Re: Question about CEV

From: Norman Noman (
Date: Tue Oct 30 2007 - 22:11:03 MDT

On 10/29/07, Thomas McCabe <> wrote:
> CEV is a metamorality system. It doesn't say XYZ is good or bad: it
> defines a procedure for how to determine if XYZ is good or bad. Apples
> and oranges.

This is exactly what I have a problem with, though I've never been able to
phrase it this well. The idea of a "metamorality system" is meaningless, it
IS a system of morality and that's that. It's not meta any more than garden
variety relativism is meta.

If we were smart enough to work CEV out in our own heads, it'd be plain to
see that it's just another system of ethics. "Here we have a nihilist, a
kantian, a negative utilitarian, a coherent extrapolated volitionist, and a
guy who follows the ten commandments."

But we're not smart enough to figure out what CEV will result in, which I
guess is the whole point, isn't it? If we knew what it was, there would be a
lot of people who wouldn't like it. A smokescreen is the only way we can
pretend there's a solution that satisfies everyone.

Am I the only one who thinks that CEV's opacity is a bad, bad thing?

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