Your response is normal - the metaethics sequence is quite opaque, especially compared to others, like the "Mysterious Questions" sequence.

I'm doubtful there is much consensus on the correct metaethics in this community - anecdotal evidence is that there isn't even consensus on the meaning of the technical vocabulary we use. For an intermediate look into some of the issues, I suggest the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entries on moral realism and moral anti-realism

Also, I recently realized in discussions that realism is a two place word, not a one place word. Thus, some inferential distance in these types of discussions is between those use the label "moral realism" to refer to realism(morality, agent) and those who refer to realism(morality, humanity).

Thanks for this. I'm already aware of all of the definitions you've mentioned, and in fact I don't like to use the word realism because of the ambiguity.

Is there an obvious next step, once you realise what the options are and what the questions are, or are there only the hard questions left?

Stupid Questions Open Thread Round 3

by OpenThreadGuy 1 min read7th Jul 2012209 comments


From the last thread:

From Costanza's original thread (entire text):

"This is for anyone in the LessWrong community who has made at least some effort to read the sequences and follow along, but is still confused on some point, and is perhaps feeling a bit embarrassed. Here, newbies and not-so-newbies are free to ask very basic but still relevant questions with the understanding that the answers are probably somewhere in the sequences. Similarly, LessWrong tends to presume a rather high threshold for understanding science and technology. Relevant questions in those areas are welcome as well.  Anyone who chooses to respond should respectfully guide the questioner to a helpful resource, and questioners should be appropriately grateful. Good faith should be presumed on both sides, unless and until it is shown to be absent.  If a questioner is not sure whether a question is relevant, ask it, and also ask if it's relevant."


  • How often should these be made? I think one every three months is the correct frequency.
  • Costanza made the original thread, but I am OpenThreadGuy. I am therefore not only entitled but required to post this in his stead. But I got his permission anyway.



  • I still haven't figured out a satisfactory answer to the previous meta question, how often these should be made. It was requested that I make a new one, so I did.
  • I promise I won't quote the entire previous threads from now on. Blockquoting in articles only goes one level deep, anyway.