Here's how from "is" statements we can get a "moral ought"


“Because we are what we are (creatures with values) and interdependent upon our behavior in achieving those values, for sake of mutual benefit, we ought to …”

What is → to → what ought.

… It ain’t rocket science.

”The measure of our lives is how much we were of service to others."

The statement says nothing about qualities such as courage, generosity, etc. It measures a person in terms of the service he does for others.

A master considers a hard working slave to be more valuable that a lazy one. A slave may come to believe that his own personal value is based on how hard he works for his master.

A housewife may come to see herself only as valuable because of the things she does for her husband and children.

The same can be said of workers in general. They become valuable only in terms of the labor that they do - to a company and to themselves.

I can’t see anything morally wrong with a person who goes to live alone in the wilderness of Alaska. IOW, someone who is of no service to anyone, has a rich and valuable and ethical life.

I do see problems when we define ourselves in terms of others.

For every ‘is’, there a a million conceivable ‘oughts’. The ought that someone selects is based on a desired future (an ‘is’ that will come into being). Someone else will pick another ought merely by imagining a slightly different future.

IOW, at every ‘is’ there is a fork in the road leading to many different destinations. The path, that you take, depends on where you want to go and how you want to get there.

For every right answer there are millions of wrong answers. And that proves what?

What you seem to want to say is that due to the diversity, there is no possible “ought” to fit every case. Is that right?

I can argue against that notion pretty easily, so think about it (unless you are merely mimicking Bigus).

No. In any one case, you will have many ‘oughts’. You will be making a prediction about the future and you will be selecting an ‘ought’ based on that prediction. You will not know if you picked the right answer until you try an answer … at which point you will have a new ‘is’ that you can evaluate.
Sure, you can reject a lot of ‘oughts’ as being illogical or outright stupid but you will still end up with a small set of reasonable ‘oughts’ for every ‘is’.

How I differ from Bigus in this argument?

I see that the selection of an ‘ought’ is based on human requirements - human biology and human needs.

I see ‘reason’ as a valuable tool which can be used to reduce the set of ‘oughts’ to a manageable level and to ultimately select one to ‘do’.

I take an engineering approach to the problem. I have no illusion that there is only one way to design and construct a car that meets a set of customer requirements. There are many ways to do it and you won’t know if you picked the ‘best’ way (or even the ‘right’ way) until the car is constructed.

“Because …, we each ought to consider our individual needs.”

We each have many needs. And the weight that each ‘need’ is assigned, relative to the other ‘needs’ is not constant or fixed for all. Nor is it constant over time.

Furthermore, one a person is living in a community, the needs of others have to be considered. This add more complexity.

So? Such doesn’t invalidate the “ought”.

… and why are you wearing an UP1001 type av while writing like Bigus? :-k

What a dumbass.

Prior observations (which is what “is” refers to) can help you predict the consequences (what is likely going to happen if you do this or that or nothing at all) but they cannot help yiu determine the value of these consequences (which path you “ought” to choose.) Therefore, “ought” does not follow from “is”.

Now your turn, moron.

Invalidation is not the point. All you have done is pick one ‘ought’ and you claim that it follows directly from an ‘is’. It doesn’t. You picked because you favor it for your own personal reasons. Someone else will pick another ‘ought’ for this own reasons.

Again, you’re talking like Bigus.

It only takes one “is-to-ought” connection. I demonstrated one. And validation certainly is the point in a debate.

You claiming that I only picked it because I favored it is a bit moot.

Then you have 1000 people picking 1000 different ‘oughts’ from one ‘is’. And you can’t claim that one ‘is’ produces one ‘ought’ .

I see. You just didn’t understand the connection.

The idea is to connect a “Because of what is” (A) to a “We ought to” (B).

In my example, my A is "Because we each have individual needs/wants/values/(“conflicting goods”)".
And my B is "We each should consider our individual needs in our decisions in order to acquire them".

It is due to what is, A, that B ought to be done, literally for everyone. In what way they consider their own needs, what other concerns they might also want to consider, and how to balance it all together is another issue.

Because A is, we ought to B.

How does the choice of life over death follow from “is”?

A - Because we is alive,
B - We ought to behave like what is alive and avoid death.

The most primary “ought” is one of definition: What something is, ought to be what it is.
To be alive, by definition, means to be avoiding death.

Why should something remain what it is? How dors that “ought” follow from “is”?

  1. Your ‘ought’ is so general that it could translate into hundreds of different ‘oughts’ when it comes to taking action.

  2. Your ‘ought’ is based on your own perspective. Someone else could say that ‘individual’ needs ought not to be a factor in decisions, rather one ought to consider the needs of the nation or the collective or god. For example, human sacrifice to appease a god and save the community, at the price of an individual’s life, can be justified in this way.

When faced with the choice between life and death, one may decide that one’s death is more moral, ethical or productive than life.