Re: virus: Normativity and Meaning

Sun, 21 Feb 1999 17:59:49 -0800

joe dees wrote:

> >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).

> > KMO:
> >
> >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 Wilsons
> >and the Terrence McKennas of the world are in the minority on this
> >matter. I think most people BELIEVE their normative declarations.

<<Joe Dees>>

<<People who make normative declarations such as "corporations should pay more taxes" are asserting something about the existent state of affairs; that it compares unfavorably with their ideal (utopian) hypothetical SOA in the described respect.>>

Hey, that's good. That gives normative statements truth value without recourse to "moral facts." Still, it seems to me that most people do believe that there are moral truths. Even people who are amenable to a liberal dose of cultural relativism generally insist on a bedrock of universal rights and wrongs. Again, this is my perception, and my perceptions are heavily filtered.