OUGHT - HOW DO I EXPLAIN MY SENSE THAT, "I SHOULD TREAT OTHERS WELL AND AM BAD IF I DO NOT"?

Why do I feel I am bad and need punishment if I don't treat others well?  Why do I feel this is some kind of law that applies to all? As to believe x is to believe non-x is untrue then to o affirm that is to affirm I am good if I treat others well and deserve to be rewarded for it.

Moore told us that we can only know good when we see it but we have no way to define it. We cannot define it in terms of something else. Health. Happiness. Wellbeing. Spirituality. None of these mean the same thing. Good and health, or happiness, or wellbeing, or spirituality, or whatever, do not mean the same thing.  Good might result in those things but that is what they are - results.  Poison might be bad but if I take it I might kill off a disease and be better off.  It still means the poison was bad.  The good result is a separate matter.

People say objective morality is that which is binding on all at all times and all places.  Now something seeming to be like that does not mean that it is.  A moral law for all is interesting but we don't know if it is really for all.  It is good for the true morality to be universal like that.  But something being universal does not make it good.  It is like how happiness does not make good good either.  They are what good does not what good is.

Now even seeing good is not the same thing as good. What if your faculties are deceived by some evil being?

To say, "I see good therefore I ought to be good" is as bad as, "A tile is red and square. So a tile ought to be square and red."  This is the famous point that you cannot get a moral ought from an is.  The fact that John needs help from you does not in itself show that you morally must help him.

In desperation then and out of laziness people try to ground good in God for they sense that grounding good is an impossible task.

God is more than God but what you would wish for. If God is what you are about then your needs tell you something about how you see God.  That means you wish for a God who would send you back in time if it were possible to kill Hitler in the cot to save millions of lives.  Some say that makes you evil for Hitler was innocent then and you cannot kill a person to save the lives of others when it is up to that person to do the right thing.  You cannot murder to prevent murders.  But I wouldn't regard them as sincere.  Whatever, you cannot turn good into a mere feel good thing.  It's tough.  It's devastating.  It's a major issue.  To trivialise God shows what kind of person you are.

The atheist avoids this by admitting there is no God. But to say there is pulls down a load of horrible toxic moral baggage down on you.

Morality is about justice and love. To put it another way, it says what the goal is and if you do things that miss the mark then you are unjust and unloving and you need to pay for that and make it right again. Morality is prescriptive.    If an ought cannot be implied by an is, then you cannot turn a descriptive into a prescriptive. But then how does this work with John? He is a nurse. That is descriptive. Then he ought to do what nurses do. That is a prescriptive. If you are a person who can reason and think correctly then you should think correctly and carefully. So is this an answer to the ought does not give rise to an is? It is not an answer.  Who says that if you are nurse or thinker that the standard you live to is good and morally right?  If John promised to be a good nurse who says that the fact he promised bestows a moral ought on him?

We must remember that despite the ought and moral is contradiction, nearly all the people most of the time do treat a fact as giving rise to a moral mandate. So morality contradicts itself by being based on an error and a lie.

I paraphrase,

Some say we do get an ought from an is. They point out we take an ought for an is or vice versa every minute of the day. In other words, it seems you get a prescriptive "You must do x" from the descriptive, "My finger is cut." So if your finger is cut no matter what anybody's opinion or feeling is, or what yours is, you must sterilise it. You feel there is an imperative, "I must look after my finger" which you get from the facts about having a finger that is not the way it is meant to be, healthy and uncut. This is not a moral imperative though. It is about a goal yes. But it does not follow that this goal is a justice goal. You are not committing a sin by rejecting the goal. It could be that you deserve no punishment or condemnation for doing nothing about the finger.  We in fact would agree that no God has the right to punish you for it.  It makes no sense to say that if my child does not want her finger bandaged its a sin for me not to bandage it.  If I don't sin by choosing not to bandage my own then the same thing should apply if I respect my child's refusal of consent.

People cherry pick ought and is. For example, adultery is bad for you therefore it is wrong. Yet they say, motor bike racing is bad for you but it does not follow that that suggests or makes it wrong. It is evident that even if morality could be real, nobody wants it to be and lies. It is really about control and hypocrisy.

It is clear that the ruthless way the universe is does not imply a moral ought. For example, if somebody is in terrible agony, it does not follow that it is loving and fair to help them. A fact of suffering is a fact. Prescribing what needs to be done is a separate matter.

The alternative is to say that the way the universe is does imply a moral ought. Religion says the way God is implies a moral ought. For example, God did not make himself the loving fair being he is. He just is these things.  This new is = ought actually overthrows it with a lie.  This is another way of saying the way something is to say it ought to be or ought not to be that way.

An is not giving rise to ought is simply does not give us morality. And  there are other reasons that show us that too.  The solution is worse than the problem.  Now if bare facts cannot give us morality just because they are facts not moral statements, then how much more does a person like God who is in the same position fail to give us morality or help us even approach it.

Morality either depends on God or its up to us to decide what is right and wrong. If God has to be consulted then his voice can be no louder than yours or mine.  Those who say God gives morality authority mean they give him the authority so its really their own authority after all!

You can direct the train Hitler alone is on off the rail killing him or you can let him go on his course and kill Jews standing on the railway line. You decide to save the Jews by killing Hitler.  Conventional morality sees that as a sin.  That is because life cannot be weighed like that so taking one life to save many lives is wrong. They say it was him who decided to kill the Jews and it was up to him to refrain not you.  This is similar to the trolley problem.  The trolley problem is not just an interesting scenario. Look around and you will see you are in the middle of trolley problems. One big one today concerns world overpopulation. Should we encourage abortion so that if there are less people around the environment will be better and more people living in it would be able to live and have a reasonable quality of life? Religion says you cannot murder innocent babies because that is doing what you know is evil to avoid a future evil that you don’t really know anything about. It compares it to murdering John because he says he will murder Charlie next year. It says if we resort to such evil then talk of quality of life is going to be nonsensical.

Kant famously said that you can tell if an action is bad by looking at what would happen if everybody did it. He was not as confident is his logical ethic as he would want you to believe. He said that if you legitimise harming others then that will eventually bring about the end of civilisation and the whole race will be at war. That is blackmail and if morality is mean to be a free response to having to do the right thing this is not morality. It’s also a lie for what if you limited the harm? Life might get harder but would still be possible. And it is true that you don’t have to follow Kant to think that allowing evil wrecks the world. Christians use that argument to ban sin and call it an appalling evil.

We have looked at all the evidence. Good is a term that appeals to us all but we don't really know what it is.  Moral systems whether they are based on getting good results or based on commandments are rife with contradictions.