Flannel Jesus wrote:When I say that I don't know what it means, what I'm actually doing is leaving it up to you to say what it means. That doesn't, however, give you free reign to make up any ol' meaning. When I'm arguing with a theist about the existence of God, I let them define god, but they're not free to define it HOWEVER they want. They are free to define it within reasonable parameters, and one of those parameters is that it must at least vaguely correspond to popular usage. That's why "Payless" isn't a good definition of God.
Morality - the topic concerning how you ought to act.
moral fact - a fact about how you ought to act
Is this complicated or something?
Now, here's an interesting fact about popular usage of morality, and the word "should" or "ought":
You are liable, if you go out, to overhear someone saying "You should see such-and-such movie." (or "You ought to see it," less frequently)
So, one guy says, "I like superhero movies," and the other guy says, "Oh, you should go see the new Batman."
And then, what you can do, is you can poke your head in and say, "Oh, you think he's morally obliged to go see the new Batman?"
Unless you've run into the biggest batman fan ever (and even then he'll be being facetious, hyperbolic), the answer will pretty much always be, "No, of course I'm not saying that."
If you're "morally obliged" to do someting it means at least that it would be a serious moral error not to go to Batman. And no matter how much liking Batman gives a subjective moral reason to go see Batman---I'm not sure why you think it's an obligation.
I won't repeat myself again, after this. In english, there are differences of degree in some of our words that don't mean essentially different things---this helps with clarity, meaning, etc. The difference between child and adult is a difference of degree, for example---degress of maturity, you could say. There's no essential difference there, just one of degrees. And for communication, when we speak, we use the term best fitting what we mean. The difference between morality and prudence is also a difference of degree. And likewise, we use the word that best fits what we mean. That's why calling Batman a moral whatever you said sounds odd. But you can't keep saying, "I don't know what morality is, but aha, that isn't it!" ...Especially when you've no reason to think it's not, it's how the term is used in the history of philosophy, and it fits with ordinary attitudes about oughtness.
So how is it that all of these people are making statements about what other people ought to do / should do, but they're convinced they're not making moral statements?
Who do you continue to supposedly speak for? When people say, "You ought to do something", and they mean something that matters, they absolutely do mean something moral. When they say, "You ought to do something", and it's a technical thing, like turning a screw one way rather than another, that's just less in degree of significance, then they mean something prudent. This is a difference of degree, and the moment you admit of degrees of objectivity in 'prudent' matters, they'll blend over to 'moral' ones.
This is the third time I have responded to this same point of yours. It's probably best for you to come back to this post and read it over a few times.
No, common usage of the word "morality" does NOT lead one to conclude that statements like "You're morally obliged to do this because you'd like it" make sense.
There's an entire preference-satisfaction brand of Utilitarianism... I mean, one central moral theory is just the theory that you should maximize the preference-satisfaction of as many people as possible. That's a central moral theory. Whatever you think "common usage" is... stop inserting your bullshit view that a moral fact has to be on a postcard from god, or with a metaphysical sticker on it, stop inserting that into "common usage", in order to say ridiculous things like, "nobody actually thinks you should minimize pain!".