USING THE PRINCIPLE OF UPB, UNIVERSALLY PREFERABLE BEHAVIOUR, AS A WAY OF REGULATING HUMAN BEINGS

Can we argue similar to Stefan Molyneux that we can create social order and protections and so on using universally preferable behaviour as a principle?

This claims to provide us with an ethic that is not based on Gods or authority but on the kind of beings we are.

Molyneux writes, "It is impossible that anyone can logically argue against universally preferable behavior, since if he is alive to argue, he must have followed universally preferable behaviors such as breathing, eating and drinking." Against this it is said that our biological need for those things is unrelated to morality. The objection is that he is confusing descriptive and moral. A need is descriptive not moral. You need water but that need does not give you a moral obligation to take water. [As Hume put it, an is does not lead to an ought.]  But you can say this poor defence does not change the fact that there is something about the idea that gives it an aura of validity.

One objection to the universal nature of Molyneux's universally preferred behaviour is his contention that it makes no sense to say it is okay for some people to murder which implies that others may murder.  Murder is murder.  It has been observed that murder can be allowed up to a point.  A murder being wrong yesterday does not in itself tell us that it is wrong today. If you find something such as the need to end terrible suffering to balance out the wrongness of murder then murder stops being murder.

If the principle fails for it cannot apply to all people at all times, then we should not feel consoled by it.  Yet people want moral beliefs for the results one of which is the comfort from thinking there is some kind of moral law.