virus: Normativity and Meaning

Sun, 21 Feb 1999 13:32:09 -0800

David McFadzean wrote:

> Another example is normative statements such as "corporations should
> pay more tax". One can agree or disagree with them, but they are not
> true or false (or meaningless).

David, I think that when most people make normative statements they intend to assert the truth of those propositions. I'm not claiming to be able to get inside anybody else's head, but it's my impression that most people do believe that there are at least a few "moral facts," e.g. people should be nice to each other, murder is wrong, welfare queens should get real jobs. It's my impression that the Robert Anton Wilson's and the Terrence McKenna's of the world are in the minority on this matter. I think most people BELIEVE their normative declarations.


TOTD for 02/05/99:

This is, I think, much of the problem of the modern delemma: direct experience had been discounted, and in its place all kinds of belief systems have been erected. I would prefer a kind of intellectual anarchy where whatever was pragmatically applicable was brought to bear on any situation; where belief was understood as a self-limiting function. Because, you see, if you believe something, you are automatically precluded from believing its opposite; which means that a degree of your human freedom has been forfeited in the act of committing yourself to this belief.

-Terrence McKenna

I don't believe anything I write or say. I regard belief as a form of brain damage, the death of intelligence, the fracture of creativity, the atrophy of imagination. I have opinions but no Belief System (B.S.).

-Robert Anton Wilson