Does Hume's Is-Ought Thesis imply moral nihilism?


Assuming you are an atheist, cognitivist, and a moral objectivist, does Hume's Is-Ought Thesis imply you must be a moral nihilist (or perhaps more weakly, at least a moral skepticist)?

Put another way, how would a non-religious moral realist reconcile with Hume's Is-Ought Thesis? Where does their moral "ground truth" come from to begin with?

Some Guy

Posted 2020-06-04T01:23:29.623

Reputation: 149

No. One can hold that in addition to facts ("ises") there is a different type of objective input, moral values or imperatives, the "oughts". In that case we will have objective basic "oughts", which combined with "ises" will entail other oughts without any violation of Hume's thesis. The simplest model of this sort has God as a law-giver. In addition to establishing a world order ("facts") God gives creatures room, and free will, to choose, but also commands restrictions on their choices (without compelling them). There are also secular models with objective values. – Conifold – 2020-06-04T03:55:21.083

Beyond the religious "God as law-giver" theories - what are some of the secular models with objective values and where do they find their moral ground truth? – Some Guy – 2020-06-04T06:29:49.067

See SEP, Moral Realism. For example, Aristotle's idea of "second nature" that grounds purpose and values for human beings has been modernized and defended by McDowell recently.

– Conifold – 2020-06-04T06:44:29.877

No answers