I try to understand all I can about science and philosophy. And as I understand it, many philosophers are moral nihilists. (I once assumed most were. But someone on these boards once pointed out actually most philosophers are moral realists.) In any event, a large number are, let’s just say.
Anyways, I have known of moral nihilism for some time now. I was exposed to the idea of emotivism and noncognitivism about 30 years ago. I think they both express the view that many philosophers (and scientists) are just neutral towards ethics, because they find ethical statements neither true nor false. I can grasp that concept (I don’t entirely agree with it, but that’s another matter).
But if you read that Wikipedia article about it, you will see some philosophers and scientists find moral statements absolutely false. Now, that I don’t understand. And for a simple reason.
The word ‘false’ implies there is a truth that replaces it. For example, if I told a scientist ‘the moon is made of blue cheese’, he or she would reply, ‘no, it isn’t, it’s made or moon rock [or whatever]’.
So if the statement ‘torture is wrong’ is false, what then is the true statement? Or am I misunderstanding the use of the word ‘false’? Is there in fact no true statement to contradict it? And if that is so, please explain how.
Thank you in advance for your helpful replies .