Sunday, July 6, 2014

UPB Comment, page 28-30

Page 28: According to UPB, a valid theory is logically consistent and empirically testable. 

Page 29: Moral propositions claim that human beings should act in a particular manner, or avoid acting in a particular manner. 
Page 30: A personal preference is what?
A universal preference, is what is objectively required, or necessary, assuming a particular goal. If I want to live, I do not have to like jazz, but I must eat. “Eating” remains a preference – I do not have to eat, in the same way that I have to obey gravity – but “eating” is a universal, objective, and binding requirement for staying alive, since it relies on biological facts that cannot be wished away. Isn't all human action goal oriented? Life is a universal goal? Is this the same as universally preferable?
Ethics as a discipline can be defined as any theory regarding preferable human behaviour that is universal, objective, consistent – and binding. Where does this come from?
Page 32: If you want to live, it is universally preferable that you refrain from eating a handful of arsenic."   it is universally preferable that your theories be both internally consistent and empirically verifiable. “Universally preferable,” then, translates to “objectively required,” but we will retain the word “preferable” to differentiate between optional human absolutes and non-optional physical absolutes such as gravity.
One adopts a goal, then a causal relationship exists between the goal and the means of achieving it. Sometimes the means is unique, sometimes many means are equally preferable. Why talk about preference or preferability at all?
Similarly, if ethical theories can be at all valid, then they must at least be both internally and externally consistent. In other words, an ethical theory that contradicts itself cannot be valid – and an ethical theory that contradicts empirical evidence and near-universal preferences also cannot be valid.
What does that mean? How can an ethical theory contradict empirical evidence, since it is not a factual claim? Feasibility? What are near-universal preferences?

Thus in ethics, just as in science, mathematics, engineering and all other disciplines that compare theories to reality, valid theories must be both logically consistent and empirically verifiable

1 comment:

SenArt said...

Your attempt to get my attention by posting on my blog on topics related to our limited interactions (and not the subjects of my blog posts) has been noted. In turn, here is a response, which also unrelated to your posts, since that is the precedent you've set:

The signal you are receiving from me is not, simply, "leave me alone."

To clarify, the signal you are receiving from me is: "I don't tolerate apologists for fascists and have zero interest in spending time explaining historical sources to them."

Let this record be clearly noted. It should be quite evident from my own research, if you had bothered to read any of the dozens of articles and hundreds of pages I've written, where I stand on the topic of fascists. May I humbly suggest that perhaps you should read more and comment less.

Also, an additional suggestion - Since by your own admission, you note your knowledge is limited in history, there are many secondary sources I refer to in my articles. I suggest you start reading a few in order to complicate your simplistic, zero-sum view of political ideologies in actual practice. I refer you specifically to the labor histories and those on legal and corporate history of the US to start.

Please do not contact me again.