Moral Vs. Philosophical Reasoning Essay

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There is only one statement which a moral objectivist must be committed to: that there are some moral propositions which are true regardless of our attitudes towards them. It is by this alone that we are able to say that morality is objective. There has been significant discussion, particularly from Mackie, which has supposedly forced the objectivist to reach far past this claim. It is my opinion, and my task to show during this discussion, that the objectivist does not have to and that the basis on which to believe that moral facts exist is as solid as the belief that they do not.

Mackie gives two main arguments against moral objectivism: the argument from queerness and the argument from relativity. The former is subsequently split into a metaphysical argument and an epistemological argument. If the metaphysical claim is parried it will become clear that the epistemological one goes with it therefore I shall begin with the metaphysical arm of his argument from queerness.

The metaphysical claim to which Mackie thinks the objectivist is committed is that in order for there to be some moral statements that are objectively true there must exist some independently existing entity that makes them true. Since we cannot observe these entities empirically, they must exist in a non-physical, abstract way. These entities would also have some kind of motivational aspect to them as well; forcing us to act upon them as soon as we detected them. Mackie thinks that these kind of…

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