In the first part of this essay I gave my reasons for rejecting philosopher Richard Carrier’s boastful claim to have provided a deductively valid proof of why science answers moral questions. What I wish to take up now is an interesting suggestion in the latter part of Carrier’s post, one that he manages to significantly mangle, but should nonetheless be seriously considered by anyone interested in meta-ethics (the study of how it is possible to ground ethical systems).
I am referring to Carrier’s homage to philosopher Philippa Foot. Let me start with what he says, and I will then clarify and correct it for a better appreciation of his main point. To begin with, I think Carrier seriously mischaracterizes Foot’s standing in contemporary philosophy. He says: “Most philosophers ignore Philippa Foot, or make no use of her work ... It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that she was (and pretty much still is) ignored because she was a woman.” This pious comment comes after this other one: “the late, great Philippa Foot, author of the book Natural Goodness and one of the most famous papers in moral philosophy, ‘Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives.’” If you don’t see the contradiction between claiming on the one hand that an author has largely been ignored and on the other hand that one of her papers is among the most famous in moral philosophy, well, you just don’t understand what a contradiction is.
In fact, Foot’s work is very well known, and highly appreciated, by moral philosophers. She is famous for having introduced the “trolley dilemma” class of thought experiments, as part of her incisive critique of utilitarianism. Moreover, she has been credited for the reintroduction in modern philosophy of Aristotelian-type virtue ethics (properly updated), a framework for ethics that nowadays is a major rival to the other two principal schools of thought, utilitarianism-consequentialism and Kantian-style deontology. So much for being ignored or underappreciated.
What’s important in Foot’s work, and which Carrier brings up, is her idea that moral reasoning is best understood as a system of hypothetical imperatives, even though she was at least ambiguous about this position later on in her career. The idea is not actually new to Foot, as it was introduced by none other than Immanuel Kant.  Regardless, the point is that there are some moral imperatives that are not “categorical” (to use Kant’s preferred term), but only hypothetical, meaning that they apply conditionally (as opposed to regardless of circumstances). You can think of hypothetical imperatives as the kind of reasoning you engage in if you wish to achieve a given goal. So, for instance, if you wish to become a lawyer then you need to go to Law School; if you want to be considered a good person then you need to work on your character; and so on.
In a multi-part series on ethics and ethical reasoning I also suggested that hypothetical imperatives are the essence of moral philosophy (I did not use the technical term, though), so I fully agree with Foot’s take on this. We both reject Kant’s position, by the way, because we don’t think that there is any such thing as a categorical imperative (i.e., a moral law that is valid regardless of circumstances or goals). Remember, Foot was a virtue ethicist (like myself), so for her morality does has a goal, namely the pursuit of a eudaimonic existence.
But Carrier, I think, pushes Foot well beyond where her thinking can reasonably be pushed. He says: “Philippa Foot developed the fourth way in moral philosophy, showing that morality is actually just a system of hypothetical imperatives ... Foot added a fourth and wholly separate category [to virtue ethics, deontology and utilitarianism], which actually is far more plausibly correct. ... Even Kant’s deontological ethics reduces to a special form of teleological ethics which reduces in turn to a special form of virtue ethics, which reduces in turn to a system of hypothetical imperatives. Thus, Mill, Kant, and Aristotle were all right, they just were missing pieces of the whole picture, and thus failed to see how the defects of their separate systems disappear when their systems are united rather than treated as incommensurable and in competition with each other. The means to unite them is the approach of Philippa Foot.”
These are stunning (and stunningly confused) claims. Kant’s deontology reduces to virtue ethics? What? The two approaches don’t even ask the same questions! Kant, like the utilitarians, was concerned with what is the right thing to do — the way we mostly think of morality today. The ancient Greeks, and especially Aristotle, conceived of the moral project in a very different fashion, and asked instead what sort of life we should live. Foot herself — again — was a virtue ethicist, so she certainly didn’t think that her talk of hypothetical imperatives transcended virtue ethics. And she mounted serious criticisms of the other approaches to moral philosophy, especially utilitarianism, so it is hard to argue that she conceived of her approach as somehow subsuming the other ones as special cases. (Incidentally, utilitarianism is logically contradictory with respect to deontology, which is one more reason to think that Carrier’s claim is incoherent.)
The reason all of this is relevant is because I agree with Carrier when he says — as part of his argument about why science answers moral questions — that “all imperatives (all ‘ought’ statements) are hypothetical imperatives.” But there are still differences between hypotheticals, so just because one can make a parallel between a moral imperative (if you want to maximize human flourishing then these actions are “right”) and an empirical imperative (if you want to grow your crops then you need this kind of soil) it doesn’t follow that ethics is a branch of science. To see that even more clearly, you may again want to recall my analogy with mathematics from part I: if you want to demonstrate Pythagoras' theorem then you need these axioms and those deductive moves. I hope it is clear that just because we can phrase the aims of a mathematician as hypothetical imperatives it doesn’t follow that mathematics is a science, or that the answer to mathematical questions are empirical.
So, once again, yes, empirical evidence broadly construed, as well as science more narrowly delimited, is most certainly relevant to ethical inquiry — and no serious philosopher should deny this. But moral reasoning remains a sufficiently distinct type of human activity so that it can safely remain within the purview of philosophy. Scientists have their hands full already with going after increasingly elusive theories of everything anyway...
 Carrier is aware of Kant’s contribution, of course, but he comments on it in his inimitably insufferable way: “This concept was first articulated by Kant, who attempted to argue that some imperatives were not of this type but were ‘categorical’ imperatives, but in fact his categorical imperatives all reduce to hypothetical imperatives, so his attempt to prove there was a second kind of imperative failed. Not everyone is aware of this. But I have a demonstration of it.” Seriously? No Kant scholar or meta-ethicist has ever noticed this before Carrier deigned to “demonstrate” it to the world? And yet I was exposed to critiques of the logic behind Kant’s idea of a categorical imperative in Ethics 101...
The idea that the three main approaches to the meta-ethical grounding of normativity are even compatible (let alone reducible or equivalent) is weird. Even if they converge on what the right thing to do is in particular instances (although the trolley problems Foot gave us show that certainly isn't always the case), the line of reasoning that gets you from theory to practice is not similar at all.ReplyDelete
Wouldn't it be grand someday when all the sciences are reunited by truth, and the moral or ethical conundrums we or they grapple with today become the absolute of goodness in the shinning light of a brand new day. =ReplyDelete
"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there. ..." HafizReplyDelete
Very interesting article, and I think you're largely on target.
However, I think I see a trivial way to unify the three ethical theories under the umbrella of hypothetical imperatives.
"If you want to be deontologically moral, then do X"
"If you want to be utilitarian, then do Y"
"If you want to follow virtue ethics, then do Z".
Could this be what Carrier had in mind?
Also, I know that you addressed this point briefly in your previous post, but I don't think Carrier or Harris literally mean that moral questions are only answerable with science. What they are arguing for more fully is that there are right and wrong answers which can be exposed by reason, that morality is not a matter of opinion. Harris in particular is very open to using philosophy as an approach to answering moral questions.
The most reliable form of reason as applied to the real world is of course the use of the scientific method. If you really want to be confident that Pythagoras's theorem works in the real world, it makes sense to perform actual measurements rather than simply trusting the mathematics.
Similarly, for Carrier, the outcomes which will result in greatest satisfaction (and are thus to be preferred) are best identified using empirical evidence. And I think that's true.
I don't think that means that it makes sense to propose a science of morality. The answers to moral questions would involve using evidence across diverse scientific disciplines such as biology, psychology, physics, economics and sociology. I see no role for a discipline specifically devoted to morality. Each moral question requires very different kinds of expertise to tease out.
There might instead be a case to made for creating cross-disciplinary think tanks tasked with finding evidence to help decide moral questions.
Where I think he is wrong is in equating morality with seeking satisfactory outcomes.
Your proposal for uniting the ethical theories doesn't really work. As a previous poster mentioned, the rival theories don't simply disagree over which actions are right/wrong; they also disagree about what *grounds* (or explains, or justifies, or whatever) the rightness/wrongness of an action. Your unified theory suggests that whether an agent A ought to do X is conditional on agent A's aims or desires (or something like that). But this is *explicitly* rejected by both a Kantian and Utilitarian (and maybe even a virtue ethicist, though I don't know as much about that). Your theory only unifies the others by directly contradicting them.Delete
>>Similarly, for Carrier, the outcomes which will result in greatest satisfaction (and are thus to be preferred) are best identified using empirical evidence. And I think that's true.
I expect Massimo agrees that this is trivially true. The question for moral philosophy, however, is whether it's morally permissible to take any course of action "which will result in the greatest satisfaction." Of course you won't see a role for "a discipline specifically devoted to morality" if you simply *assume* answers to the questions that are being debated in that discipline.
I don't see how contradictions are a problem when hypothetical imperatives offer you a logical disjunction.Delete
My mother says I should be a doctor because it will do the most good. My father says I should be a lawyer because it will make the most money. I want to be an artist because it will be most fulfilling.
All these views are explicitly in opposition, and disagree even on what criteria should influence the choice.
If I agree with my mother's criteria I'll be a doctor. My father, a lawyer. Myself, an artist.
I don't see how this rather trivial logical construction doesn't encompass all the options available.
I don't see how it "encompasses" any of the available options in a meaningful way. By that standard, any two conflicting scientific theories could be 'encompassed' by a larger theory. "According to Ptolemy, the Sun revolves around the Earth. According to Copernicus, the Earth revolves around the Sun. My Grand Unifying Theory is: 'if I agree with Ptolemy, then the Sun revolves around the Earth, and if I agree with Copernicus, the Earth revolves around the Sun.'"Delete
If that's the sense in which you think the different ethical theories are 'encompassed' or 'unified' by hypothetical imperatives, I suppose there's no arguing with that. But then I don't know what your larger point is supposed to be. And I'm sure that Carrier had a stronger claim in mind.
Got to disagree on the idea that Carrier, Harris et al aren't making such claims for science being able to address/solve moral issues. I don't think Carrier is quite as staunch as Harris is, but he's close.Delete
Perhaps you're right, but see my comment below where I explain to Massimo where I got the idea that Harris has a broader idea of what constitutes science than how he is usually interpreted.
Do you think I understand him incorrectly?
Disagreeable, you may have, at least in part. But, that then leads us into Wittgensteinian territory, as it does anytime someone unilaterally changes the linguistic game. We have to ask about what that person's game-changing intent was.Delete
There's a big difference between saying "if you want to maximize human flourishing then these actions are right", and saying "if you want to demonstrate Pythagoras' theorem then you need these axioms and those deductive moves." In the first case, the "actions" are discovered by science. In the second case, science doesn't discover, but rather, observe. What you need to do is discovered through pure reasoning, in the second case.ReplyDelete
This also reminded me of a debate between Sam Harris and William Lane Craig. Craig said "At the end of the day Dr. Harris isn't really talking about moral values at all. He’s just talking about what’s conducive to the flourishing of sentient life on this planet. Seen in this light, his claim that science can tell us a great deal about what contributes to human flourishing is hardly controversial. Of course, it can–just as it can tell us what is conducive to the flourishing of corn or mosquitoes or bacteria. His so-called “moral landscape”, which features the highs and lows of human flourishing isn't really a moral landscape at all."
Since most of us here are atheists, it just raises the question, if moral values are not about causing human flourishing, then what are they?
I think Craig's criticism is apt.Delete
But I think most of us would agree, almost as a matter of convention, that moral values are about human flourishing. As long as we sign up to this convention, then we can agree about morality.
But we don't get to say that those who disagree with the convention are objectively wrong.
I confess I sympathize with Craig less now that I have come to see ethics as being basically a synonym for custom. If you take that view, Craig's view sounds, well, religious.Delete
Still, Harris' view is impoverished, because human flourishing is ill-defined, and the disagreement about what IT means is not susceptible to empirical investigation. (Aristotle certainly would not have thought that high psychological affect was the point of ethics, so he wouldn't care so much about what maximizes it.)
"...if moral values are not about causing human flourishing, then what are they?"Delete
One way to characterize moral values is that they are rules for how we ought to behave if we want to maintain our membership in the community that sustains us. So the hypothetical becomes: *If* I want to maintain membership in my community, *then* I should behave morally. Most folks do want to maintain membership, so they behave morally. Of course there are other ways to maintain membership, e.g., by covering up one's cheating, but they usually carry risks. Psychopaths aside, it's easiest to give the appearance of being moral by actually being moral.
So it might be that morality is less about maximizing flourishing than it is simple survival: staying in your group's good graces by being a good citizen as the group sees it. This of course sets the stage for cultural relativism about moral rules. But the common characteristic across cultures remains: doing the right thing by and according to the group.
If we want to maximize human flourishing as Carrier (satisfaction) and Harris (positive conscious states) see it, the project becomes one of getting morally disparate groups to see that there are no good grounds for denying the right and opportunity for equal satisfaction to any individual. So if the project were successful, all the groups would have the norm of equal rights at or near the top of their value hierarchy. I don't see how science can rationally compel us to take equal human rights as the moral summum bonum, but perhaps someone here can explain how it could.
Yeah, but Craig's not talking about ethics. He's asking for an objective foundation for morality, which Harris cannot provide.
And I think theism actually could if God existed*, so I'm totally with him on this. I just don't think it follows that God exists simply because we intuit that morality is objective and desire it to be so.
*(I don't think the Euthyphro dilemma really works to refute divine command theory, it just leads to some consequences theists might not like, such as the possibility of God decreeing infanticide to be good in some other universe and the consequence that infanticide actually would be good in that universe.)
"So it might be that morality is less about maximizing flourishing than it is simple survival"
I think in practice that's as good a definition as any. Would you agree that this position is a matter of opinion? It would seem to me that Harris's premise is just as reasonable even though it disagrees with you.
>I don't see how science can rationally compel us to take equal human rights as the moral summum bonum, but perhaps someone here can explain how it could.<
I think there is a distinction between Harris and Carrier that you haven't appreciated.
Harris starts from the assumption that morality is about improving human flourishing. He doesn't intend to show that science can establish this, he takes it as his starting point and then argues that science can show us how best to achieve it.
Carrier, on the other hand, does not assume that morality is about improving the satisfaction of all, only of the individual. He thinks that morality is about each individual acting rationally in his or her own best interest. In his view, satisfaction can only be obtained by being kind, considerate and generous. The lives of cruel or uncaring people are unsatisfying in his view. He thinks that science can prove this, showing us all that we ought to live moral lives.
I don't agree with him, by the way.
>>But I think most of us would agree, almost as a matter of convention, that moral values are about human flourishing. As long as we sign up to this convention, then we can agree about morality.Delete
I don't think it's that easy. Even if we agreed on what 'human flourishing' consisted in, there would still remain all the old problems about when it's acceptable to infringe upon the 'flourishing' of the few for the sake of enabling the 'flourishing' of the many. If we could live in utopia where everybody flourished (and in which we could trust everybody not to violate the flourishing of others), that would be wonderful. But until that time, there are lots of hard ethical questions to ask that the 'ethics is about human flourishing' motto doesn't really address.
DM, I treat "ethics" as a synonym for "morality". I prefer "ethics" for its less airy sound, but that's about it.Delete
I think Harris is right that everyone cares about flourishing, but in order to flourish one has first to survive, and an individual's survival depends to a great extent on toeing the moral line set by the group. So the characterization of morality as initially a matter of survival, more than flourishing, is based on what I think we observe about ourselves as a social species. But of course this is just my considered opinion!
I think Harris wants us to sign on to the idea that we should maximize flourishing for everyone, so I thought his claim about a prescriptive science of morality is that science could show why we *should* adopt universal human flourishing as a primary value. If his claim is simply that science can show us *how* to achieve flourishing (defined as maximizing positive conscious states), that's not a particularly new or controversial thesis.
Carrier's claim that satisfaction can only be attained by being kind, considerate and generous suggests that there are no real, consistent satisfactions to be gained by being domineering, curt and selfish. But unfortunately there are.
It seems you are offering a descriptive account of morality, but what Harris and Carrier seek to offer is a prescriptive account.
"If his claim is simply that science can show us *how* to achieve flourishing (defined as maximizing positive conscious states), that's not a particularly new or controversial thesis. "
I agree. He thinks he has provided a scientific basis for morality but really he's just rehashed utilitarianism. I think his only major contributions are the analogy of the "moral landscape" and the idea that well-being might be measured quantitatively in some way with neuroscience. His analogy to the science of medicine is also thought provoking - medicine tells us how to be healthy and we don't spend too much time worrying about whether it has established a sound foundation for why we should want to be healthy.
But I think Harris really does feel that the only sensible morality is that which cares about universal human flourishing. He thinks this is self-evident and without need of supporting argument. As such, he really does think he is on an objectively sound foundation.
I agree with your opinion of Carrier's argument.
I think he would say that the satisfactions available from being kind are greater than those available from being cruel. He would also say that knowledge and understanding of the suffering caused by cruelty would diminish satisfaction, so to be precise, morality is about the self interest of perfectly rational, perfectly well-informed people.
>I don't think it's that easy.<
I agree. I'm trying to defend Harris's position as best I can since nobody else here seems to want to, but it's not really my own.
Nevertheless, it seems reasonably plausible as a first step. It might be that the issues you bring up could be ironed out. That said, those issues are indeed "old problems" as you mention, so if they haven't been ironed out by now then perhaps they never will be.
"... if moral values are not about causing human flourishing, then what are they?"
They are of course about human flourishing in a broad sense. Craig's point, however, is that not all matters of human flourishing are moral (think: eating well, allocating resources efficiently, etc.), which raises the question of what is distinctive about morality with respect to human flourishing. Craig thinks Harris fails to appreciate this question (it's too "philosophical" for Harris perhaps) and (at least effectively) answers it incorrectly; hence he isn't really talking about morality at all. At any rate, another good question for this context is:
What is distinctive about moral concern as a concern about human flourishing?
I agree that Euthyphro Dilemma doesn't refute divine command theory. But divine command theory could provide an objective foundation for morality? I strongly disagree.
Remember that all powerful six year old kid from Twilight Zone? Everyone is so afraid of him and does everything to please him because otherwise they'd all die. He has already destroyed everything except his village in Ohio.
Now you can say that by definition, morality is doing whatever Anthony Fremont wants you to do. But that's just it. I'll happily be immoral.
For me, divine command theory makes sense as a foundation for objective morality if we assume that God laid down moral laws as an intrinsic part of the universe, in much the same way that he laid down physical laws. Our moral intuitions could then be regarded as something akin to a physical sense, albeit a fallible one prone to disorders in certain individuals.
If this were true, our intuitions about morality -- that some things really are right or wrong -- could be vindicated. We would not be following God's laws only out of fear of punishment, but because he has designed us as creatures that naturally seek to follow his moral laws the way birds naturally follow magnetic field lines as they migrate. As such, even atheists could be moral.
Disclaimer: I don't actually believe God exists, so I'm not a moral realist.
It is interesting to consider how we make the transition from ethical/moral positions to more broadly conceived notions of political actions/values and those implications. Here for example from the vantage of economics is one such consideration:http://crookedtimber.org/2013/10/31/economics-as-a-moral-science/ReplyDelete
Massimo, as an aside, I would be interested in your take on Kant's notion of "ought" implying "can."
> I think I see a trivial way to unify the three ethical theories under the umbrella of hypothetical imperatives. <
Yes, as you say, it’s trivial, and not at all proportional to Carrier’s boast. So I will assume that’s not what he meant...
> What they are arguing for more fully is that there are right and wrong answers which can be exposed by reason, that morality is not a matter of opinion. Harris in particular is very open to using philosophy as an approach to answering moral questions. <
I don’t think you read Harris properly. He absolutely despises philosophy, as he makes clear in one of the first endnotes to the book. And if that all they were saying, once again, what exactly would be the big deal? Even Plato would agree.
> If you really want to be confident that Pythagoras's theorem works in the real world, it makes sense to perform actual measurements rather than simply trusting the mathematics. <
The point of mathematics is that such measurements are completely superfluous.
> There's a big difference between saying "if you want to maximize human flourishing then these actions are right", and saying "if you want to demonstrate Pythagoras' theorem then you need these axioms and those deductive moves." In the first case, the "actions" are discovered by science. <
That is massively begging the question, in my opinion.
> if moral values are not about causing human flourishing, then what are they? <
They are. My point all along is that “science” significantly under-determines the answers to moral questions. Which is why science cannot answer (but does inform) ethical reasoning.
> Massimo, as an aside, I would be interested in your take on Kant's notion of "ought" implying "can." <
Seems to me that’s one of the things Kant got exactly right. If action X cannot be performed, then it makes no sense to say that the agent ought to do X. Do you have a different take on it?
> So it might be that morality is less about maximizing flourishing than it is simple survival <
I think that’s far too restrictive a view of morality. May have worked in the Pleistocene, but nowadays people want a bit more than just survival.
In Brazil yet?
>I don’t think you read Harris properly. He absolutely despises philosophy, as he makes clear in one of the first endnotes to the book. And if that all they were saying, once again, what exactly would be the big deal? Even Plato would agree.<
I'm getting this not from what I read but from what I saw in this video.
In this panel discussion, in answer to the question of whether science can offer a replacement for existing moral systems, Lawrence Krauss starts to respond by making the argument that many of our existing moral values come from the enlightement, from the dawn of science. Sam Harris interjects with the following:
Sam Harris: I think that's actually a source of confusion... I totally agree with you, but that... we're using "science" in very different senses in this conversation - there's a lot of confusion about... certainly what I mean by "science". I did not mean for a moment to defend science in the very narrow sense of experimental science, men in white lab coats scanning brains as the only source of morality. That's really a strawman. I mean science in a much broader sense - the sort that Steve [Pinker] invoked, of secular rationality and honest truth claims based on honest observation and honest and clear reasoning, and we all are citizen or honorary scientists in many of our moments insofar as we are intellectually honest and trying to have our beliefs about the world and our certainty of those beliefs scale with the evidence, and that is the source of clear thinking about the possibilities of human and animal well being.
Peter Singer: Maybe I did take your view of science too narrowly in which case I apologise, but you just said you wanted this broader view of science from genetics to economics. Now, I know that in other cultures, for example if you think of the German term "Wissenschaft" which we often translate as "science", it includes philosophy and ethics - any serious study of a phenomenon. So I wondered why if you would say not just from genetics to economics but genetics to philosophy...
Sam Harris: Absolutely, yeah...
Peter Singer: If that's all counts as science then perhaps we don't really have a disagreement because we certainly share the view that not only science, but careful thought and reflection is how we're going to advance ethics, not through, for example religious belief or just taking things on faith.
Sam Harris: Absolutely. I think philosophy... there is no clear border between philosophy and science. What I meant to denigrate in my opening remarks were some of the arguments in philosophy that I think are truly useless and the conceptual distinctions that I think are leading us to miss the very obvious point that there is a difference between the worst possible misery and the greatest possible happiness.
He goes on to make the claim that there is something wrong with the prevailing view of meta-ethics in philosophy in its failure to recognise what seems obvious to him, but overall he seems to agree that philosophy is a valid approach in tackling these questions.
>That is massively begging the question, in my opinion.Delete
It's clear to me that asking "what causes human flourishing", and asking "what is the square root of 42", are two quite different questions. The first one has an empirical answer while the second one doesn't. I read recently that an eight year old girl in Yemen died from internal bleeding after having sex with her forty year old husband. I think we can empirically determine that allowing that to happen is not conducive to human flourishing. On the other hand there's no way, no experiment that you can conduct to find the square root of 42.
>“science” significantly under-determines the answers to moral questions. Which is why science cannot answer (but does inform) ethical reasoning.
Yeah, I agree. But his is partly due to the use of philosophically loaded words like "morality". At the object level I think we do pretty alright.
Regarding the ethics-as-hypotheticals view, how do those who hold this view think we are supposed to determine which hypotheticals are the ethically right ones to act upon?
Also, how does Carrier distinguish ethical concern from mere prudential concern? And how do you, btw?
>how do those who hold this view think we are supposed to determine which hypotheticals are the ethically right ones to act upon<Delete
Carrier's view is that there is one overriding imperative ought: you ought to do that which would make you most satisfied. Anything else is irrational. He thinks that morality is about following this imperative.
"Foot herself — again — was a virtue ethicist, so she certainly didn’t think that her talk of hypothetical imperatives transcended virtue ethics."
This is true, after a fashion, but I'm not sure it's quite fair to say Foot was a *virtue ethicist* in the way we might think of e.g. Swanton, Hursthouse, or MacIntyre (or even Aristotle). She herself denied this explicitly in "Rationality and Goodness" (see the first footnote) and was at least cagey about it in the postscript to Natural Goodness. Her thoughts in that postscript indicate that she is more interested in opening up a framework in which a naturalistic ethics can happen and in clearing up confusions in moral philosophy (and in that regard it is relevant to keep in mind the influence of Wittgenstein and Anscombe on her thinking).
That this project is compatible with virtue ethics, and indeed that virtue ethics could occur within it, is not out of line with her views, but she herself didn't see that the subject or determinant of moral goodness was one's dispositions or "inner states"; as near as I can tell, she is far more interested in the *what is done* as the bearer of moral goodness of defect. What connects her with the virtue ethics tradition in this respect is how she connects up one's actions with virtue terms by way of practical reason.
The connection with one's character is still central however, so in that sense I think it fair to categorize her as a virtue ethicist in a loose sense, but I do think these caveats distinguish her thinking in an important way. She is doing something that can be seen as connecting up a system of hypothetical imperatives ("what one has reason to do") with a naturalistic account of the virtues. Her thought in this regard is quite interesting, and Natural Goodness is worth the attempt to see what she is getting at.
Whether or not any of this helps Carrier out I do not know. I'm inclined to be charitable to him because I think I see what he is trying to get at, but as your comments suggest I think he could have been clearer about his point.
I think ethics is not a branch of science, but I think mathematics is a branch of science. (I also think that computer science is a branch of science.) So when the analogy is posed above of how ethics is not a science in a way that mathematics is not a science, it leads me to think that I think ethics is not a science (I think ethics is a branch of philosophy, not science) in a different way.ReplyDelete
Massimo: Do you have a different take on it? [Kant's ought implies can]ReplyDelete
Not really, Massimo, but I've read some posts that do. (Sorry, I can't get specific here. I just glossed over the discussions.) Since I was first exposed to this notion of "human flourishing" via Owen Flanagan by way of Aristotle, I have been troubled by the "feel good fuzziness" of it, as if this is not an empty platitude, not unlike those espoused by some totalitarian systems.
Who, after all, would oppose "human flourishing"? It is taken as a given like apple pie and mother's milk. How is this notion essentially different from some half-assed trickle down theory, for example, other than the naive protestations of those who insist that the half-assed trickle down exponents weren't seriously engaging in the scientific method? It essentially proposes a new authority for what is obviously already contested, i.e., values. Even if one assumes that science can describe more accurately what "is" and narrow down choices to "reasonable" options, the territory covered from what "is" to "ought" is still open to dispute even if same seems outrageously "unreasonable" and even if the speed limit is now more safely set at 100 mph rather than 50. All talk about hypotheticals (conditionals) becomes irrelevant to some extent within the scientific domain because it is designed to reduce or reformulate them within itself. This is laudable, no? It allows one to marginalize those who chose to reject them as outliers, contrarians, or brain damaged. Thus, we can all march down the road of human flourishing in step while singing some universal anthem. I'm really struggling with this discussion, Massimo. Unless someone can propose a solution regarding the catch-all, fall-back position of human nature without some appeal to authority, I'm stuck and have to make do with the "that's people" explanation of my friends.
It would be interesting to take a specific ethical question and do an analysis. Take the House vote on reducing SNAP [ http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap ] ("food stamps") payments. Both sides (Republicans, Democrats) advance an ethical argument for their position. Which argument is correct?ReplyDelete
Someone made reference to Plato's Euthyphro earlier in the thread, and if I recall it correctly, Socrates doesn't really come to a satisfactory conclusion. So now it seems we are perhaps rephrasing the dilemma: "Is what is morally good commanded by science because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by science?"ReplyDelete
That's not what's really going on in this debate. First of all, unlike the case of God, nobody claims (not even Harris, I think) that the recommendations of 'science' are always morally good; everyone acknowledges that scientists can make recommendations that are harmful (in medicine, economics, psychology, etc.) Without that correlation, there's really no comparison to Euthyphro.Delete
More importantly, the Euthyphro dilemma is largely a metaphysical one; it's a question about whether God "creates" the moral facts, or whether the moral facts exist independently from him. In the current debate, nobody is claiming that science "creates" the moral facts. The question is whether we can use science to *discover* the facts about morality.
Science doesn't command anything. It just lets you predict outcomes. Carrier and Harris both assume morality is about trying to achieve a specific outcome (although they disagree on what that is) and then argue that science can tell us how to achieve it, thereby making moral questions empirical.
The Euthyphro dilemma does not apply.
DM, if I understand you, you are arguing that to choose or select a method or approach in no way expresses a value.but rather only a fact.Delete
C November, I don't think Socrates's intent was about God or gods, rather it is a point of departure for the discussion as Euthyphro frames and justifies his action. I see the second horn as metaphysical, but the first as addressing authority. You, and DM, may have noticed that I have simply quoted the dilemma as it is commonly expressed. This is not an exact quote from the dialogue.Delete
Sorry, I flip-flopped the horns,Delete
>DM, if I understand you, you are arguing that to choose or select a method or approach in no way expresses a value.but rather only a fact.<
I don't know -- I think I don't really understand you now.
Harris and Carrier both maintain science can determine values, but they do so only by appealing to a more ultimate value. I think in both of their cases they propose "discovering" values by looking at what measures up to the ultimate definition of moral value (for them).
So, to resolve the debate on abortion, for example, Harris would have us investigate which position leads to greater well-being. He would then have us adopt that position as a value.
DM, as you say, and then parenthetically explain, "they propose "discovering" values by looking at what measures up to the ultimate definition of moral value (for them)," they have a way to find the buried treasure and propose others follow it. Either way, it is an appeal to authority or relativistic and presupposes that others will see the same value in their discovery.Delete
>In the first case, the "actions" are discovered by science. <
To say that science can "discover" the actions to maximise human flourishing seems very misleading. It misses that a whole host of value decisions need to be made that can't possibly be answered by science: e.g., Do we maximise flourishing for humanity for this year, or over the next 10 years, or 100 or a 1000? How much should we take into account the suffering of animals in our quest for human nirvana? What weight should we give to social principles such as the rights of a small group versus the wishes of the majority? How do we even decide on exactly what flourishing is, amid a range of individual preferences (I might want to maximise my enjoyment now and cut 10 years off my life)? Science can't answer those questions. It can help once we make those value decisions and interpretations, but it can't "discover" them.
>if moral values are not about causing human flourishing, then what are they?<
Well they clearly extend to consideration of rights of animals. Haven't you heard of animal ethics, debates around use of animals in research, debates around vegetarianism? That is more like curtailing aspects of human flourshing.
>Well they clearly extend to consideration of rights of animals.<Delete
Harris would view rights of animals as central to morality, as he tends to focus on the well-being of conscious creatures rather than on humans specifically.
Carrier doesn't seem to believe in rights in the same way, since his approach is centred on the individual. He might say there is moral behaviour for humans in light of what makes humans satisfied and moral behaviour for animals in light of what satisfies them. How humans ought to treat animals is a question to be understood only in terms of which kind of treatment would most satisfy humans.
The question you raise about animals is a rather trivial one. It's simply a question about what do we mean when we say human.
The other question you raised about small group vs large group one is an important one, and I concede that this one place where, as Massimo says, science under-determines the answer to a moral question. If I generalize this, science isn't much help when it comes to whose happiness and well-being needs to be sacrificed for the happiness and well-being of another.
But I ask this question, what then can determine the answers for those kinds of questions. There are no categorical imperatives. Science here isn't limited anymore than virtue ethics or utilitarianism. The best it can do is tell you, if you want this do this, just like those moral theories. That's just the best we can do. I think that was what Carrier was talking about.
This may be slightly off topic Massimo but I was curious what your take on Derek Parfit and his book "On What Matters"? I searched the blog and did not find anything, is he taking a different route to "objective" morality than claiming the objectivity is derived from science? He also seems to exclude virtue ethics, which I'm not sure if that supports his claims that all the moral theories converge.ReplyDelete
Parfit is a non-naturalist; his reasons for believing in objective morality have nothing to do with science.Delete
Interesting, can you link me to a resource that would be helpful in understanding Parfit's position? I know his views are very similar to Buddhist views but from what I've read of him, I didn't come across anything to indicate he's a non-naturalist. Thanks!Delete
This review of his book explains parts of his view:Delete
His position is not entirely unique. Russ Shafer-Landau, Tim Scanlon, and David Enoch could also be described as 'non-natural realists'.
Speaking of inimitable insufferability, here's a quote from the first page of Carrier's "Sense and Goodness Without God":ReplyDelete
"Since this makes philosophy fundamental to everything in our lives, it is odd that people give it so little attention. Philosophers are largely to blame. They have reduced their craft to the very thing it should not be: a jargonized verbal dance around largely useless minutiae. Philosophy is supposed to be the science of explaining to everyone the meaning and implications of what we say and think, aiding us all in understanding ourselves and the world. Yet philosophers have all but abandoned this calling, abandoning their only useful role in society. They have retreated behind ivory walls, talking over the heads of the uninitiated, and doing nothing useful for the everyman. So it is no surprise the general population has lost interest"
Massimo, I think I can tell you the "why" to what you say in your second paragraph:ReplyDelete
>>To begin with, I think Carrier seriously mischaracterizes Foot’s standing in contemporary philosophy. He says: “Most philosophers ignore Philippa Foot, or make no use of her work ... It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that she was (and pretty much still is) ignored because she was a woman.” This pious comment comes after this other one: “the late, great Philippa Foot, author of the book Natural Goodness and one of the most famous papers in moral philosophy, ‘Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives.’” If you don’t see the contradiction between claiming on the one hand that an author has largely been ignored and on the other hand that one of her papers is among the most famous in moral philosophy, well, you just don’t understand what a contradiction is.<<
Carrier, by his first comment, is pandering to the Atheism Plusers, especially the nth-wave feminists among them, with "woe, another overlooked, even deliberately ignored, woman of intellect." (He has quite a reputation among a lot of non-Gnu Atheists for doing this. It's part of why he wanted to be part of the Freethought Blogs stable, reportedly.)
The second comment then, demonstrates his loyalty as a foot soldier in the cause, by how much of a pedestal he puts Foot on. (Subtle pun there, too, eh?)
So, in that sense, there's really not a contraction between his two statements. Oh, there's a logico-empirical contradiction in their actual content, obviously. But, in their intent, they're part and parcel of each other.
"... meta-ethics (the study of how it is possible to ground ethical systems)." How – or whether perhaps?ReplyDelete
Jane O'Grady pointed out in the obituary she wrote for The Guardian that Philippa Foot "was always passionate that 'the grounding of a moral argument is ultimately in facts about human life' and in what it is rational for humans to want."
The first part of this relates to empirical factors (and ultimately to science), but the second part – what it is rational for humans to want – plays on an ambiguity in the word 'rational'. Something like rational = logically consistent versus rational = (what I see as) sensible and desirable.
It's noteworthy that ethicists are often more than usually morally and politically engaged. Philippa Foot certainly was (socialist, Oxfam involvement, etc.). Massimo is also a very morally and politically engaged thinker.
The problem is that there is an obvious temptation for moral philosophers who have strong moral or political views to gravitate to certain meta-ethical positions (such as moral realism) because such positions may allow them more effectively to promote their particular moral or political views (which may then be presented as in some sense objectively true or at least objectively or rationally superior to other views).
You could almost see this as a case of moral hazard. Or potential conflict of interest.
No problem, some will say. Philosophers who deal with social or political or moral questions simply have to draw a clear line between their professional work and their personal opinions (and ultimate motivations). Even concerns about the possible adverse consequences of a 'scientific morality' on the one hand, or of moral relativism or anti-realism on the other need to be put completely to one side in any dispassionate investigation.
But, I suggest, this is easier said than done.
In fact, the dangers implicit in mixing a morally-engaged stance with a supposedly dispassionate stance make me very skeptical of attempts to professionalize ethics.
Moreover, perceived bias – I am not pointing at Massimo here (who is refreshingly open and responsive) but rather at the many obvious examples amongst today's applied ethicists who transparently use their status as 'experts' to push a particular agenda – only serves in the long run to undermine the status of philosophers, philosophy and even 'reason' itself.
In a blog post about the general question of the influence of religious and other beliefs on philosophical views, Jeremy Stangroom quoted Foot (referring to her friend, the prominent philosopher and Roman Catholic, Michael Dummett) as follows:
'I once asked Michael, “What happens when your argument goes one way and your religious belief goes the other?” And he said, “How would it be if you knew that something was true? Other things would have to fit with it.” '
Bit of a worry?
>It's noteworthy that ethicists are often more than usually morally and politically engaged. <Delete
I read somewhere that philosophers of morality were no more likely than the population at large to behave morally (and perhaps less so). It rings true to me, but then perhaps it isn't.
Eric Schwitzgebel does some work on this topic:Delete
In addition to thinking that moral philosophy doesn't make you act more morally, he argues that studying moral philosophy simply makes you better at coming up with clever rationalizations of naughty behavior.
DM (and C)Delete
My claim was merely that ethicists are often more than usually morally and politically engaged – that is, that many ethicists have unusually strong political and moral commitments – and not that ethicists as a class are more moral than the general population.
And I am concerned not so much with how they lead their general lives (interesting as that question may be) but rather with how their political and moral commitments and related beliefs impact on their professional work.
I don't know what to make of Carrier overall. His website is pretty much all sales pitches and samples (or teasers, if you will,) for his books. If I read it right, he had one book subsidized! I must concede it's not vanity publishing if someone pays you, even if the people paying you are not the publishers, as per the usual arrangement. And lastly, he does go on and on about Bayes' Theorem. Whenever someone besides a statistician does that, I check my wallet.ReplyDelete
That said, Carrier says Kan't deontological ethics ultimately reduces to a system of hypothetical imperatives. This may or may not be true. But this isn't a claim about utilitarianism.
Carrier says Mill was "missing part of the picture..." This doesn't may make a clear claim, incoherent or not. Think of it more as an ad for whichever book he's touting. Caveat emptor.
Carrier writes "Not everyone is aware of..." the way Kant's categorical imperative reduces. You write "No Kant scholar or meta-ethicist ever noticed..."
Not everyone=No Kant scholar or meta-ethicist? Really?
There have been a few comments on Plato's Euthyphro as if the Greek notion of the "immortals" is the equivalent of the Judeo-Christian notion of a God. It's not. As I understand Massimo's description of Carrier's concerns, they are essentially an appeal to authority and science's greater fitness to point us to "the way." It is disconcerting to read comments that make appeals to science or its methodology as if science were a monolithic thingy somehow different from those who practice it, as if the practitioners somehow occupied some spacio-temporal, acutural zone that differs from most of us mortals.ReplyDelete
> how does Carrier distinguish ethical concern from mere prudential concern? And how do you, btw? <
He thinks he does, but it is hard to see how, exactly. As far as I am concerned, since I embrace virtue ethics, it should be obvious that the issue doesn't arise.
> The connection with one's character is still central however, so in that sense I think it fair to categorize her as a virtue ethicist in a loose sense <
Good points, yes Foot is not a virtue ethicist in the standard sense of the term, and her interests were indeed broader. But she is recognized as one of the major modern contributors to the revival of virtue ethics, and for Carrier to write as if that were not the case is a pretty serious mischaracterization of her philosophy.
Yes, in Brazil. See how committed I am to the blog? ;-)
> I'm getting this not from what I read but from what I saw in this video. <
Ah, my interpretation - and I admit that I'm being cynical here - is that Harris was more moderate than usual because of Peter Singer's present. What he writes in his book is quite different. A similar thing happened during my debate with Dennett and Krauss in Ghent (video soon): Krauss was so tame (because of Dennett, I assume) that his position was hardly recognizable from the one he expressed in the infamous Atlantic interview, or in his so-called apology in Scientific American.
> I think ethics is not a branch of science, but I think mathematics is a branch of science <
I think that's just wrong, and I suspect a lot of mathematicians and philosophers of mathematics would disagree with you. One essential aspect of science is that it deals with empirically testable hypotheses. Proving mathematical theorems or exploring the consequences of mathematical conjectures has nothing to do with that.
Your commitment is admirable! Hope you're having a good time.
>Ah, my interpretation - and I admit that I'm being cynical here - is that Harris was more moderate than usual because of Peter Singer's present.<
Your cynicism could well be justified. I read The Moral Landscape too, and I wasn't left with the impression that he was dismissive of philosophy as a whole, but my memory isn't great. It's a bit rich if this is really his position, because he's obviously engaging in (amateur) philosophy in much of his writing. As you probably know, he's written books on the ethics of lying and on free will..
>> I think ethics is not a branch of science, but I think mathematics is a branch of science <
FYI, I didn't write that. That was Philip Thrift.
Mathematics is a branch of science according to this:Delete
One might dismiss this as "That's from Wikipedia" but in this case I think it is the right way to categorize mathematics. It's a science; in particular, it's primarily a formal science, but it does have empirical aspects to it, as is recently being discovered:
>A similar thing happened during my debate with Dennett and Krauss in Ghent (video soon): Krauss was so tame (because of Dennett, I assume) that his position was hardly recognizable from the one he expressed in the infamous Atlantic interview, or in his so-called apology in Scientific American.<Delete
Krauss was also conciliatory when talking with less prominent philosophers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PL84Yg2dNsg Therefore I think it is not worthwhile taking his criticisms of philosophy seriously. His work promoting science is a net positive influence on popular culture.
> Who, after all, would oppose "human flourishing"? <
Well, if that's all there was to virtue ethics I'd agree. But if you read Aristotle, or any of the modern day virtue ethicists, you'll see that there is a bit more to it than that.
> catch-all, fall-back position of human nature without some appeal to authority <
Would you not agree as a matter of simple observation (which is indeed backed up by quantitative research in social science) that human beings universally value a set of things, beginning with food and shelter, continuing to meaningful relations with friends and family, to the ability to pursue projects about which they are passionate? Of course observation by itself isn't enough, because our interests quickly come into conflict with other people's interests, hence the point of ethical reasoning.
> Take the House vote on reducing SNAP [ http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap ] ("food stamps") payments. Both sides (Republicans, Democrats) advance an ethical argument for their position. Which argument is correct? <
Sorry, I'm going to be dismissive about this one. I think the current (as opposed to historical) crop of Republicans has left both ethics and reason somewhere in a closet and forgot where they out it.
> I was curious what your take on Derek Parfit and his book "On What Matters"? <
I have to confess that I've never been attracted by the highly esoterical metaphysics practiced by Parfit, hence I never commented on it. Perhaps one of these days I'll give it another try, but I need a very compelling reason.
> It's clear to me that asking "what causes human flourishing", and asking "what is the square root of 42", are two quite different questions. The first one has an empirical answer while the second one doesn't <
That is precisely what is under discussion here. I thought I made clear that I think ethics needs a combination of empirical input and rational argumentation, hence it finds itself in a territory that isn't quite math and isn't quite science. By saying that ethical questions have empirical answers you are assuming Carrier's position to begin with.
I would say that Republicans and Democrats have a different way (philosophy) of perceiving the world (including human beings) and that is why they have different ethical frameworks.Delete
Massimo, as you say, "But if you read Aristotle, or any of the modern day virtue ethicists, you'll see that there is a bit more to it than that," to which I might add, and a few historical figures in between Aristotle and modern day virtue ethicists, and remind you that in part one of your discussion I asked about the "justification problem" after reading the SEP entry on virtue ethics.ReplyDelete
"Would you not agree as a matter of simple observation (which is indeed backed up by quantitative research in social science) that human beings universally value a set of things, beginning with food and shelter, continuing to meaningful relations with friends and family, to the ability to pursue projects about which they are passionate? Of course observation by itself isn't enough, because our interests quickly come into conflict with other people's interests, hence the point of ethical reasoning."
With regard to "food and shelter," I would say that most sentient beings do not need a method of observation to pursue them and would rather see them as basic needs, hardly matters of "flourishing." As to the others, I would say ask why confine relationships to those that are "meaningful" since this introduces a problem of definition vis a vis meaningful/unmeaningful? And the "ability to pursue projects about which they are passionate," won't get much argument even from the likes of Ted Bundy.
The incest taboo is, as I recollect, almost universally accepted, even by cultures that us moderns would describe as primitive. And, no, this is not to make a case for the noble savage, but rather to suggest that Carrier's argument is essentially an appeal to authority that, like most, is an aggregate of many historical factors.
> 'I once asked Michael, “What happens when your argument goes one way and your religious belief goes the other?” And he said, “How would it be if you knew that something was true? Other things would have to fit with it.” ' <
I'm tempted to point out that that response came from a religiously committed philosopher, not a secular one. But of course your worry is sensible. The only answer I have is that the job of ethicists isn't to dictate what is moral or not, but rather to help people articulate, think through and critically challenge their own moral positions. As usual in philosophy (and, frankly, in science) the expertise doesn't rely as much on the body of available answers, but rather in the toolbox to work one's way through possible answers.
> Carrier writes "Not everyone is aware of..." the way Kant's categorical imperative reduces. You write "No Kant scholar or meta-ethicist ever noticed..." Not everyone=No Kant scholar or meta-ethicist? Really? <
Yes, if you read my sentence charitably. If anyone should have noticed it should have been Kant's scholars. If they haven't, it's not likely anyone else has. And Carrier's barb was aimed explicitly at fellow philosophers, not at the man on the street.
> The second comment then, demonstrates his loyalty as a foot soldier in the cause, by how much of a pedestal he puts Foot on. (Subtle pun there, too, eh?) <
Yup, I surmised as much.
> Mathematics is a branch of science according to this <
You predicted correctly, I am going to dismiss those links as being from Wikipedia, which in this case I simply don't think gets it right. As for "experimental" mathematics, the terms refers to mathematics done by computation, not to anything like the scientific sense of "experimental."
(DM, apologies for having misattributed the quote.)
> I would say that Republicans and Democrats have a different way (philosophy) of perceiving the world (including human beings) and that is why they have different ethical frameworks. <
Until a few years ago I would have agreed. And at some point we may have a serious conversation about this. But the current Tea Party-dominated GOP is simply not in that ballpark.
> With regard to "food and shelter," I would say that most sentient beings do not need a method of observation to pursue them and would rather see them as basic needs, hardly matters of "flourishing." As to the others, I would say ask why confine relationships to those that are "meaningful" since this introduces a problem of definition vis a vis meaningful/unmeaningful? And the "ability to pursue projects about which they are passionate," won't get much argument even from the likes of Ted Bundy. <
All good points, but: even Aristotle makes it clear that without basic needs (to which he adds a nurturing family and societal environment, health, education, etc.) there isn't going to be any flourishing. Unlike with other animals, this has serious political consequences for humans.
I'm not bothered by exactly defining "meaningful" in the case of relationships with family and friends. I'm pretty sure that, despite your skepticism, you know precisely what I mean. As for Bundy, ah yes, the psychopath problem. Again, Aristotle makes it pretty clear that while a broad range of pursuits qualifies not all do. Does it really take a deep philosophical argument to exclude projects like Bundy's from the lot?
In my view the "Tea Party" has been lurking as the "Id" of the Republican Party throughout my life. The Dixiecrats became Republicans, it flourished a while with Goldwater's 1964 campaign, and was escorted in by Reagan's "promises" to the Moral Majority in 1980. Reagan never kept most of those promises, and the "Tea Party" (before it got that name) was tempered down, but now these GOP core convictions are just being made more public.Delete
Of course not, I'm just being argumentative (re Bundy) as many of us are. You expressed reservations about this topic at the start of part one, and it is perfectly understandable why. And you are of course correct in not being bothered by defining meaningful with regard to human relations since even a destructive relation can be meaningful. Again, this is to be argumentative, but nevertheless to make a point. But, more to the point, as you say regarding "flourishing," "Unlike with other animals, this has serious political consequences for humans." And I might add for more than "humans." I don't incline to skepticism regarding this subject by preference. But I have some serious reservations on the basis of human history when phrases like "human flourishing" are seemingly accepted willy-nilly, even one might say resurrected,, by those whose posturings might be described as those of science groupies. Most of those who comment here know better. There are serious differences both intra and inter across the scientific disciplines regarding this issue.. Throw in the humanities, and we have a serious rugby scrum on our hands.ReplyDelete
Reading Carrier charitably, I didn't take "not everyone" as code for "no Kant scholar or meta-ethicist" but took it more "not every philosopher uses Foot's concept of hypothetical imperatives the way it should be." My mistake!ReplyDelete
Foot's the one whose trolley problems are an essential in ethics, right?
Massiomo, as always a fun and fascinating topic. I always find the links you provide to be a great resource. But forgive me for rehashing previous questions. I just can't square all of your positions. The link to "Farewell To Reality" suggests that you are open to questioning how solid the ground is under the current model of theoretical physics. But earlier you seemed quite sanguine about asserting that the universe is finely tuned. Which is it? Is Physics a work in progress witch may be going down completely wrong conceptual paths, or do we know enough to feel safe in concluding that the hand of god (or the mulitverse, or, and this is the one that bothers me most Simulation Argument!) stacked the deck? I obviously think the jury is way too out to be making such large claims.ReplyDelete