i recently stumbled upon derek parfits. i find him both agreeable and the opposite. he doesn't believe in subjectivism, relativism, nor nihilism. he follows in the footsteps of Kant, in thinking that there is universality to morals: a "supreme principle of morality." he states that not all ethical questions have solid answers. he borrows from the consequentialists, who think that some states of affairs are worse or better than others, and who think that right actions are ones that tend to produce a good outcome to best. parfit borrows from Kant, who posited that ethical principles are right when they can be rationally willed into universal code and self governance by ration beings. he also borrows from the contractualists, who believe that ethical principles are to be agreed upon by discussion with and of perfect conditions. he speaks against the naturalists, and although i have not read his proofs extensively regarding his distaste for science playing a part in understanding ethics, i think it may be that he believe that there is a lower level abstraction, a lower mode of thought in the sciences, falling into the existential conundrum- does it really matter how things are outside of this very experience? this is a flaw that many critics are pointing out is that in his magnum opus, On What Matters, parfit uses made up scenarios. scenarios that haven't made them (or me) think, this is with all things considered a realistic and perfect example, like an actual example (which is observable from hopefully many perspectives) can give to the reader. sartre used made up examples like, looking for someone at a coffee shop (who wasn't there) to frame the negation of something as nothing. you can't misunderstand that made up scenario, the necessary details are present that have you arrive at the idea Sartre wanted you to. peter singer highlights the arguments the dutch used in the 90's to legalize euthanasia, statistics, other scenarios to fire the synapses in you, the reader, to Eureka! euthanasia is ethically and morally sound. i am not moved or convinced (nor fired synapitcally, haha i made up a word) that parfit's forms are leading me to feel like this equation is... closest to "right." parfit uses impracticalities to drive the questions in a way that suits his answers.... adding details that are not prevalent in the real world. parfit believes that thought puzzles are critical to ethics and he particularly fails to impress me with his attempt at building a foundation of metaphysics to his philosophies that are so non-naturalistic they verge on strange fiction. i think parfit's ethical body would fit better with a naturalists theory as his metaphysical or ontological foundation. challenge? just another route to the peak where all sound theories converge. i guess i should address what it is to be a sound theory.
i would like to do a little philosophizing here. but where i will move away from parfit is that i am willing to consider naturalism, or any other qualifying and undeniably reasonable ethical equation, metaphysical explanations or framework into considerations, as perhaps there are innumerable paths to the top of the metaphorical mountain (the peak is true, glorious, rightness). a discussion about the merits and general usefulness of such philosophizing is warranted after this tangent.
"some opinions are better than others" or "not all opinions are equally right"
is it generally agreeable that there are opinions that are of less VALUE where, value equals: clarity, applicability, of common sense and/or of logical soundness?
if you can agree that there are opinions that are all or some of these things, couldn't it follow that some opinions are the opposite: more or less clear, more or less applicable, more or less sound in common sense and/or of more or less logical soundness?
if you agree with most of the above two premises, then i ask you to consider this postulation:
when opinions are of greater value, they are approaching superior form of rightness, where a superior form of rightness equals a mostly parallel path to a non static rightness, where rightness can be approached by many paths, including the principles of parfit's triple formula (the negation of right), which states:
now i can try to use this equation, the negation of rightness, to say whether or not it is right and true to say that some opinions are better than others. i think that'll be part two. i am ready to snooze. but i'll leave you with this thought i had today while i visited my mat:
ethical theories should very much resembles our asanas. they should be dynamic and change, shifting into a more clear and perfect form of rightness for the moment at hand.