Let me start off with a situation that I want you to think about:
What would you rather have in the world:
- Living as a hero or eminent individual, in a world where people are, as a matter of fact, of the greatest offence and and repugnant of moral character. Where you live among them as an eminent individual. The whole world is of mediocre character and advancement, yet you are their most advanced inidividual, whom which they admire.
- Being the same kind of person (in terms of your character dispositions, moral beliefs, motivations etc. but; everyone else in the world is much much more eminent than you, and you are the ridicule of society, in such a way that you pale to them in inferiority.
In both cases; lets say you are, in fact, the same person; but it is the world outside that is different. What world would you live in?
I’d imagine (just a guess) that most of you would choose ‘2’. If that were true, would that identify some fact about our psychology? Namely, of an intuition about the reality of moral properties in the world?
Two thoughts if this is the case:
1. To say we have an intuition (strong or not) about moral properties doesn’t instantiate that they are true. Mackie (Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong) himself admits that we may have intuitions about morality, which are, very much cultural. This is, what he thinks is the failure of conceptual analysis;
the Judaeo-Christian morality imposed upon us has infected so much of our culture and thought (Anscombe believes this too; Modern Moral Philosophy [and, this doesn’t mean you have to endorse any athiesm or disbelief about these religions, merely just acknowledge their cultural influence]).
2. I am doubtful (that means not certain either way); that this intuition test works. I may be begging the question in the way I have constructed the thought experiment that sort of implies the conclusion I want you to make.