This is taken from the lecture Wittgenstein delivered on ethics.
Wittgenstein proceeds to establish a controversial position in ethics.
Although all judgments of relative value can be shown to be mere statement of facts, no statement of fact can ever be, or imply, a judgment of absolute value
He clarifies this position by expounding a hypothetical big book which would contain all the facts, descriptions of the world along with propositions which are true. Even the statements that assign relative value. But in that book, we will not find any ethical statements.
The murder will be on exactly the same level as any other event, for instance the falling of a stone.
After reflecting on his position. I think it is really difficult to refute it. If I am not wrong, Wittgenstein fits in the school of non-cognitive philosophers in ethics. According to him, we cannot draw ethical implications from the facts of the world or find them amongst facts. Therefore, speaking of certain ethical statements to be true or false would be meaningless.
I have found two brief arguments against this view but they may not be convincing.
Whether we like it or not, ethical judgments do alter the facts of the world and it would be reasonable to argue that in certain cases , the facts depend on absolute ethical judgments. Even if on the surface level, they do not appear evident. They are embedded inside and removing them would make our picture of the world as it is, incomplete.
Another argument against the restriction of inferring absolute ethical values from facts would be the existence of emotional reasoning. While this may seem self contradictory but this reasoning doesn't only convince people but also provides solutions that work for society at large.
I think the world will never function on basis of non cognitive ethical theories yet l still haven't found convincing arguments against them. It would be great to see some good arguments and also some clarification regarding the position Wittgenstein takes since there is always a room for misunderstanding.