Emotion as Ethics or Screaming Makes it Right

Aggressive Emotivism

Here is my latest article for The Imaginative Conservative in which I explain the modern trend of saying that something is right or wrong simply by feeling that it is right or wrong. In other words, if you like it or not.

Emotivists contend that words which suggest an objective morality like “good”, “bad”, “right”, “wrong”, “should”, “ought” have no basis in reality. They are merely the emotional expressions of the speaker and that he uses these words to bully someone else to do what he wants. It’s called “boo-hurrah” morality because the morality consists of nothing more than one person saying, “Hurrah! to this” or “Boo! to that.” Morality is thus reduced to “It’s right because I said so loudly” or “It’s wrong because I objected loudly.” Emotivism excludes social, historical, cultural, spiritual, and religious considerations from the discussion of morality.

Emotivism is moral judgment as exclamation. Thus if Sister Laurel says, “Divorce is bad” she is only saying “I don’t like divorce.” If the students of Charlotte Catholic say “Fornication is okay.” they mean “I like fornication.”

Read the whole article here for an assessment not only of the case of the nun speaking at Charlotte Catholic, but also on the increasingly shrill, emotional and irrational nature of debate in our society. What’s happening is terrifying and this article explains what’s going on.