I think moral questions are not much like the question, “What shall I have for dinner today?” though they are similar in that they are, in some sense, questions about what to do. M. Zacharski *. 1, where he says: “If we define ‘good’ as that which supports well-being … the regress initiated by Moore’s ‘open question argument’ really does stop.” (12) (I used a short version of Moore’s open question argument in my post to show that normative and descriptive properties may be ‘too different’ to be the same thing.) You should imagine the placeholder as having been determinately filled in in whichever way Harris thinks appropriate. Sic et Non," Philosophia Christi, Series 2, Vol. 2, pp. In his Principia Ethica G.E. But where has Copan established the existence of a good God? I have already pointed out the problems in Copan's answer to (6). Thanks for these clarification Richard. If I say that X is a morally good person exactly to the extent that X maximises well-being, this is a statement about my own ideas about what “ought” to be. This fallacy is often used … Tim Brunson PhD The International Hypnosis Research Institute is a member supported project involving integrative health care specialists from around the world. Read my original article on the subject, "Debunking the Subconscious Mind Fallacy", here. Such bridge statements would be justified by how well they cohere with other statements and how well they explain our moral experience. The Naturalistic Fallacy 2. My impression that Harris attempts an immodest and fallacious argument, by the way, is confirmed not only by the the book’s subtitle, but also by Harris’s claim to have bridged the is-ought gap and avoided the “naturalistic fallacy” in the section on Facts and Values in ch. I’ve been busy. Given that whenever someone says "because God said so" they mean that it is morally irrefutable, can the concept of 'God' be defined as an ultimate expression of moral grammar? (7) The view that morality depends on God conflicts with our well-supported judgments that the torture of babies is wrong.  David O. My critique of Harris does not depend on this broader view though. Perhaps. One demonstration of this is in his slippery usage of the term “well-being”, another demonstration is in your conviction (which your citation seems to support) that Harris means to argue that science can answer moral questions only once a moral premise or premises is granted, whereas I have the contrary impression from other places. Thanks! Greg:  In the text of his paper Copan does not attempt to reply to my arguments and only offers some programmatic remarks on how theists can avoid inconsistencies by following the Bible more carefully. The Fallacy of the Stolen Concept was coined by Ayn Rand, to point out the absurdity of arguing against a position when the argument depends upon that position – setting up a kind of indirect (and hence not so obviously paradoxical) version of Epiminedes-style “this sentence is false”. And simply calling your preferred set of states “well-being” doesn’t answer it either. Hi Richard, I’m afraid I find the first paragraph of your reply rather confusing. By focusing purely on internal gestalt, you may be betraying your own biases — as someone who suffers from few if any of these external symptoms of deficient well-being. If this claim could be defended, perhaps we could use it to argue for premise 1.1. My impression is further confirmed by quotes like these: “morality should be considered an undeveloped branch of science” (4), and, “My claim is that there are right and wrong answers to moral questions, just as there are right and wrong answers to questions of physics, and such answers may one day fall within the reach of the maturing sciences of mind.” (28) Thus, moral statements are of the form: “X ought to A if X is to be moral”. What if schizophrenics really are possessed by demons, after all? The Naturalistic Fallacy: What It Is, and What It Isn’t. The Essential Moral Attribute Response (EMAR) maintains that God has essential moral attributes that determine what is right or wrong. (5) It is a fallacy to argue that if a moral attribute is an essential property of God, then it is a moral attribute because of this. For example, Brink devotes an entire chapter in his book to the is-ought issue yet Copan seems unaware of Brink's arguments and merely dismisses his point concerning the supervenience of the mental on the physical. And *even if* these claims are obvious, you haven’t yet done the hard work you need to do. The concept of ethnic nepotism is simply a sociological ... pretty obvious when you term something the naturalistic fallacy). And he then gradually fudges this into the claim that facts about what maximises the sum of human well-being are objective moral facts. Or it can be taken as a definition of the meaning of “morally right”. Premise 1.3) Scientists can measure the balance of [conscious states C]. I would say that _purely_ normative statements cannot be truth-apt (or possibly that they’re incoherent). So the statement "X is Q" is contingently true. C) reification. All rights reserved. If you’re a Conservative, I’m not your friend, 7 reasons not to feel bad about yourself when you have acted immorally, Pandemic Ethics: Should Santa Claus Deliver Christmas Presents This Year? The Naturalistic Fallacy cuts off any such strategy by pointing out that simply because something has ... various forms of outward manifestation. An example would be that because animals engage in fighting in the wild, it is morally acceptable for humans do to the same. I argued that there is no quick way to answer these criticisms for the task will require detailed refutations of over a dozen supporting arguments. The naturalistic fallacy has other meanings, but we will focus on this meaning. The Libertarian Argument Is the Best Argument Against Immunity Passports. Greg: First, if my question “Why ought we to maximize [Greg’s chosen set of conscious states]?” is irrelevant, then your first comment is all the more irrelevant to my post, since my objection was to Harris’s mistaken claim that science alone can determine what is morally right and wrong. I would reject your conclusion on the grounds that there’s a limit to how far the descriptive meaning of the word can be stretched.