Tuesday, January 01, 2008

If There Is No God Then There Are No Moral Facts

(The River Raisin near my home in Monroe, Michigan)

Science qua science reveals no value-information. I can measure something, weigh it, analyze it into physical structures and components, but the moment I call it, say, "elegant," I have left science.

Nietzsche understood this. His "madman" knows that, sans God, values do not exist, since the metaphysical underpinning for such values is taken away.

Philosopher Thomas Metzinger states it this way on edge.org:

"There are no moral facts. Moral sentences have no truth-values. The world itself is silent, it just doesn’t speak to us in normative affairs — nothing in the physical universe tells us what makes an action a good action or a specific brain-state a desirable one. Sure, we all would like to know what a good neurophenomenological configuration really is, and how we should optimize our conscious minds in the future. But it looks like, in a more rigorous and serious sense, there is just no ethical knowledge to be had. We are alone. And if that is true, all we have to go by are the contingent moral intuitions evolution has hard-wired into our emotional self-model. If we choose to simply go by what feels good, then our future is easy to predict: It will be primitive hedonism and organized religion."

If there is no God, then Metzinger's logic follows.