In which we briefly outline some of the philosophic underpinnings of ARCHNblogs critiques.
"(Unlike natural laws) norms and normative laws can be made and changed by man, more especially by a decision or convention to alter them...This decision can never be derived from facts (or from statements of facts), although they pertain to facts...Hence, the "critical dualism" is properly a dualism of facts and decisions....This dualism of facts and decisions is, I believe, fundamental. Facts as such have no meaning; they can gain it only through our decisions."
"It must, of course, be admitted that the view that norms are conventional or artifical indicates that there will be a certain element of arbitrariness involved, i.e. that there may be different systems of norms between which there is not much to choose...But artificiality by no means implies full arbitrariness. Mathematical calculi, for instance, or symphonies, or plays, are highly artificial, yet it does not follow that one calculus or symphony or play is just as good as any other. Man has created new worlds--of language, of music, of poetry, of science, and the most important of these is the world of the moral demands for equality, for freedom, and for helping the weak....Our comparison is only intended to show that the view that moral decisions rest with us does not imply that they are entirely arbitrary." - Karl Popper, Chapter 5, Nature and Convention, "The Open Society And Its Enemies"