… is from page 70 of the late Anthony de Jasay‘s brilliant 1995 paper “Frogs‘ Legs, Shared Ends, and the Rationality of Politics,” as this paper is reprinted in the 1997 collection of some of de Jasay‘s writings, Against Politics (footnote deleted):
Needless to say, value judgments as such are not disreputable. What is disreputable is to dress them up as findings of fact, for which evidence could in principle be found, or (as the classical utilitarians imagined) as the products of rational thought, deduced from self-evident propositions.
DBx: Indeed so.
Society is not a science project. Your values, like my values, are real. But they are ultimately subjective, and neither right nor wrong in any way that can be determined by science. Nor is it possible for science to determine just how my values should, when necessary, be traded off against your values. The answer to that question is simply not one that is objectively answerable.