Normativity reduces and why being wrong makes you a bad person

The distinction between normative and non-normative is referenced constantly by most good philosophers, including me. There's plenty of reason for the distinction. But surprisingly, *all normative statements can be expressed as non-normative ones*: "X is morally right" = "one's conscience says to do X". (Note that this isn't as specific to my metaphysics as it might sound. Equivalent things could be said for most ethical frameworks, as well as for non-moral kinds of normativity.)


But this raises a question: if there's no true separation between normative and non-normative truths, why does being wrong about ethics make someone a bad person? Of course, most errors about ethics are not sincere reasoning errors, but irrationality alone is not nearly a big enough sin to warrant how I treat people who have evil political views.

The answer is that when someone says something like "XYZ drug should be illegal", they're not expressing, and do not hold (even irrationally), a belief that their conscience would approve of imprisoning someone for smoking a leaf. They don't think about conscience at all. They're telling you about a choice of allegiance, and more importantly, they are choosing to *strengthen* this allegiance by reindoctrinating themselves. This *choice of allegiance* is not some specter I have conjured out of the ether of language, but a concrete thing with concrete consequences:

This is like intention.

Analysis of intention

When you live in a society, there is no true such thing as a choice that doesn't affect others. This is why being wrong about ethics makes you a bad person, despite it being theoretically a non-normative proposition.


subscribe via RSS

Proxied content from gemini://yujiri.xyz/protagonism/normativity.gmi

Gemini request details:

Original URL
Status code
text/gemini; lang=en
Proxied by

Be advised that no attempt was made to verify the remote SSL certificate.

What is Gemini?