Let’s detonate the UPB self-detonating argument! You know you want to—remember how much fun we had killing the “Against me” argument?
According to Stefan Molyneux and his UPB True Believers at FreeDomain Radio, “the act of arguing against UPB automatically validates it.”
(Why? Because—for you to make your argument at all—you require universally preferable behaviors, such as the pursuit of truth.)
OK, let’s break this down. There’s a little psychological trick going on here, but most FDR followers can’t see it. They’re actually being tricked, or tricking themselves, into validating the book that Stefan wrote. It’s just a little matter of shifting, or ill-defined, premises. Here’s how it works.
The phrase “Universally Preferable Behavior” can be used to identify any of these three separate things:
- A concept that suggests there may be behaviors or ethical choices that are universally true for everyone.
- The “brand name” Molyneux developed to make you think he invented the above concept.
- The title of a book written by Molyneux, in which he claims to have rationally proven UPB.
In the mind of the average FDR True Believer, all those three things are fused together as one. Whether they are even consciously aware of it or not, what they’re actually saying is this: “the act of arguing against any element of the Universally Preferable Behavior concept automatically validates Molyneux’s book of the same name.”
Well, no. Not even close. There may be Universally Preferable Behaviors and there may even be a way to prove them rationally, but Molyneux’s book appears to have fallen very short of that.
You can explode the faulty logic in his book all day long, if you wish. That still doesn’t necessarily mean you are arguing against the actual existence of UPB as defined in #1 above.
So, back into the ethics pool, everybody! All arguments detonated!