The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Musings]
2015-03-21 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Musings , 954 references

It's rather nasty when you see someone with the letters "PhD" or "Professor" either before or after their name come out with something that is too simplified by half -- and then argues this is the cause of some social ill.

Today I pick on one Justin McBrayer.

What would you say if you found out that our public schools were teaching children that it is not true that it’s wrong to kill people for fun or cheat on tests? Would you be surprised?

I was. As a philosopher, I already knew that many college-aged students don’t believe in moral facts. While there are no national surveys quantifying this phenomenon, philosophy professors with whom I have spoken suggest that the overwhelming majority of college freshmen in their classrooms view moral claims as mere opinions that are not true or are true only relative to a culture.

Maybe you encountered this because there are no such things as moral facts.

McBrayer goes on to argue that there in fact are and in doing so he elevates a position to a degree that winds up squarely within the boundary of tyranny.

I am not, by the way, arguing for moral relativism.  Quite to the contrary; I am arguing for three, not two, standards of increasing scrutiny.




It is my opinion that President Obama has no faith in our military and doesn't give a tinker's damn about the Constitution.

It is my belief that it is wrong to cheat on a test.

It is a fact that light travels 186,000 miles per second.

It is notfact that it is wrong to cheat on a test.  Under ordinary conditions my belief holds, but there are points of exception.  As just one example if I know the scoring of such test is crooked then there is nothing wrong with countering that crooked nature of the scoring with your own cheating because the very nature of the examination is fraudulent.

You have no duty under any reasonable moral code to comply with something that is crooked with the explicit intent and impact of screwing you.

If I elevate my belief to a fact then there are no exceptions -- ever.

In short facts can be reduced to mathematical or physical proof.  To elevate a "moral position" to that of a fact is to render it immune to challenge on the premise of cheating by others, just as a starting point, and the problems with such an elevation don't end there.

You're a tyrant, Mr. McBrayer.

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