In fact, these ”…then-everything-is-permissible” claims tend to be confused. Certainly the error theorist has no business claiming that ”everything is permissible.” If moral nihilism is true, then nothing is moral obligatory, nothing is morally prohibited, and nothing is morally permissible either. Thus, one who claims that moral nihilism implies that everything is permissible must intend to denote some kind of permissibility other than moral—let’s just call it X-permissibility. But then an argument will be needed to show that the failure of moral discourse implies that everything is X-permissible, and those who wield the slogan have never, to my knowledge, developed any such argument. The same can be said of Dostoyevsky’s original version. If ”permission” means theistically permitted, then if God does not exist then nothing is permitted (as Jacques Lacan once observed (1991: 139)). It’s possible that if God is dead then everything is X-permitted, but, again, an argument would be needed to make the connection. It is reasonable to suspect that most people voicing Dostoyevsky’s dictum intend to express the thought that God provides the only viable underpinning for human morality, in which case if God is dead we face moral nihilism. It is possible that this is true, though it is far from widely accepted; most atheists oppose the moral error theory as adamantly as they oppose religion. In any case, even if it were true that atheism leads to moral nihilism, we have seen that it wouldn’t follow that everything is morally permissible, and no argument has been supplied to show that it would follow that everything is permitted in some other sense.
Just så. En moralisk nihilist kan mycket väl motsätta sig vissa handlingar utan att denna inställning har sin grund i en avläsning av någon morallära.