Subject: Re: [evol-psych] "ought" can be plausibly derived from an "is"?
       Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 11:25:46 -0500
       From: "Dorothy Tennov" 
         To: "Pascal Bercker" 

I agree.  To repeat what I posted earlier, "The concept of ought is
meaningless in the absence of a goal, purpose, or objective. Those who try
to find oughts from ises are missing this inevitable point. So also are
those who argue otherwise. Oughts and ises are completely separate things
and cannot be related to each other. Why there is so much discussion about
it comes from the eternal and futile attempt to find absolute standards on
which oughts can be based. They do not, and cannot, exist. There must always
be an objective, even when the objective is

The search for "fundamental normative claims" is the search for agreed-on
objectives. The anticipated difficulty in securing agreement, or even the
refusal to accept that agreement is crucial, blocks progress on this
philosophical issue. Religions may supply what passes for goals, but the
goals of religion are either expressed too vaguely to provide the guidance
sought or too specifically to meet the overall needs.