 'wrong.' I even read somewhere that the Chief Justice of the United States had written that the American Constitution expressed nothing more than collective value judgments. Believe it or not, I figured out for myself--what apparently the Chief Justice couldn't figure out for himself--that if the rationality of one value judgment was zero, multiplying it by millions would not make it one whit more rational. Nor is there any 'reason' to obey the law for anyone, like myself, who has the boldness and daring--the strength of character--to throw off its shackles...I discovered that to become truly free, truly unfettered, I had to become truly uninhibited. And I quickly discovered that the greatest obstacle to my freedom, the greatest block and limitation to it, consists in the insupportable 'value judgment' that I was bound to respect the rights of others. I asked myself, who were these 'others?' Other human beings, with human rights? Why is it more wrong to kill a human animal than any other animal, a pig or a sheep or a steer? Is your life more than a hog's life to a hog? Why should I be willing to sacrifice my pleasure more for the one than for the other? Surely, you would not, in this age of scientific enlightenment, declare that God or nature has marked some pleasures as 'moral' or 'good' and others as 'immoral' or 'bad'? In any case, let me assure you, my dear young lady, that there is absolutely no comparison between the pleasure that I might take in eating ham and the pleasure I anticipate in raping and murdering you. That is the honest conclusion to which my education has led me--after the most conscientious examination of my spontaneous and inhibited self."--Ted Bundy, Quoted from Ethics: Discovering Right and Wrong, 5th edition, p.30
(Hat tip, Paul Manata)
"Make a moral statement and then try to prove it—from square one—with no presuppositional appeals. If objective moral “laws” exist, they should be like the universe’s physical constants…unaffected by one’s viewpoint...
These are issues about which we are ignorant because, even if facts are discoverable, we have no certainty as to what a relevant fact might be or how the facts might converge to form a conclusion. Is acting quality relevant to the “best film” question? Who decides what acting is good and what is wretched? Is being divisible by two relevant to the “best number” question? If so, who decides whether that would be propitious or deleterious?
Such is morality." -The Jolly Nihilist