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Moral nihilism dangerous?

SNP1
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4/15/2015 10:03:23 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
We are at the ethics section of my philosophy class, and one of the first things my professor did was say that moral nihilism is dangerous because anything is permissible.

How is this the case? Variations of the social contract theory can still exist under moral nihilism to establish oughts and ought nots.

There are also 3 things which would prevent this "chaos" he says would happen if moral nihilism is correct.
1) Empathy.
2) Social tendencies (humans are a social species)
3) Desires.

It is not hard to argue why "chaos" would not happen, yet it seems like he is biased against nihilism.
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AlphaTBITW
Posts: 2
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4/15/2015 3:53:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Yes, it's dangerous.

On moral nihilism, a society which is self aware of their evolutionary constraint of empathy can make a society of chaos. Nothing about such a society would be immoral under moral nihilism.
Kozu
Posts: 381
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4/15/2015 4:34:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Moral nihilism is a fact of reality, there's no debating that. The danger would come from people deciding to abuse this knowledge. I imagine your teacher is more focused on the fact that since moral nihilism means nothing is inherently wrong (or right), people are going behave "wrong". I don't see that to be a problem them though, peoples intuitions more often than not prevent most actions we think are inherently wrong from taking place. There's really no other moral system more parsimonious then it.
s-anthony
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4/15/2015 10:31:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/15/2015 10:03:23 AM, SNP1 wrote:
We are at the ethics section of my philosophy class, and one of the first things my professor did was say that moral nihilism is dangerous because anything is permissible.

How is this the case? Variations of the social contract theory can still exist under moral nihilism to establish oughts and ought nots.

There are also 3 things which would prevent this "chaos" he says would happen if moral nihilism is correct.
1) Empathy.
2) Social tendencies (humans are a social species)
3) Desires.

It is not hard to argue why "chaos" would not happen, yet it seems like he is biased against nihilism.

First of all, I believe people are people regardless of the label we put on them. A person may behave like a moral nihilist, a moral relativist, a moral objectivist, or a little of all three without knowing such philosophies exist or anything about them. I don't believe it's the philosophy that makes the person but the person that makes the philosophy.
popculturepooka
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4/17/2015 10:22:32 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/15/2015 4:34:08 PM, Kozu wrote:
Moral nihilism is a fact of reality, there's no debating that.

HAHHAHAH, ok, bro.

The danger would come from people deciding to abuse this knowledge. I imagine your teacher is more focused on the fact that since moral nihilism means nothing is inherently wrong (or right), people are going behave "wrong". I don't see that to be a problem them though, peoples intuitions more often than not prevent most actions we think are inherently wrong from taking place. There's really no other moral system more parsimonious then it.
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SNP1
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4/17/2015 10:38:38 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/15/2015 4:34:08 PM, Kozu wrote:
Moral nihilism is a fact of reality, there's no debating that.

I personally think it is a fact of reality, but saying there is no debating it? Are you serious?
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Kozu
Posts: 381
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4/17/2015 10:40:06 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 10:38:38 AM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/15/2015 4:34:08 PM, Kozu wrote:
Moral nihilism is a fact of reality, there's no debating that.

I personally think it is a fact of reality, but saying there is no debating it? Are you serious?

I mean it's a waste of time to debate it. Like most truisms.
popculturepooka
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4/17/2015 10:52:06 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 10:38:22 AM, Kozu wrote:
At 4/17/2015 10:22:32 AM, popculturepooka wrote:

HAHHAHAH, ok, bro.


Unless you live under a rock.

Most philosophers are moral realists. Next.

http://philpapers.org...
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Kozu
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4/17/2015 11:34:43 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 10:52:06 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 4/17/2015 10:38:22 AM, Kozu wrote:
At 4/17/2015 10:22:32 AM, popculturepooka wrote:

HAHHAHAH, ok, bro.


Unless you live under a rock.

Most philosophers are moral realists. Next.

http://philpapers.org...

Never said it was the most popular.
Genghis_Khan
Posts: 480
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4/17/2015 11:43:57 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 10:38:22 AM, Kozu wrote:
At 4/17/2015 10:22:32 AM, popculturepooka wrote:

HAHHAHAH, ok, bro.


Unless you live under a rock.

So the majority of the world lives under a rock...
anything your heart desires
Kozu
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4/17/2015 11:50:42 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 11:43:57 AM, Genghis_Khan wrote:
At 4/17/2015 10:38:22 AM, Kozu wrote:
At 4/17/2015 10:22:32 AM, popculturepooka wrote:

HAHHAHAH, ok, bro.


Unless you live under a rock.

So the majority of the world lives under a rock...

Yes. Most people think murder is "wrong".
Mikal
Posts: 11,270
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4/17/2015 12:00:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/15/2015 10:03:23 AM, SNP1 wrote:
We are at the ethics section of my philosophy class, and one of the first things my professor did was say that moral nihilism is dangerous because anything is permissible.

How is this the case? Variations of the social contract theory can still exist under moral nihilism to establish oughts and ought nots.

There are also 3 things which would prevent this "chaos" he says would happen if moral nihilism is correct.
1) Empathy.
2) Social tendencies (humans are a social species)
3) Desires.

It is not hard to argue why "chaos" would not happen, yet it seems like he is biased against nihilism.

It's dangerous under the pretense that he expects certain people to act without a code of ethics. Just because morality is based on perception does not mean people can act in betterment of society.

It's also easy to refute why khaos would not happen either
Genghis_Khan
Posts: 480
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4/17/2015 12:14:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/15/2015 10:03:23 AM, SNP1 wrote:
We are at the ethics section of my philosophy class, and one of the first things my professor did was say that moral nihilism is dangerous because anything is permissible.

How is this the case? Variations of the social contract theory can still exist under moral nihilism to establish oughts and ought nots.

Under nihilism, there it is also permissible to violate those contracts lol


There are also 3 things which would prevent this "chaos" he says would happen if moral nihilism is correct.
1) Empathy.
2) Social tendencies (humans are a social species)
3) Desires.

It is not hard to argue why "chaos" would not happen, yet it seems like he is biased against nihilism.

Yes, fortunately, most humans tend to operate under some sort of moral code regardless of whether or not any such moral code exists. The point is that if everyone were truly a nihilist (i.e. disregarded their personal ethical intuitions), society would self-destruct, because morality is the thread that binds together society.
anything your heart desires
SNP1
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4/17/2015 12:19:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 12:14:38 PM, Genghis_Khan wrote:
At 4/15/2015 10:03:23 AM, SNP1 wrote:
We are at the ethics section of my philosophy class, and one of the first things my professor did was say that moral nihilism is dangerous because anything is permissible.

How is this the case? Variations of the social contract theory can still exist under moral nihilism to establish oughts and ought nots.

Under nihilism, there it is also permissible to violate those contracts lol

Yes, it is, but it is UNDESIRABLE.
Let's say that we have 100 people with a social contract not to kill each other.
Let's say that 1 person breaks it. They are no longer part of that social contract, therefore they can be killed by any of the other people (and those people would not be breaking the social contract in doing so).

There are also 3 things which would prevent this "chaos" he says would happen if moral nihilism is correct.
1) Empathy.
2) Social tendencies (humans are a social species)
3) Desires.

It is not hard to argue why "chaos" would not happen, yet it seems like he is biased against nihilism.

Yes, fortunately, most humans tend to operate under some sort of moral code regardless of whether or not any such moral code exists. The point is that if everyone were truly a nihilist (i.e. disregarded their personal ethical intuitions), society would self-destruct, because morality is the thread that binds together society.

No, it wouldn't...
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
Genghis_Khan
Posts: 480
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4/17/2015 12:22:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 12:19:34 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/17/2015 12:14:38 PM, Genghis_Khan wrote:
At 4/15/2015 10:03:23 AM, SNP1 wrote:
We are at the ethics section of my philosophy class, and one of the first things my professor did was say that moral nihilism is dangerous because anything is permissible.

How is this the case? Variations of the social contract theory can still exist under moral nihilism to establish oughts and ought nots.

Under nihilism, there it is also permissible to violate those contracts lol

Yes, it is, but it is UNDESIRABLE.
Let's say that we have 100 people with a social contract not to kill each other.
Let's say that 1 person breaks it. They are no longer part of that social contract, therefore they can be killed by any of the other people (and those people would not be breaking the social contract in doing so).

Under that reasoning, criminals wouldn't exist. Sometimes breaking the social contract has more positives than negatives, and nihilism creates no moral obligations to stick to those contracts regardless.


There are also 3 things which would prevent this "chaos" he says would happen if moral nihilism is correct.
1) Empathy.
2) Social tendencies (humans are a social species)
3) Desires.

It is not hard to argue why "chaos" would not happen, yet it seems like he is biased against nihilism.

Yes, fortunately, most humans tend to operate under some sort of moral code regardless of whether or not any such moral code exists. The point is that if everyone were truly a nihilist (i.e. disregarded their personal ethical intuitions), society would self-destruct, because morality is the thread that binds together society.

No, it wouldn't...
anything your heart desires
Genghis_Khan
Posts: 480
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4/17/2015 12:23:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 11:50:42 AM, Kozu wrote:
At 4/17/2015 11:43:57 AM, Genghis_Khan wrote:
At 4/17/2015 10:38:22 AM, Kozu wrote:
At 4/17/2015 10:22:32 AM, popculturepooka wrote:

HAHHAHAH, ok, bro.


Unless you live under a rock.

So the majority of the world lives under a rock...

Yes. Most people think murder is "wrong".

And that isn't a warranted belief?
anything your heart desires
SNP1
Posts: 2,404
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4/17/2015 12:27:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 12:22:45 PM, Genghis_Khan wrote:
At 4/17/2015 12:19:34 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/17/2015 12:14:38 PM, Genghis_Khan wrote:
At 4/15/2015 10:03:23 AM, SNP1 wrote:
We are at the ethics section of my philosophy class, and one of the first things my professor did was say that moral nihilism is dangerous because anything is permissible.

How is this the case? Variations of the social contract theory can still exist under moral nihilism to establish oughts and ought nots.

Under nihilism, there it is also permissible to violate those contracts lol

Yes, it is, but it is UNDESIRABLE.
Let's say that we have 100 people with a social contract not to kill each other.
Let's say that 1 person breaks it. They are no longer part of that social contract, therefore they can be killed by any of the other people (and those people would not be breaking the social contract in doing so).

Under that reasoning, criminals wouldn't exist. Sometimes breaking the social contract has more positives than negatives, and nihilism creates no moral obligations to stick to those contracts regardless.

Of course there wouldn't be a MORAL obligation...

It would be based off DESIRES.

If you desire not to die you are putting a relativistic, extrinsic value on your own life. If another has the same value, then it becomes DESIRABLE for neither of you to kill each other (to make it more likely that your desires would be met).

Not everyone is going to like every social contract (just like not everyone likes every law), but it would still have to be followed at risk of punishment. The social contract can change over time if people's desires change, a group can break off of the social contract and form their own, there can be subsets within the social contract for smaller groups, but as long as people have desires then a social contract based around those desires can work to prevent chaos.

Combine that with natural empathy, and the fact that humans are a social species, and we have even more grounds to why chaos would not break out.
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,926
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4/17/2015 12:34:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 11:34:43 AM, Kozu wrote:
At 4/17/2015 10:52:06 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 4/17/2015 10:38:22 AM, Kozu wrote:
At 4/17/2015 10:22:32 AM, popculturepooka wrote:

HAHHAHAH, ok, bro.


Unless you live under a rock.

Most philosophers are moral realists. Next.

http://philpapers.org...

Never said it was the most popular.

It's silly to say that moral nihilism is a simple rationally undebatable truism when the majority of philosophers aren't even moral nihilists. It's eminenmently debatable; if moral nihilism is true it isn't OBVIOUSLY true and that would obviously make it debatable.
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Genghis_Khan
Posts: 480
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4/17/2015 1:39:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 12:27:48 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/17/2015 12:22:45 PM, Genghis_Khan wrote:
At 4/17/2015 12:19:34 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/17/2015 12:14:38 PM, Genghis_Khan wrote:
At 4/15/2015 10:03:23 AM, SNP1 wrote:
We are at the ethics section of my philosophy class, and one of the first things my professor did was say that moral nihilism is dangerous because anything is permissible.

How is this the case? Variations of the social contract theory can still exist under moral nihilism to establish oughts and ought nots.

Under nihilism, there it is also permissible to violate those contracts lol

Yes, it is, but it is UNDESIRABLE.
Let's say that we have 100 people with a social contract not to kill each other.
Let's say that 1 person breaks it. They are no longer part of that social contract, therefore they can be killed by any of the other people (and those people would not be breaking the social contract in doing so).

Under that reasoning, criminals wouldn't exist. Sometimes breaking the social contract has more positives than negatives, and nihilism creates no moral obligations to stick to those contracts regardless.

Of course there wouldn't be a MORAL obligation...

It would be based off DESIRES.

Criminals commit socially destructive activities *because* of their desires-- the notion that "crime doesn't pay" is not necessarily true. Most people do not refrain committing heinous crimes because of the law-- they do so because of their personal moral inclinations against it. A true nihilist doesn't care about following his intuitions because he believes they do not carry any real significance. Thus, nihilism is socially destructive when it is actually followed by an entire populace.


If you desire not to die you are putting a relativistic, extrinsic value on your own life. If another has the same value, then it becomes DESIRABLE for neither of you to kill each other (to make it more likely that your desires would be met).

Not everyone is going to like every social contract (just like not everyone likes every law), but it would still have to be followed at risk of punishment. The social contract can change over time if people's desires change, a group can break off of the social contract and form their own, there can be subsets within the social contract for smaller groups, but as long as people have desires then a social contract based around those desires can work to prevent chaos.

Combine that with natural empathy, and the fact that humans are a social species, and we have even more grounds to why chaos would not break out.
anything your heart desires
Kozu
Posts: 381
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4/17/2015 1:46:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 12:23:13 PM, Genghis_Khan wrote:

And that isn't a warranted belief?

I'm not saying it's an unwarrented belief, I'm just saying it isn't true. There can be cases when murder is "good".

If you know of a moral truth that never falters, I'd like to know what it is.
SNP1
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4/17/2015 1:53:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 1:39:06 PM, Genghis_Khan wrote:
At 4/17/2015 12:27:48 PM, SNP1 wrote:
Of course there wouldn't be a MORAL obligation...

It would be based off DESIRES.

Criminals commit socially destructive activities *because* of their desires-- the notion that "crime doesn't pay" is not necessarily true.

I never said that there wouldn't be people that break the social contract, I am saying that it would be very similar to how the legal system works today (not chaotic, but not perfectly peaceful).

Most people do not refrain committing heinous crimes because of the law-- they do so because of their personal moral inclinations against it.

People do not break the laws because of:
1) Their own person views/desires.
2) Fear of punishment (related to desires)

A true nihilist doesn't care about following his intuitions because he believes they do not carry any real significance. Thus, nihilism is socially destructive when it is actually followed by an entire populace.

A nihilist still has DESIRES and relativistic views about society, both of which can create extrinsic values.

I also like how you keep avoiding the points where I make examples of how desires would help prevent chaos, how I point out that empathy is still a thing, etc.
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Genghis_Khan
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4/17/2015 2:03:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 1:46:27 PM, Kozu wrote:
At 4/17/2015 12:23:13 PM, Genghis_Khan wrote:

And that isn't a warranted belief?

I'm not saying it's an unwarrented belief, I'm just saying it isn't true. There can be cases when murder is "good".

If you know of a moral truth that never falters, I'd like to know what it is.

Lol that's not nihilism... that's consequentialism.
anything your heart desires
Genghis_Khan
Posts: 480
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4/17/2015 2:05:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 1:53:40 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 4/17/2015 1:39:06 PM, Genghis_Khan wrote:
At 4/17/2015 12:27:48 PM, SNP1 wrote:
Of course there wouldn't be a MORAL obligation...

It would be based off DESIRES.

Criminals commit socially destructive activities *because* of their desires-- the notion that "crime doesn't pay" is not necessarily true.

I never said that there wouldn't be people that break the social contract, I am saying that it would be very similar to how the legal system works today (not chaotic, but not perfectly peaceful).

Most people do not refrain committing heinous crimes because of the law-- they do so because of their personal moral inclinations against it.

People do not break the laws because of:
1) Their own person views/desires.
2) Fear of punishment (related to desires)

A true nihilist doesn't care about following his intuitions because he believes they do not carry any real significance. Thus, nihilism is socially destructive when it is actually followed by an entire populace.

A nihilist still has DESIRES and relativistic views about society, both of which can create extrinsic values.

I also like how you keep avoiding the points where I make examples of how desires would help prevent chaos, how I point out that empathy is still a thing, etc.

I think we have different definitions of nihilism...
anything your heart desires
Otokage
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4/17/2015 2:58:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/15/2015 10:03:23 AM, SNP1 wrote:
We are at the ethics section of my philosophy class, and one of the first things my professor did was say that moral nihilism is dangerous because anything is permissible.

How is this the case? Variations of the social contract theory can still exist under moral nihilism to establish oughts and ought nots.

There are also 3 things which would prevent this "chaos" he says would happen if moral nihilism is correct.
1) Empathy.
2) Social tendencies (humans are a social species)
3) Desires.

It is not hard to argue why "chaos" would not happen, yet it seems like he is biased against nihilism.

I agree. In fact I think that regardless of the philosophy, societies (in the big sense, not sects or very reduced groups) always tend to be behave mostly the same way despite their philosohpy. I believe this is because of what you said, our empathy, sociality, desires that are usualy not self-destructive, etc.
Kozu
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4/17/2015 3:12:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 2:03:37 PM, Genghis_Khan wrote:
At 4/17/2015 1:46:27 PM, Kozu wrote:
At 4/17/2015 12:23:13 PM, Genghis_Khan wrote:

And that isn't a warranted belief?

I'm not saying it's an unwarrented belief, I'm just saying it isn't true. There can be cases when murder is "good".

If you know of a moral truth that never falters, I'd like to know what it is.

Lol that's not nihilism... that's consequentialism.

This has nothing to do with outcomes.

It's the fact that nothing can inherently be labeled good or bad, hence, moral nihilism is our reality.
popculturepooka
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4/17/2015 4:05:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 3:12:59 PM, Kozu wrote:
At 4/17/2015 2:03:37 PM, Genghis_Khan wrote:
At 4/17/2015 1:46:27 PM, Kozu wrote:
At 4/17/2015 12:23:13 PM, Genghis_Khan wrote:

And that isn't a warranted belief?

I'm not saying it's an unwarrented belief, I'm just saying it isn't true. There can be cases when murder is "good".

If you know of a moral truth that never falters, I'd like to know what it is.

Lol that's not nihilism... that's consequentialism.

This has nothing to do with outcomes.

It's the fact that nothing can inherently be labeled good or bad, hence, moral nihilism is our reality.

That's a fact now? Oh really? And how did you come to that conclusion?
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
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Kozu
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4/17/2015 4:15:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/17/2015 4:05:34 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 4/17/2015 3:12:59 PM, Kozu wrote:
At 4/17/2015 2:03:37 PM, Genghis_Khan wrote:
At 4/17/2015 1:46:27 PM, Kozu wrote:
At 4/17/2015 12:23:13 PM, Genghis_Khan wrote:

And that isn't a warranted belief?

I'm not saying it's an unwarrented belief, I'm just saying it isn't true. There can be cases when murder is "good".

If you know of a moral truth that never falters, I'd like to know what it is.

Lol that's not nihilism... that's consequentialism.

This has nothing to do with outcomes.

It's the fact that nothing can inherently be labeled good or bad, hence, moral nihilism is our reality.

That's a fact now? Oh really? And how did you come to that conclusion?

It's pretty clear the people on this planet don't share all the same morals.
dylancatlow
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4/17/2015 4:27:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/15/2015 10:03:23 AM, SNP1 wrote:
We are at the ethics section of my philosophy class, and one of the first things my professor did was say that moral nihilism is dangerous because anything is permissible.

How is this the case? Variations of the social contract theory can still exist under moral nihilism to establish oughts and ought nots.

There are also 3 things which would prevent this "chaos" he says would happen if moral nihilism is correct.
1) Empathy.
2) Social tendencies (humans are a social species)
3) Desires.

It is not hard to argue why "chaos" would not happen, yet it seems like he is biased against nihilism.

It's pretty obvious why moral nihilism is dangerous. Without objective moral standards people would be less likely to behave in ways consistent with the prerogatives of others, because they would not find the motivation to. They would yield to their personal wants and desires because that's the path of least resistance and the least abstract. Evolutionary morality (the fact, for example, that humans innately don't like killing other humans or eating them) can only go so far. If we consider morality arbitrary, then there's no reason to follow it, in which case many will choose not to.