J. L. Mackie's classic work on ethics begins by saying "there are no objective values... The statement of this thesis is likely to provoke one of three very different reactions. Some will think it not merely false but pernicious; they will see it as a threat to morality and to everything else that is worthwhile, and they will find the presenting of such a thesis in what purports to be a book on ethics paradoxical or even outrageous. Others will regard it as a trivial truth, almost too obvious to be worth mentioning, and certainly too plain to be worth much argument. Others again will say that it is meaningless or empty, that no real issue is raised by the question whether values are or are not part of the fabric of the world."
I am in Mackie's third class; I do not believe that there is a real issue here. But I do agree with Mackie when he goes on to say "precisely because there can be these three different reactions, much more needs to be said." Those who think that there are real differences do, after all, give arguments. If I am right, there must be some problem with the arguments. So I shall try to explain what's wrong with Richard's argument.
I confess that I can't see how meta-reasons are supposed to become "mere" for the subjectivist in Richard's argument. Why treat meta-reasons any differently than any other reasons? They do, after all, have consequences, just like other reasons. For example, if things are as Richard describes, and I phi, there seems to be a very good chance that I will come to regret my actions later. This is not to say that potential regret is the sole reason not to phi, only to point out that meta-reasons seem to be connected to my interests and values, just like normal reasons; defying them seems to carry the risk of my interests and values not being served, just like normal reasons.
Of course, in Richard's example, exactly how doing phi conflicts with my values is opaque to me. This is unfortunate, no doubt, but hardly unusual. Probably unconscious reasons have more influence on our behavior than conscious reasons, after all, and unconscious reasons are ipso facto also opaque to us. It is clear to me that the subjectivist is committed to thinking it would be better if one could see more clearly, and so that one should, when possible, figure out what one's unconscious motivations are, or in Richard's case figure out what it is that the meta-reasons are pointing to, but I don't see any way in which the subjectivist is committed to saying that if one can't pierce the opacity, one is required to simply ignore those reasons.