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April 23, 2016


The problem is that we don't know about any mechanism for perceiving moral things.

When you see the dog, we know about your eyes, and light reflecting off the dog. We know how things look different under different lighting conditions, and how different wavelengths react with different retinal receptors. We know about the visual cortex in your brain doing various things.

With moral perception, where's the mechanism?

I partially agree and partially disagree with John, here.

Self-evident assumes a shared basis of perception. I don't think that's necessarily true for either dogs or morals (when is something self-evidently a dog as opposed to a wolf or dingo?). And some things that seem "self-evident" under some conditions are very different under others.

The introduction to the US Declaration of Independence is good rhetoric but poor philosophy.

John, why do you think we need to know about a mechanism for seeing moral things? If we were completely oblivious to the fact that we had eyes at all, that wouldn't prevent us from seeing the external world.

It's fine if you just want to assume we see moral things. In that case, you don't need any reason, and you don't need to think about mechanisms or evidence. On the other hand, this blog is called "Stand to Reason," which suggests we're looking for reasons for things.

We had no "reason" to believe in the external world until we discovered the optic nerve, the retina, and so on. Prior to such discoveries only fools believed in the external world...things like trees, rocks.... water...etc.... Of course even today mereological and moral nihilism go (on metaphysical necessity) hand in hand given Non-Theism's unavoidable treatment of "humanity".... of the self.

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