Hume’s Circle of Values

by Sociology is a Science

A so-called “law” of philosophy — often dubbed “Hume’s Guillotine” — states that one can never derive an “ought” from an “is”.

In other words, the state of the world never implies how one should behave in that world. So, facts about reality don’t have to determine our opinions about how to live. Maybe cigarettes cause cancer, but fuckit! Some people just need to look like James McCoolguy every time they get bored in public.

“Hume’s Guillotine” is named after David Hume, a legendary mind equally famous for his slovenly 300+lb physical appearance. I take the low blow at his weight only because this is an anti-Hume post and, in reality, Hume was probably 20x smarter than I am so when I get a point on him, I need to drive the stake in.

Hume was wrong. The maxim that “one cannot derive an ought from an is” becomes completely self-defeating when we realize that it’s authority derives from facts about logic….Meaning that the statement “one cannot derive an ought from an is” is ITSELF an ought statement (about values) explicitly derived from an is statement (about the factual nature of logical argumentation).

So, we can just completely ignore Hume on this one point in the philosophy of values by rephrasing his famous maxim in its circular fallaciousness:

“Given the facts of logic, one ought not derive an ought from an is”

Thanks, Hume, for confusing literally everybody into thinking that facts and moral values are two different realms. They are clearly not, and your retarded maxim is the most circular bullshit I’ve ever seen.

But you were still smarter than a racehorse on crack, and one thing I’ve learned is that when 95% of what people say is brilliant, they are almost always completely forgiven, or adhered to, on opinions of obvious bullshit.

I call this error of Hume’s the fallacy of the circle of values (because his statement is itself a falsifying, circular, example) and because I assume I’m not the first one to figure this out, so I want try for a cooler name.

I imagine this post will interest roughly 3 breathing humans on Earth. What is it…too arcane? Too confusing? Too stupid? Maybe literally no non-philosopher gives a shit about  deriving “oughts from ises”.

It is kind of a stupid issue. People derive their values from facts all the time, so whether we pin Hume down on his SPECIFIC error in logic or not, he was fucking wrong and so people perfectly logically derive, for example, political positions from facts about the world every day.

Alright lemme post this shit before I delete it.

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