There is no "Is-Ought Problem" because there is no 'ought'.

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
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Re: There is no "Is-Ought Problem" because there is no 'ought'.

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Donna Walker 1 wrote: February 21st, 2023, 1:45 pm "There is no "Problem of Evil" because there is no evil."

Every time I see this statement, I am perplexed.
Hi, Donna, thank you for your reply! :D

What about the sentence before that one: There is no "Is-Ought Problem" because there is no 'ought'.

Do you agree with that one?

As I use the terms, they are essentially the same statement.

I typically think of the word "evil" as simply meaning "something that really ought not be" or in yet other synonymous words as meaning, "something that should not have happened".

Imagine one person says, "The hurricane that happened yesterday is evil". And a second person says, "That hurricane that happened yesterday should not have happened." And a third person says, "That hurricane that happened yesterday ought not have happened." And a forth person says, "That hurricane that happened yesterday was morally wrong."

I would interpret all four people in the above situation as all saying the exact them thing, just with different words. Likewise, I would interpret it as all four people either (1) saying something exists that I do not believe exists or (2) saying something that doesn't make sense.


Donna Walker 1 wrote: February 21st, 2023, 1:45 pm The acts done to them are the choice of someone else, who, in my mind, has to be evil to enjoy doing those things to children.
Generally, if someone says "Bob is evil", I interpret that as meaning the exact same thing as saying, "Bob should not be the way he is." Is that what you mean when you call people "evil"?

Generally, if someone says "That thing Bob did yesterday is evil", I interpret that as meaning the exact same thing as saying, "Bob should not have done that thing he did." Does that match the way you use the terms?
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Brenda Creech
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Re: There is no "Is-Ought Problem" because there is no 'ought'.

Post by Brenda Creech »

Scott wrote: February 21st, 2023, 1:30 pm
Brenda Creech wrote: February 21st, 2023, 12:25 pm Ok, I agree that it is what it is because you choose for it to be because of a choice you made; but that doesn't make it what you wanted it to be necessarily, does it?
I think it does. Perhaps I can best illustrate why with an example:

Imagine you have the choice between A and B. If you choose A, then A is, and B is not; and it is what it is which is A. If you choose B, then B is, and A is not; and it is what it is which is B.

As I use the terms, if you have a choice between A and B, you get exactly want, meaning what you choose. If you choose/want B, you get B. If you choose/want A, you get A.

There is a great inner peace that comes with thinking--and knowing--that we are always getting exactly what we want (i.e. choose). There is a great loving inner peace that comes with being able to honestly and proudly say, "I do only what I want to do, and I don't ever do what I don't want to do."

Likewise, there is a loss of inner peace that comes with any illusion we are not getting we want when it comes to our choices, such as the illusion of 'ought' or 'should'.

These inner-peace-stealing illusions can come in many forms, and often as a form of self-deception. The textbook alcoholic might say, "I want to maintain my sobriety, but I need a drink; I have to have a drink." I say that's all nonsense, and that kind of nonsense makes the truly simple seem falsely complex.

Alternatively, he might with terrible inner-peace-stealing shame say, "I ought to not drink, as he lift the drink to his mouth." I say that's all nonsense, and that kind of nonsense makes the truly simple seem falsely complex.

He might say, "I don't want to take a drink right now, but I am slave to the alcohol," as he lifts glass to his mouth. To the degree he is right, he lacks what I call spiritual freedom.

He might say, "I don't want to take a comforting drink right now, but I am prisoner to the comfort to the alcohol," as he lifts the glass to his mouth. To the degree he is right, then he lacks what I call spiritual freedom.

But, in an important sense, as I explain the book, such a lack of spiritual freedom is always an illusion. Voltaire said, "Man is free at the moment he choose to be."

As humans, we are very good at generating all sorts of smoke and mirrors. These deceiving smoke and mirrors make the simple seem complex. Those deceiving smoke and mirrors can make the logically undeniable seem counter-intuitive or somehow untrue. Those many smoke and mirrors can make it seem like we are not getting what we want (i.e. choose) when it comes to our choices, even though we absolutely do. Those kind of deceiving smoke and mirrors can make even the most heavenly heaven seem like a hell. Nightmares don't need to be real to torture us, and--I believe--they never are.

The simple reality is that when it comes to our choices we get exactly what we want, meaning what we choose, and with everything, it is what it is. Nothing real is worth resenting. Nothing unchangeable 'ought' to be different than it unchangeably is, so much so that I think of the word 'ought' itself as meaningless nonsense, just one of many unreal nightmarish smoke and mirrors.


Thank you for your intriguing and thought-provoking question! :) :)
Thanks for responding to my question! There is a lot of what you said I find fascinating, especially the quote by Voltaire, "Man is free at the moment he chooses to be." I agree with that wholeheartedly! Spiritual freedom is what we all seek, yet not everyone finds it. I will remember what you've said the next time I have to choose between A and B! :)
Amarachi Nzeakor
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Re: There is no "Is-Ought Problem" because there is no 'ought'.

Post by Amarachi Nzeakor »

Is the matter of choice simply just black and white, choice and fruits, or consequences? Are we going to ignore the subject of human error arising from free will? If everything is as has already been ordained, then where does the concept of choice come in?
Davey Chijindu
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Re: There is no "Is-Ought Problem" because there is no 'ought'.

Post by Davey Chijindu »

The ultimate arbiter of what and how much something is worth is a human. We get angry when other people don't regard an equal amount of things the same way we do.
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Jack King 2
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Re: There is no "Is-Ought Problem" because there is no 'ought'.

Post by Jack King 2 »

I think sometimes there are choices when we know we are making the lower percentage choice, where we might say I should be picking a but am picking b. If a is the more likely outcome but b might be a high risk high reward option.
Sugar Rush
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Re: There is no "Is-Ought Problem" because there is no 'ought'.

Post by Sugar Rush »

Brenda Creech wrote: February 19th, 2023, 6:12 pm If we have been given free will, which I believe we have, then how can there be no 'ought?' If everything is what it is then why have we been given free will? With that free will we have choices, or should I say 'oughts.' When we believe we 'ought' to be doing a certain thing but choose to do something else, we had a choice to make that decision. So if we can choose what we do or do not, isn't that an 'is-ought problem?' According to the book, if there is no 'ought' then everything is what it is. If that were true why would we have choices? Now, I have even confused myself! :?
I think I would wholeheartedly agree with you except I don't think you confused yourself lol. If we have a sort of freewill I believe we would have ought. Somethings ought to be another way not necessarily what is.
Brenda Creech
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Re: There is no "Is-Ought Problem" because there is no 'ought'.

Post by Brenda Creech »

Sugar Rush wrote: March 5th, 2023, 7:13 pm
Brenda Creech wrote: February 19th, 2023, 6:12 pm If we have been given free will, which I believe we have, then how can there be no 'ought?' If everything is what it is then why have we been given free will? With that free will we have choices, or should I say 'oughts.' When we believe we 'ought' to be doing a certain thing but choose to do something else, we had a choice to make that decision. So if we can choose what we do or do not, isn't that an 'is-ought problem?' According to the book, if there is no 'ought' then everything is what it is. If that were true why would we have choices? Now, I have even confused myself! :?
I think I would wholeheartedly agree with you except I don't think you confused yourself lol. If we have a sort of freewill I believe we would have ought. Somethings ought to be another way not necessarily what is.
Thanks! I am not a psychological thinker so I have a hard time putting it all together in coherent language! :) :)
Enos Rolex
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Re: There is no "Is-Ought Problem" because there is no 'ought'.

Post by Enos Rolex »

The "Is-Ought Problem" is a philosophical question that highlights the challenge of deriving ethical statements from purely factual ones. Some argue that ethical claims cannot be derived solely from descriptive statements about the world. However, perspectives on the existence and resolution of this problem vary among philosophers.
Dominic Mose
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Re: There is no "Is-Ought Problem" because there is no 'ought'.

Post by Dominic Mose »

The idea that individuals have complete control over their lives through their choices is rooted in the concept of free will. If everyone had 100 percent autonomy in shaping their destinies, the potential for malicious actions might diminish, as people would be accountable for their own decisions.However, the reality is more complex. External factors, societal structures, and the actions of others often impact our lives. When individuals or systems wield power over others, the risk of abuse arises. This abuse can manifest as coercion, manipulation, or outright harm, leading to the perception of evil.
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