En nybliven amoralist

Filosofen Joel Marks anser inte längre att det finns någon moral. Han är en amoralist. Det hindrar honom dock inte från att kritisera andras moraliska hållningar:

I have been led to a sort of Socratic mode of moral argumentation. Socrates was notorious for interrogating his interlocutors rather than asserting and defending theses himself. Similarly, I am suggesting, I will continue to be able to hold forth as a critical moral reasoner, even though I no longer believe in morality, so long as I confine myself to questioning the inferences of others (and gingerly deflect their questions about my own moral commitments by speaking in the mode of morality, as above). It is true that I would thereby fail to be completely forthcoming about my own meta-ethics whenever doing so would be disruptive to the dialogue; but I do not think I would be doing anything that is considered unkosher even when moralists are arguing among themselves.

Man kan nog kalla Marks för en fiktionalist: han talar som om moral existerar utan att anse att den faktiskt gör det. Är man därmed en förkastlig människa? Icke alls, menar Marks. Man kan förespråka saker som andra anser moraliska utan moral:

There I am, then, honestly discussing particular issues with opponents, and justifying my positions to them by their moral lights. But how do I justify them to myself, since I have no moral lights anymore? For example, on what basis would I myself be a vegetarian? The answer, in a word, is desire. I want animals, human or otherwise, not to suffer or to die prematurely for purposes that I consider trivial, not to mention counterproductive of human happiness.

Detta synsätt tilltalar mig.