Re: Arrow of morality

From: Perry E. Metzger (
Date: Sun Jan 04 2004 - 21:11:45 MST

"Metaqualia" <> writes:
>> > What if there are no answers that yield obviously superior results for
>> > society? There is no answer, for example, to the meat question -- and
>> > yet there is great rage among some about killing and eating
>> > animals. Many thorny moral questions have no objective answer, which
>> > is why they are thorny in the first place.
> There are answers that yield obviously superior results for society.

That depends on what you mean by "society", but I would agree with you
that some courses of behavior yield results that are more likely to
achieve particular goals than others. This is, however, perfectly
consistent with most explanations of relativistic morals.

> There is an answer to the meat question.
> Develop nanotechnology,

The question of eating animals is an example of an irresolvable moral
dispute. It doesn't matter whether nanotechnology can answer this
particular question, because other questions cannot be answered that
way. I could get into much more complicated questions that are likely
to arise in a posthuman society but they are not nearly as simple to
discuss and would distract from the point, which is that there aren't
absolute answers to such questions.

Perry E. Metzger

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