29. November 2009 15:27
When I first created TakeOnIt I only had questions about how the world is rather than how the world ought to be. That meant that I'd have questions on Global Warming or whether Michael Jackson molested children, but not on the morality / legality of abortion or drugs. I thought that opinions about how the world ought to be (rather than is) were subjective in that they couldn't be shown to be right or wrong. High on my favorite drug (coffee kids) I realized I was mistaken. How we think the world ought to be is actually a summary, manifestation, and most insidiously even a disguise, for how we think the world actually is.
We inevitably justify how the world ought to be with opinions on how the world is. People who believe abortion is wrong have beliefs about souls and consciousness. The following is a statement by the Vatican about how the world is:
The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God - it is not "produced" by the parents - and also that it is immortal: it does not perish when it separates from the body at death, and it will be reunited with the body at the final Resurrection.
People who believe drugs are wrong have beliefs about their comparative health risks. In fact, even if the anti-drug advocate had never even actually thought about the comparative health risks of drugs, they'd generate those beliefs on the fly, or later find evidence to match their expectations.
This is because the reverse is true too: how we think the world ought to be permeates how we think the world is. This is why so many people who believe in God don't believe in evolution. In an encouraging example of the darwinian benefits of logical thinking, the four-wived Mohammed Yusuf doesn't even bother denying it:
If it runs contrary to the teachings of Allah, we reject it. We also reject the theory of Darwinism.
The more an issue about how the world ought to be matters to us, the more we connect it to how we think the world actually is.