You cannot conclude an Ought from an Is Barry Magid April 28th 2018

If you give a factual description of the way things are that has no compelling reason to conclude anything about the way things ought to be. The way things ought to be is an emotional response to the way things are and has no basis in logic, reason, or empirical descriptions of things. The philosopher Hume's position on morality is that such judgements just approve one state of affairs over another, but that has no absolute grounding in things like reason or religion. Hume, like Adam Smith, wanted to ground ethics in sentiment, fellow feeling, or what we would call empathy. It cannot be universalized or arrived at by reason. Hume and Buddha had many ideas in common about the nature of the self and yet came to very different conclusions about how we ought to live.

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