Why I'm an Amoralist

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Abstract
In this paper, I argue that morality, like theism, is a framework for ordering observations. I demonstrate that morality is a court framework, using the three category-pairs common to a court system. I then ask which observations this framework is ordering. I consider three theories: 1) individual preferences, 2) social norms, 3) a society’s relation to its environment. I demonstrate that the latter is the best fit, and that it makes sense that prehistoric societies would attempt to apply a court framework to their environments, given their theistic beliefs. I provide some examples for further illustration. I then argue that having determined what morality is trying to describe, we can ask whether it is the best method for doing so, given our current knowledge of the world, and that the answer is no. As an example, I demonstrate how a functional framework provides a much better explanation for the failures of communism than a moral framework. After that, I argue that a functional framework, this time based on evolutionary theory, is able to solve persistent problems in moral philosophy. I then address three possible objections to my theory, most notably the ‘naturalistic fallacy’, arguing that this fallacy is widely misunderstood and does not apply to morality, but rather to agency, which is a separate issue. I end with a definition of amoralism and explain why I use the term for myself.
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First archival date: 2017-05-09
Latest version: 5 (2017-05-09)
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