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Alicorn comments on Questions for Moral Realists - Less Wrong Discussion

3 Post author: peter_hurford 13 February 2013 05:44AM

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Comment author: peter_hurford 16 February 2013 07:25:10PM 0 points [-]

Why do you think their extrapolation is wrong? And what does "wrong" mean in that context?

Comment author: Alicorn 17 February 2013 06:24:40AM 1 point [-]

I'm not sure I know what you mean by the first question. Regarding the second, it means that they have not arrived at the (one true unitary) morality, at least as far as I know. If someone looks an optical illusion like, say, the Muller-Lyer, they base their conclusions about the lengths of the lines they're looking at on their vision, but reach incorrect conclusions. I don't think deriving moral theory from moral intuition is that straightforward or that it's fooled in any particularly analogous way, but that's about what I mean by someone extrapolating incorrectly from moral intuitions.

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 21 February 2013 03:43:30PM 1 point [-]

I'm not sure I know what you mean by the first question.

I think that he meant something like:

  • You seem to be saying that while different people can have different moralities, many (most?) of the moralities that people can have are wrong.
  • You also seem to be implying that you consider your morality to be more correct than that of many others.
  • Since you believe that there are moralities which are wrong, and that you have a morality which is, if not completely correct then at least more correct than the moralities of many others, that means that you need to have some sort of a rule for deciding what kind of a morality is right and what kind of morality is wrong.
  • So what is the rule that makes you consider your morality more correct than e.g. consequentialism? What are some of the specific mistakes that e.g. consequentialism makes, and how do you know that they are mistakes?
Comment author: peter_hurford 22 March 2013 05:22:57PM 0 points [-]

Sorry for so long between this response and the previous one, but I'm still interested. With the Muller-Lyer Illusion, you can demonstrate it's an illusion by using a ruler. Following your analogy, how would you demonstrate that a incorrect moral extrapolation was similarly in error? Is there a moral "ruler"?

Comment author: Alicorn 22 March 2013 06:14:12PM 0 points [-]

Not one that you can buy at an office supply store, at any rate, but you can triangulate a little using other people and of course checking for consistency is important.

Comment author: peter_hurford 26 March 2013 06:25:21PM 0 points [-]

So what is moral is what is the most popular among all internally consistent possibilities?

Comment author: Alicorn 27 March 2013 07:01:48AM 0 points [-]

No, morality is not contingent on popularity.

Comment author: peter_hurford 27 March 2013 02:51:56PM 1 point [-]

I'm confused. Can you explain how you triangulate morality using other people?

Comment author: Alicorn 27 March 2013 06:23:44PM 0 points [-]

Mostly, they're helpful for locating hypotheses.

Comment author: peter_hurford 28 March 2013 02:44:26AM 0 points [-]

I'm still confused, sorry. How do you arrive at a moral principle and how do you know it's not a moral illusion?

Comment author: Alicorn 28 March 2013 05:56:25AM 0 points [-]

You can't be certain it's not a moral illusion, I hope I never implied that.