The Parable of Little Dave the emotivist

Hello – my name's little Dave and I'm an emotivist.

I don't like stamp collecting or coin collecting. I've no interest in football or computer games – and so I've decided to become an emotivist.

A lot of you out there don't know what an emotivist is and you've no idea why it is such an exciting thing to be one. I'm so excited about this!

Let's start by explaining what it is. About five years ago I was listening to my teachers and I thought to myself: They know so much and they are so clever. They have knowledge and I know almost nothing. I'm only little Dave, 14 years old and very spotty. I must listen and drink in their knowledge. Isn't it exciting? I can't speak.

The best teachers often speak about science and maths. (breathless)

They told me about Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins and many other scientists who were enlightened. I was ever so excited. I looked up to these teachers and I realized they were feeding me with important facts and figures. It was wonderful. So exciting. Did you know that there are 4 million and two hundred thousand bricks in the Empire State Building. Isn't that exciting?

Gosh, it's wonderful pouring over facts and figures. That's why I love the Guinness Book of Records. It's full of facts and figures. Everything can be checked. That's what science is like. It's solid, reliable and best of all – certain. You can't doubt it! That's what the teachers said. I look up to them and I love their knowledge. They told me there are 23 different types of crocodile. Super fact!

Take Miss Perkins, my Biology teacher. I must be frank, I have a real crush on her. She's lush and she reminds me of Victoria Beckham. She’s got a lovely figure, blue eyes and a spot-free face.

She's a scientist and so she's always dealing in facts and figures. I like that. You know where you are with facts. You never get opinions from a person like Miss Perkins. Not like Mr Dobson, the art teacher who is always telling us his opinions about art and stuff. I hate opinions. They're not scientific. Opinions are rubbish. They stink of falsehood.

Anyway I began thinking about all the wonderful things my teachers were telling me and I became very excited.

I became increasingly aware that my parents know nothing about science. They tell me I should clean my teeth. They tell me I should be kind to grandma even though she's ugly and boring. They tell me that I shouldn't kick the dog (but it's such fun!). They even told me it was 'wrong' to steal and lie.

What a load of unfactual, unscientific nonsense. Mum and Dad are indoctrinating me about stuff you cannot prove. Cheek!

I challenged them about this once. I said how can you prove to me scientifically that stealing is wrong? How can you justify your opinion that tripping up old ladies in the streets is immoral? Surely it's a load of old primitive nonsense. It's just like believing in God and tooth fairies!

And then I realised I had become an emotivist. Science and maths give you the truth. And the rest is up to you. Morality… questions of right and wrong are simply about your feelings.

The rest of my life is now going to be one long pleasure cruise. There's nothing wrong with taking smack, gambling in casinos and sleeping with lots of attractive birds. Stealing, murdering and gambling are all part of my future plans. They'll all be on my CV.

And where did I learn this? From my teachers.

My name's little Dave and I'm an emotivist. Have a great life!!!

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