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> "Absolutely positively absolute rights" are taking decent heuristics

You're assuming that moral propositions are heuristics or a utilitarian optimization problem, and not moral facts that are simply true or not true. This is still a contentious debate, and not the only possibilities either.

In this case, the answers to your questions depends entirely on what the moral facts are. For example, it may be morally impermissible to take a life under any circumstances, which answers many of your questions quite clearly.




Unless you can build some sort of moral truth detector, "simply true or not true" is still a subjective proposition, because it's you believing that. So whatever you imagine the absolute truth to be is mostly irrelevant, in that you need to persuade other people with different viewpoints to behave the way you want. That leads you back pretty to utilitarian optimization problems.

I get that this doesn't have the thrilling clarity of some sort of moral fundamentalism. But that's my point. When two groups with different absolute moral beliefs conflict, our options are negotiation or murder. People like the El Paso killer clearly favor the latter. To me that's a sign that however much people hold absolute moral beliefs (and I hope it's relatively little), they should talk about it in utilitarian, relative terms.


> Unless you can build some sort of moral truth detector, "simply true or not true" is still a subjective proposition

See the Categorical Imperative, and also a Proof of the Objectivity of Morals: https://www.reddit.com/r/philosophy/comments/3etl9b/a_proof_...

There are very good reasons why most philosophers are moral realists.


I'll take your word for it that most human philosophers are moral realists. Even if true, I think that says more about human brains and the social structures that bless people as professional philosophers than it does about any deep nature of reality.


An invaluable observation, since practically all lizard philosophers are relativistic existentialists.


May be. My point was more that those questions need to be answered one way or another; I understood GP as saying they're unnecessary and are just muddying the waters.




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