TCCD Philosophy Discussion

Consider the following scenario:John Doe comes to work one day to discover that his boss has sent an email to all employees requiring them to pick their nose on Thursdays between the hours of 10and 11.  Struck by the surprising nature of this new policy, Doe heads to his boss’s office and asks for an explanation.  The following dialogue ensues:Doe:So, why are we supposed to pick our nose on Thursday mornings?Boss:Because I’m the boss, and because I said so.Doe:Yes, but why do you say so?Boss:Well, because it’s obviously morally required of you, and I want to ensure that all my employees are decent people.Doe:Okay, but I still don’t get it.  Why is it morally required of us to pick our nose on Thursday mornings?Boss:Because I said so, dang it.  Now, get out of my office.In light of our discussion on the Euthyphro question, answer the following:1.The boss is actually caught in a contradiction here.  What is that contradiction, and why is it contradictory?(Hint:  think of two alternative answersto the Euthyphro question.)2.Imagine that it wasn’t Doe’s boss talking, but Doe’s buddy, or Doe’s entire social circle, or even Doe himself.  Would the combination of answers to Doe’s questions be any less contradictory?3.Suppose the boss answers Doe’s last question differently, by saying any of the following:a.“Well, Doe, that’s because picking the nose clears out the nasal passages and thus improves employee health.  Gotta pick ‘emall!”b.“Doe, I’d explain my reasons, but I don’t think you’re quite intelligent enough to understand them.  Don’t worry though, I really do have excellent reasons for why it’s morally required of you.”c.“April Fools!  I was just yanking your chain.  I’d never really require you to pick your nose on Thursday mornings, because of course there’s no good reason to do so.”There’s a common thread to each of these answers.  What is it?  How would each of these responses resolve the contradiction?  What wouldeach of these responses imply about whether the boss can simply make up the moral facts, and why?4.In light of the above, what is the standard reason for rejecting divine command theory, cultural relativism, subjective relativism, and any similar moraltheory?

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