will you explain the is-ought problem and its implications?
Aw yeah, the is-ought problem. Shit's classic, bro, goes back to Hume, and it goes something like this:
Sometimes, when I'm talking ethics with my bros, they describe the way the world is. They're like, "That chair is over there. The bar closes at 4AM. The sky is blue." and I'm like, "Yup. Yup." How could I disagree? These are obviously true things. But then suddenly they're like, "Therefore, we should go on a roadtrip tomorrow." And I'm like, "woooooooooah!" How the fuck did they get from how things are, to how things should be? Those aren't the same at all. If I asked, "Where should we go?" and you told me where we already are, that wouldn't answer my fucking question.
Let's say my bro Ice and I are drinking. Ice is about to do some stupid drunken shit (as he's wont to do) and I say the following:
"You are so drunk that you could die if you tried that."
That's an is-statement. It just describes something about Ice and the thing he's about to do. Maybe you're thinking he should not do this fucking thing. But why not? "Because he'll die." So what? "Well, you shouldn't do stuff that will kill you." AHA! See, that's not an is-statement. It's an ought-statement, which describes how Ice should proceed. Before we could say that Ice shouldn't do this stupid fucking thing, we needed to say he shouldn't do stupid fucking things in general.
People typically accept that statement, and in fact, so many people accept that statement that it seems obvious, and you might miss that it's hiding in there. You might just gloss right over it.
Sometimes, though, the hidden ought isn't so widely accepted.