The first statement
In this essay, I plan to discuss the key differences between the two statements I have been presented. , 1) “Cannibalism is practised by 8% of the population of Bearsden” and 2) “Cannibalism is morally wrong”. I will attempt to show that there are evidential and substantial differences in these claims, I will either support them or show them to be untenable. The first statement – “Cannibalism is practised by 8% of the population of Bearsden” is APPARENTLY a fact.
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I deduce this by the obvious statistic within it. I can only assume that this statistic has been obtained through substantial and scientifiacally accurate research, and concluded frm seemingly evidential studies. Therefore I can only suppose that this is true, the only way I could disprove it would be to conduct my own analysis of the popuation of Bearsden, e. g. by use of a survey, and come up with my own statistics to challenge it. To me the statement is clearly a fact, one which I cannot dispute.
The second statement that I am faced with, “Cannibalism is morally wrong” appears to be opinion. I conclude this because the statement has no figur in it, no statistic, nothing which can lead me to believe that it could be scientifically proven. Because of this, the statement cannot, in my opinion, be a fact. It is an opinion, a moral judgement made by a singular person or a group of people, e. g. a society or majority. The statement can then be concluded to be a report on other peoples judgementss, a conventional attitude.
This statement may be shorthand for “society says cannibalism is morally wrong” or “I think cannibalism is morally wrong”. Depending on which one of the statement was shorthand for, it would either be a socail report ( a group e. g society or majority), or a moral judgement(singular person). In this particualr case, it canniblaism that is dissaproved of, said to be wrong. But just because it it said to be wrong, does not mean it is. Is there a reason, why we should view this claim, worded in ordinary language, as authoritive or decisive?
The language we so commonly use and speak has a flase picture built into it. We use the same language of knowledge that we use to describe facts, as we use to describe opinions. It is an everyday linguistic practice. The vocabulary of knowledge hinges on whetyher or not the claim is a fact. It is claimed that there are some ways of proving, or disproving a moral judgement. 1- If everyone (although there are always exceptions, it will more likely be high majority) agrees with the moral judgement, the judgement is said to be true.
However, a majority of people once thought the world was flat. Everyone can be mistaken. 2-If the moral judgement corresponds to societys morality, it is true. But again, society can have common misconceptions, the judgement made can be wrong. 3 – A moral judgement can be said to be true if it can be derived from some fundamental principle. . But all this seems to do, is displace the moral judgement onto the principle, promoting the question, how is the principle provable?