Friday, April 29, 2005

 

The World's Most Dangerous Idea (Part 2)

I now turn to the truly interesting and important part of this discussion… Why moral relativism is either a self-refuting theory or the world’s most dangerous idea.

First though, I want to address the specific commentary from Dave and Gaunilo. I did not mean to insinuate that the only code of moral truth is found in the Bible. Actually, basic guiding principles against lying and killing and in support of patriotism and “the Golden Rule” exist in a nearly all ethical systems, world religions, and cultures. This is consistent with a belief in a natural law.

Also, I am not repudiating the need to appeal to one’s own conscience. However, the fact that we should appeal to our own conscience and reasoning does not preclude the existence of a universal moral code. For instance, if Jeffrey Dahmar’s morality allowed him to cannibalize his neighbor, we should be able to unequivocally assert that his actions were wrong and should be condemned. If there exists no universal code of morality, then we have no grounds to say his “morality” is any less than ours.

A moral relativist could, in turn, argue that he is not an individual relativist, but a cultural relativist and our culture does not condone Dahmar’s actions. Fair enough. But the foundations of this philosophy deteriorate as well under scrutiny. For there can be no ethical “progress” in a society if morality is no more than a reflection of people’s tastes, preferences, and origins.

Can anybody reasonably deny that the abolition of slavery in the U.S. was an example of true moral progress? Yet, if we follow cultural relativism to its logical end, there can be no such thing as moral improvement. After all, what basis do we have to use as inspiration for improvement? If there is no universal standard by which to measure, there is no greater good to which we should aspire.

Now we move on to a favorite topic of everyone on the left – tolerance. Firstly, in my own defense (though I can’t speak for all conservatives), I have never alleged that liberals themselves have no moral code or principles. Rather, I have suggested that most liberals deny the existence of any objective moral code.

Also, my recognition that there exists such a thing as universal truth does not mean I am telling anyone what to do. One is a belief. The other is an order or instruction. It’s a leap to jump from one to the other and label me intolerant on the basis of merely espousing a belief.

Now, more to the point, what does relative morality have to say in regard to tolerance? The proposition that we ought to tolerate the views of others insinuates an underlying universal code of morality. An aspiration toward tolerance presupposes that there is something inherently good about being tolerant and open-minded. But if there is no objective standard, a core belief of liberalism is diluted and is, in fact, rendered to be without substance.

I will even take it a step further and assert that moral relativism can promote close-mindedness. If there is no moral truth to be discovered outside of one’s own logic and reasoning, what can be gained by engaging in dialogue with others? Why bother even listening to other people? What’s to be gained? Look inside and you will find all you need to know according to the slippery slope of a worldview that is relative morality.

G.K. Chesterton says it well in Orthodoxy:
The new rebel is a sceptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never really be a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it.

Are you disgusted by the genocide going on in Darfur? Did the world's failure to stop the disaster in Rwanda in '94 sicken you? Well, I'm afraid relativism is of no help here. There can be no basis for denunciation of such acts... After all, who are we to say our moral philosophies and practices are better than theirs? I don't think we need such "humility" in the face of human rights atrocities.

Where's the outrage? It began to dissipate around the same time relativism began to rear its ugly head. Societies can only be held accountable for their moral failings if there exists a standard by which to measure.

UPDATE: Since this is a theme that I feel warrants further elaboration, I want to provide links to some others on the topic:

Neil at the Ethical Werewolf elaborates upon the types of contradictions that abound for those that espouse relativism. He also provides a good rationale for why it is important to be informed on the matter:
Our views on the nature of moral concepts have big consequences for the theory of what's right and wrong. So we'd do well to clarify them and make sure they're what they ought to be.

Jeannine at Sharing Life makes a good case for remaining grounded in truth and avoiding altering our beliefs to fit the ever-changing whims of the culture:
The truth that God has revealed to us cannot be given up. This is not understandable to a world that believes in relativism, to which the concept of an absolute truth is absolutely alien.

Sean, a student at Harvard, expounds upon the deteriorating moral situation and break down of common sense from the vantagepoint of one trapped inside the confines of what he deems the “dictatorship of relativism”.

Doug Powell also takes his best effort at debunking the premises of moral relativism here. (Hat tip: JPE)

From a different perspective, JPE suggests that relativism is a scapegoat that diverts us from addressing the real issue which could better be characterized as "moral particularism". According to him, I am merely a pawn in money making game called the “relativism industry”. Makes me feel like some sort of lobbyist…

Comments:
Hey bigfella. The Infidel in Exile has responded to your post on Relativism.

http://infidelinexile.blogspot.com/
 
I'm glad you decided to join the dialogue. Eventually, I'm hoping someone who actually agrees with me is going to join in!

Anway, you'll see I commented extensively on your post.
 
Yes, I've posted a new post on your comments.

http://infidelinexile.blogspot.com/
 
I wasn't defending relativism at all; in fact, elsewhere I've noted that it's incoherent and indefensible. What I was doing was noting that people frequently confuse moral relativism with simple disagreement over moral matters (and this is the point Dave Rattigan was making).

For whatever reason, the term 'moral relativism' has become a proxy for 'wrong.'
 
JPE, Thanks for the clarification. After following the thread back to your intro on the subject, it made more sense. I see where you're going with this and it is an accurate distinction, at least in some cases.

I wonder, though, if the nuance becomes so involved that most people either stop understanding or caring. Would it be more appropriate (and accurate) to couch the debate as objectivism ve. subjectivism?
 
I'm not too familiar with the term subjectivism - would it be the idea that we all have access to moral truths through conscience? Or is it another moniker for relativism? The way the infidel uses the term, for example, I don't see how it's different from relativism.

Really, it looks to me like the problem more often comes down to simple moral disagreement, rather than a metaethical disagreement over what we mean when we say that x is wrong.

Your comment about nuance is very well-taken. There does seem to be a lot of slippage, in practice if not in theory, between particularism and relativism. People don't care enough to sharply delineate whether they're talking ethics or metaethics, which results in all kinds of chicanery. In other words, it's common to hear people say "I wouldn't do that, but if that person thinks it's fine, so be it." Is that a metaethical statement about what we mean when we say something is morally fine, or is it an ethical statement that the other's activity is objectively morally acceptable? It's often not clear. The upshot of that is that you get defenses of relativism that aren't really about relativism at all, and you get attacks on relativism that aren't about relativism at all.

So that's a very good point.
 
For more on the objectivism/subjectivism dichotomy, take a look at this post by Jeremy Pierce. The following quote, in particular, may answer your question as to the nature of subjectivism, which would imply that it is not the same as relativism:

"The subjectivist...does believe there are moral truths, but they are only true within a perspective, because those statements are more to do with the person than with some objective subject matter that the person connects up with when making such claims."

JPE, your hypothetical questions are very interesting. It is not clear at all that defendents or proponents of various forms of morality are really even espousing the belief systems they are advocating. This is particularly true with relativism, which seems to be a very slippery concept.
 
My response can be found here:
http://gracepages.blogspot.com/2005/05/liberals-and-conservatives-who-are.html
 
You may have misunderstood my post. It was primarily arguing that the meta-ethical claim that ethical truths are relative is not itself an ethical truth, and therefore relativism isn't self-refuting. It wasn't about objectivism or subjectivism, and the quote you give doesn't seem to me to be about what you're talking about.

Subjectivists who believe that moral truths are dependent on facts about the person (e.g. what they believe) are relativists, because what's morally true is relative to the person. Subjectivists who believe there is no moral truth or falsity (e.g. emotivists) aren't relativists. They don't believe in moral truths, so moral truths aren't relative to the person or culture.

Most objectivists aren't relativists, but some are. Those who think morality depends on what your culture believes are objectivists, because there are objective facts about what your culture believes (though I think there will be problems figuring out which culture someone belongs to and which belief is dominant in that culture). Those who think we should evaluate sets of rules according to whether they're good for everyone in a culture believe there are objective facts about which rules will lead to the best outcome for that culture, but what's best for one culture may not be what's best for another, and you get relativism.

I don't think most liberals are relativists, because I think hardly anyone is a relativist. It's an extremely rare view. Some people think they're relativists but then realize they're not once they see its consequences. I've met one non-philosopher in my entire life who truly is a relativist once all the consequences of the view were made clear (although even there I wasn't sure if he got it). Most liberals believe in a different set of objectively moral claims from the set conservatives believe in, but even there the differences are very close at root. The real differences are how different people take the same premises and develop different rules because of differences about empirical facts (e.g. whether affirmative action is harmful to those it's intended to help) or non-ethical philosophical truths (e.g. whether a fetus is a person).
 
Let's talk PR. Please feel free to visit my blog too at
, RushPRnews Daily Gazette, Open-Call for Writers.
My site is** RushPRnews press release services, distribution and free web posting** . Cordially, Anne Laszlo-Howard
 
Help Mommy, there are Liberals! underneath my bed!!! (No, seriously, that's the name of the book...) Don't believe me? The dang thing's on Amazon, not some hippie-press bullcrap ;) Anyway, thought you might enjoy, pinko ;)
 
Well done!
[url=http://ngttycic.com/kxho/lnnp.html]My homepage[/url] | [url=http://cqfaaycl.com/jpcn/kuqf.html]Cool site[/url]
 
Great work!
My homepage | Please visit
 
Thank you!
http://ngttycic.com/kxho/lnnp.html | http://icsjguzn.com/xgrr/nxvm.html
 
Hello
Take a look [url=http://adipex-sale.blogspot.com]adipex[/url] | [url=http://didrex-1.blogspot.com]didrex[/url] | [url=http://meridia-1.blogspot.com]meridia[/url] | [url=http://meridia-sale.blogspot.com]adipex[/url] | [url=http://phentermine-sale.blogspot.com]phentermine[/url] | [url=http://phentermine-top.blogspot.com]phentermine[/url]
[url=http://phentermineee.blogspot.com]phentermine[/url] | [url=http://ativan--buy.blogspot.com]ativan[/url] | [url=http://valium--buy.blogspot.com]valium[/url] | [url=http://xanax-sale.blogspot.com]xanax[/url] | [url=http://sexforadult.blogspot.com]sex for adult[/url]
G'night
 
Hello
Take a look [url=http://adipex-sale.blogspot.com]adipex[/url] | [url=http://didrex-1.blogspot.com]didrex[/url] | [url=http://meridia-1.blogspot.com]meridia[/url] | [url=http://meridia-sale.blogspot.com]adipex[/url] | [url=http://phentermine-sale.blogspot.com]phentermine[/url] | [url=http://phentermine-top.blogspot.com]phentermine[/url]
[url=http://phentermineee.blogspot.com]phentermine[/url] | [url=http://ativan--buy.blogspot.com]ativan[/url] | [url=http://valium--buy.blogspot.com]valium[/url] | [url=http://xanax-sale.blogspot.com]xanax[/url] | [url=http://sexforadult.blogspot.com]sex for adult[/url]
G'night
 
tramadol
buy fioricet - buy carisoprodol - paxil side effects - ultram
 
tramadol
paxil - ultram abuse - cheap fioricet - carisoprodol online
 
salma hayek
myrtle beach - howard dean - native american art - bible online
 
conversion
french dictionary - gymnastics - humming bird
 
free cell ringtones - free us cellular ringtones
http://idisk.mac.com/alyashko/Public/free-cell-ringtones.html - http://idisk.mac.com/alyashko/Public/free-motorola-ringtones.html
 
lolita chin
lolitas 13
lolitas kid
free anal sex
lolita picture
lolita suck
lolita cp terra loltobbs ftp lol
lolita vip lolitas virgins bbs
lolita lolly fuck movie children
[url=http://shelterland.com/index.shtml]lolita chin[/url]
[url=http://shelterland.com/index1.shtml]lolitas 13[/url]
[url=http://shelterland.com/index2.shtml]lolitas kid[/url]
[url=http://shelterland.com/index3.shtml]free anal sex[/url]
[url=http://shelterland.com/index4.shtml]lolita picture[/url]
[url=http://shelterland.com/index5.shtml]lolita suck[/url]
[url=http://shelterland.com/index6.shtml]lolita cp terra loltobbs ftp lol[/url]
[url=http://shelterland.com/index7.shtml]lolita vip lolitas virgins bbs[/url]
[url=http://shelterland.com/index8.shtml]lolita lolly fuck movie children[/url]
 
kids in swimwear - swimwear for kids
http://hometown.aol.com/swearzej/cheap-junior-swimwear.html
 
modo eyeglasses :
eyeglass world
http://megador.110mb.com/eyeglasses-cheap.html
 
generic fioricet
carisoprodol side effects
 
jamison mattress
mattress reviews - mattresses: air mattress
 
president rolex
cellini fake rolex
 
win philadelphia eagles tickets
 
I gathered a couple of pillows and put them under my head and chest and raised my butt up.
It didn't take us long to get into position and he was soon sliding himself into me very slowly.
He was right, his ukraine top child was touching some places it missed when we did it with him lying on top of me.
When he had himself buried he began long slow thrusts while pulling me back to him with a hand on each of my hips.
A few minutes of that and he let one hand go and reached around and gently massaged a nipple.
Between his young model driving deep inside of me and his fingers on my breast I knew I was going to explode quickly. "Don, I'm going to preteen model
"Honey, see if you can hold back a bit and maybe we can puss pedo at the same time.""I'll try."
I felt him stroking the shaft of his lolita while the head was in me and moving it in and out of me ever so slowly.
I could see what he was doing.
He was getting himself aroused with jacking himself off with only part of his preteen bbs in me so he could try and free teen porn at the same time as I would.
I could feel the heat rising in me and I threw my ass back at him and drove his preteen sample video all the way in as I felt my orgasm come over me. "Don I'm coming."
 
cheap airline ticket
 
She loved her brother so much. He was older than her, 23, and she was just 19. they got along great and did most everything together. free bbs lolita preteens took a year off of school and was going to go away to the collage a few hundred miles away in a big city. Their town was small and Kitty had never lived in a big city. She was scared to move there all by herself. She especially was afraid to lose her brother.
"You aren't losing me, Kitty, I will be right here, right here waiting for you to return. I will call you and write to you if you like..."
She interrupted Jarod,
"Of course I want to keep in touch! I wish dad didn't need your help on the ranch, I wish you could come with me."
free bdsm personals pouted and lowered her head. Her brother, Jarod, lifted it with one finger and smiled,
"If you keep that lip out there a bird might land on it and shit in your mouth..."
They both laughed. She always laughed so much around him. Kitty hugged him tight and he held her close, they both wanted to stay in the moment forever. However, dad called down the stairs and they finished their morning rituals before they went out to take care of the animals.
She was already dressed and was in the bathroom brushing her teeth as her brother got dressed in his room. He took his boxers off while the door was cracked slightly open and Kitty peeked at him between the door to his bedroom and the frame. All she could see as a well toned, tight as hell ass. She had seen him naked when they where younger and experimenting with the world, but he used to be chubby. Now he was sculpted, as was she, from working hard on the ranch.
She ran the toothbrush on her teeth slower as she stared and soon was just standing there sucking on the end of it. He pulled his jeans up and threw on a t-shirt and she backed away into the bathroom to finish. As she was washing her face he came up behind her, pressing his body against her back in order to reach in front of her to get his own toothbrush. His crotch pressed firmly on her ass and she felt a little tingle go through her body. She never thought of it as sexual but it made her a little damp. This was her brother, somebody whom she loved, not a dirty man off the streets bent on getting in her pants. The thought of a twisted stranger trying to fuck her made her smile and her nipples got hard. She was normally a very dirty girl in bed. (and very rarely did she use a bed at all!)
free big tit videos smiled down at his sister while she dried her face and he put toothpaste on his toothbrush. He could smell her free hardcore teen sex, it smelled like strawberries. He loved that smell. Sometimes he would use her shampoo so he could smell strawberries all night. She did the same thing. Kitty would sometimes put a dab of his cologne on her neck so she could smell his scent all night. They never told each other this, or anybody else for that matter. People just wouldn't understand.
They went out early in the morning before breakfast and started chucking hay from a truck into the horse pasture. It was misty out and a loud thunder grew in the hills beyond. It was the beating of many hoofs. A few whinnies and snorts where heard as the horses drew closer. Soon their black outlines where seen galloping and throwing their heads up and down and side to side as they came. Kitty drove the truck off a few yards away from the sinuous mass of pure strength and wild hearts as they closed in on the food. The stallion trotted around the food, watching his mares and foals carefully, then he pushed into the crowd to eat with them. The matriarch of the group was pushing her way in next to the stallion and they nuzzled each other gently then they continued eating.
Kitty and Jarod smiled as they drove off to the barn to clean up the loose hay off the ground that they spilled from the bails. As they worked, Jarod told his sister dirty jokes he read online,
"A guy comes home from work feeling bad about what he had done there. He lays and ponders his actions for a while. A voice in his head tells him, 'it is okay, a lot of doctors have sex with their patience.' He starts to feel a little better then another voice in his head said, 'yes, but you are a veterinarian!'"
They both laughed, though he tried to keep a straight face to add to the humor. Kitty grabbed a handful of loose hay and threw it at him. He ducked and grabbed some of his own, tossing it at her. They laughed and threw hay, getting covered in it and soon she jumped on his back as he went to get more. He spun them both around and they fell to the ground in a pile of the yellow hay laughing and wrestling.
free black sex chat pinned Kitty down under him and they stopped laughing. They where breathing hard and their hearts where pounding. They looked into each other's green eyes and smiled shyly. They had just transformed into virgin lovers, touching the opposite sex for the first time. All the thoughts of being apart drifted away and they where in the moment. Nothing else existed but them, they had each other.
He bent his head down and kissed her softly on the lips. Jarod pulled his head back to make sure she wasn't going to protest and she lifted her free lolitas teenie galleries head up and kissed him back. He slid his hands under her and held her tight as they started kissing heavier, passionately and fervently. Their tongues explored, each in the other's mouth. It was unlike any kiss either of them had ever had. This was pure passion, love and trust.
Jarod moved his hands down and pulled her shirt up, moving his fingers to the front to touch her firm, round, perky tits. Her nipples where rock hard as he touched them. Her breasts where so soft and smooth. Kitty arched her back slightly and slid her own hands up his shirt, feeling his bare chest. He was hot and she could feel his heart pounding, hers was, too. Their hearts thumped away in their chests so hard – like the beating of the wild horse's hooves on the morning damp ground.
They managed to pull each others' shirts off between heavy kisses and he deftly undid her bra from the front clasp. Her tits fell out and her hard nipples stared up at him. He lay his body on top of hers slightly so she could just feel his skin on her nipples. It drove free interracial sex wild. Jarod pressed his hips against hers and pushed his hardening cock into her wet pussy through their pants.
He started to unbutton her jeans as he kissed a path from her lips to her jaw, across her collarbone and between her tits. He licked and sucked each pink nipple, nibbling at times. Then he made his way down further to her tummy and hips. When he got down there he had her pants unbuttoned and pulled halfway down her upper thigh. He kissed and bit her hip bones and looked at her light brown fur patch that lay peeking over the underwear and jeans that he was sliding off.
 
[url=http://clst.hostingclub.de/bad-cholesterol-diet-lower.html]bad cholesterol diet lower[/url]
[url=http://clst.hostingclub.de/diet-to-lower-high-cholesterol.html]diet to lower high cholesterol[/url] - [url=http://clst.hostingclub.de/herbs-to-lower-cholesterol.html]herbs to lower cholesterol[/url]
 
[url=http://idisk.mac.com/polet1/Public/cheap-china-flights.html]cheap china flights[/url]
[url=http://idisk.mac.com/polet1/Public/cheap-flight-manila.html]cheap flight manila[/url] - [url=http://idisk.mac.com/polet1/Public/cheap-fligh
t-spain.html]cheap flight spain[/url] - [url=http://idisk.mac.com/polet1/Public/cheap-flight-us.html]cheap flight us[/url]
 
[url=http://idisk.mac.com/dchuvi/Public/southwest-airline-discount.html]southwest airline discount[/url]
[url=http://idisk.mac.com/dchuvi/Public/southwest-airline-schedule.html]southwest airline schedule[/url]
 
[url=http://hometown.aol.com/formabilioz/download-free-cingular-ringtones.html]download free cingular ringtones[/url]
[url=http://hometown.aol.com/formabilioz/free-cingular-mp3-ringtones.html]free cingular mp3 ringtones[/url] | [url=http://hometown.aol.com/formabilioz/free-mobile-phone-ringtones.html]free mobile phone ringtones[/url]
 
[url=http://bama.ua.edu/~tccc/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000125.html]tramadol side effects[/url]
[url=http://bama.ua
.edu/~tccc/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000134.html]cheap fioricet online[/url] | [url=http://bama.ua.edu/~tccc/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000135.html]soma carisoprodol[/url]
 
[url=http://fradalitassociates.co.uk/logs/carnival-cruise-line-2005.html]carnival cruise line 2005[/url]
 
[url=http://idisk.mac.com/maluka1/Public/free-boost-ringtones.html]free boost ringtones[/url]
[url=http://idisk.mac.com/maluka1/Public/free-mobile-ringtones.html]free mobile ringtones[/url] * [url=http://idisk.mac.com/maluka1/Public/free-ringtones.html]free ringtones[/url]
 
[url=http://idisk.mac.com/pedali/Public/diesel-shoes.html]diesel shoes[/url]
[url=http://idisk.mac.com/pedali/Public/red-shoes.html]red shoes[/url]
 
[url=http://idisk.mac.com/sakura57/Public/cialis-canada.html]cialis canada[/url]
[url=http://idisk.mac.com/sakura57/Public/viagra-cialis-levitra.html]viagra cialis levitra[/url]
 
[url=http://www12.asphost4free.com/toyoik/airline-tickets-cheap.html]airline tickets cheap[/url]
[url=http://www12.asphost4free.com/toyoik/thai-air-cheap-airline-tickets.html]thai air cheap airline tickets[/url]
 
[url=http://idisk.mac.com/toyod1/Public/24-ringtone.html]24 ringtone[/url]
[url=http://idisk.mac.com/toyod1/Public/free-hindi-ringtones.html]free hindi ringtones[/url] | [url=http://idisk.mac.com/toyod1/Public/free-mp3-ringtones.html]free mp3 ringtones[/url]
 
[url=http://idisk.mac.com/toyocar/Public/used-car-washington-dc.html]used car washington dc[/url]
[url=http://idisk.mac.com/toyocar/Public/used-car-new-york.html]used car new york[/url]
 
[url=http://idisk.mac.com/mytoyo/Public/free-motorola-ringtones.html]free motorola ringtones[/url]
[url=http://idisk.mac.com/mytoyo/Public/free-nextel-ringtones.html]free nextel ringtones[/url] > [
url=http://idisk.mac.com/mytoyo/Public/funny-ringtones.html]funny ringtones[/url]
 
I have been looking for sites like this for a long time. Thank you! Acyclovir ointment Wheel chair dateing Can tramadol cause ulcers Peoria boating Valium producer http://www.call-center-0.info Protonix side effects disappear
 
http://site.ru - [url=http://site.ru]site[/url] site
site
 
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?