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Thread: Moral Relativism: The new stupid

  1. #1
    Sagittarius
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    Default Moral Relativism: The new stupid

    Hi all,

    I think it's time to revisit Moral Relativism and perceive just how stupid it really is, ultimately.

    Below is a quote from: www.carm.org
    Happy Reading!

    Relativism is the philosophical position that all points of view are equally valid and that all truth is relative to the individual. But, if we look further, we see that this proposition is not logical. In fact, it is self-refuting.

    1. All truth is relative.
    1. If all truth is relative, then the statement "All truth is relative" would be absolutely true. If it is absolutely true, then not all things are relative and the statement that "All truth is relative" is false.

    2. There are no absolute truths.
    1. The statement "There are no absolute truths" is an absolute statement which is supposed to be true. Therefore, it is an absolute truth and "There are no absolute truths" is false.
    2. If there are no absolute truths, then you cannot believe anything absolutely at all, including that there are no absolute truths. Therefore, nothing could be really true for you - including relativism.

    3. What is true for you is not true for me.
    1. If what is true for me is that relativism is false, then is it true that relativism is false?
    1. If you say no, then what is true for me is not true and relativism is false.
    2. If you say yes, then relativism is false.
    1. If you say that it is true only for me that relativism is false, then
    1. I am believing something other than relativism; namely, that relativism is false. If that is true, then how can relativism be true?
    2. am I believing a premise that is true or false or neither?
    1. If it is true for me that relativism is false, then relativism (within me) holds the position that relativism is false. This is self-contradictory.
    2. If it is false for me that relativism is false, then relativism isn't true because what is true for me is not said to be true for me.
    3. If you say it is neither true or false, then relativism isn't true since it states that all views are equally valid; and by not being at least true, relativism is shown to be wrong.
    2. If I believe that relativism is false, and if it is true only for me that it is false, then you must admit that it is absolutely true that I am believing that relativism false.
    1. If you admit that it is absolutely true that I am believing relativism is false, then relativism is defeated since you admit there is something absolutely true.
    3. If I am believing in something other than relativism that is true, then there is something other than relativism that is true - even if it is only for me.
    1. If there is something other than relativism that is true, then relativism is false.

    4. No one can know anything for sure.
    1. If that is true, then we can know that we cannot know anything for sure, which is self-defeating.

    5. That is your reality, not mine.
    1. Is my reality really real?
    2. If my reality is different than yours, how can my reality contradict your reality? If yours and mine are equally real, how can two opposite realities that exclude each other really exist at the same time?

    6. We all perceive what we want.
    1. How do you know that statement is true?
    2. If we all perceive what we want, then what are you wanting to perceive?
    1. If you say you want to perceive truth, how do you know if you are not deceived?
    2. Simply desiring truth is no proof you have it.

    7. You may not use logic to refute relativism.
    1. Why not?
    2. Can you give me a logical reason why logic cannot be used?
    3. If you use relativism to refute logic, then on what basis is relativism (that nothing is absolutely true) able to refute logic which is based upon truth.
    4. If you use relativism to refute logic, then relativism has lost its relative status since it is used to absolutely refute the truth of something else.

    8. We are only perceiving different aspects of the same reality.
    1. If our perceptions are contradictory, can either perception be trusted?
    2. Is truth self-contradictory?
    1. If it were, then it wouldn't be true because it would be self-refuting. If something is self-refuting, then it isn't true.
    3. If it is true that we are perceiving different aspects of the same reality, then am I believing something that is false since I believe that your reality is not true? How then could they be the same reality?
    4. If you are saying that it is merely my perception that is not true, then relativism is refuted.
    1. If I am believing something that is false, then relativism is not true since it holds that all views are equally valid.
    5. If my reality is that your reality is false, then both cannot be true. If both are not true, then one of us (or both) is in error.
    1. If one or both of us is in error, then relativism is not true.

    9. Relativism itself is excluded from the critique that it is absolute and self-refuting.
    1. On what basis do you simply exclude relativism from the critique of logic?
    1. Is this an arbitrary act? If so, does it justify your position?
    2. If it is not arbitrary, what criteria did you use to exclude it?
    2. To exclude itself from the start is an admission of the logical problems inherent in its system of thought.

    Peace jiggas,
    hellas1......in a relative sort of way
    Last edited by hellas1; April 28, 2010 at 05:30 PM.

  2. #2
    Squiggle's Avatar Equites
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    Default Re: Moral Relativism: The new stupid

    Moral relativism is a false ideal. No one actually believes in it. Anyone who says they do- just ask a few questions about murder, racism, rape, discrimination or whatever. Any number of questions that are contrary to their political and ideological beliefs that exist in other cultures and you will be met with horror. OF COURSE sexism is wrong. Why? If everything is just relative who the hell are you to say its wrong?! The only true relativist is someone so sickeningly apathetic about societies issues that they wouldnt even comment on them in the first place. It's just the crap new age [usually atheist] liberals cling to, in order to sound smart and contrary to their parents. They dont actually believe it, yet despite its clear idiocy that doesnt stop it from being dangerous.
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    Arch-hereticK's Avatar Indefinitely Banned
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    Default Re: Moral Relativism: The new stupid

    Relative morals and relative time operate similarily.

    For instance it's wrong to kill a man for skipping you in a queue, it is not wrong for you to kill a man that is holding a gun to your daughter's face.

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    Justinian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moral Relativism: The new stupid

    Here's a more rational thread about it
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=298439

    1. If all truth is relative, then the statement "All truth is relative" would be absolutely true
    No it wouldn't ... it would be relatively true. Moral relativism is a crock of shite but not for this illogical reason.

    I didn't read past the rest of that because, well, why? There are two variants of Christian apologists: the smart, rational kind who can justify their own beliefs, and the blathering idiots who think they're much smarter than they actually are, and this CARM thing seems to fall firmly under the second category.
    Last edited by Justinian; April 28, 2010 at 07:15 PM.

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    Yaga Shu Ra's Avatar Kihei
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    Default Re: Moral Relativism: The new stupid

    This is incorrect:
    Relativism is the philosophical position that all points of view are equally valid and that all truth is relative to the individual.
    Due to this misconception, the rest of the posted material lists arguments disputing a "phantom".
    Last edited by Yaga Shu Ra; April 29, 2010 at 04:58 AM.
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    Justinian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moral Relativism: The new stupid

    Quote Originally Posted by Yaga Shu Ra View Post
    This is incorrect:

    Due to this misconception, the rest of the posted material lists arguments disputing a "phantom".
    Which is hardly surprising.

    Moral relativism is the idea that there is no absolute system of morality and no society's moral code is inherently wrong or right, I would say. The arguments from the OP are a tremendous fail.

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    Scorch's Avatar One of Giga's Ladies
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    Default Re: Moral Relativism: The new stupid

    The only "new stupid" here is your complete misunderstanding and lack of knowledge of the subject, and to be honest given that you're coming from a background of faith it's really not new at all.
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    Default Re: Moral Relativism: The new stupid

    Quote Originally Posted by Justinian View Post
    Moral relativism is the idea that there is no absolute system of morality and no society's moral code is inherently wrong or right
    Why not?

    You will quickly see that your system boils down to what got debunked in the OP.


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    InsaneHanz's Avatar Shisai
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    Default Re: Moral Relativism: The new stupid

    A version of this was taught in my school. They basically said that all cultures were equal. Most people would agree that Western cultures are superior to Taliban culture.

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    Last Roman's Avatar ron :wub:in swanson
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    Default Re: Moral Relativism: The new stupid

    Quote Originally Posted by Yaga Shu Ra View Post
    This is incorrect:

    Due to this misconception, the rest of the posted material lists arguments disputing a "phantom".
    this. moral relativism claims there is no one single objective, normative standard by which to judge, it says nothing about truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by signifer
    Why not?
    why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squiggle
    No one actually believes in it
    I'm living, breathing proof that's not true.
    Last edited by Last Roman; April 28, 2010 at 10:43 PM.
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    Default Re: Moral Relativism: The new stupid

    No it wouldn't ... it would be relatively true. Moral relativism is a crock of shite but not for this illogical reason.
    What you said.

    I can't stand moral relativism. Makes me the sick.

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    magickyleo101's Avatar Here Come The Judge
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    Default Re: Moral Relativism: The new stupid

    I would comment on this because the topic's an interesting one, but it's already been pointed out that the OP hasn't really said anything you can have a meaningful discussion off of...


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    Default Re: Moral Relativism: The new stupid

    Sure it did. It said that moral relativism is intellectually unsupportable.


    "If ye love wealth greater than liberty,
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    Tankbuster's Avatar Analogy Nazi
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    Default Re: Moral Relativism: The new stupid

    Quote Originally Posted by hellas1
    I think it's time to revisit Moral Relativism and perceive just how stupid it really is, ultimately.
    We all perceive that it's stupid on one level or another, whether practically or theoretically. The only reason we're still having this conversation is because of (i) the on-going (although waning) influence of post-modernists and (ii) the idea that discarding moral relativism somehow equates embracing religion.

    Moral questions like "What should the limits on freedom of speech (if any) be?" or "What is the best way to raise a child?" have an answer, regardless of whether we have all the information on how to answer them: there are good ways to go about these subjects and there are bad ways; and there will be one (or several) "best" ways to go about it.

    It's about time we start doing a comprehensive study of what is the best strategy for durable fulfillment (on an individual and collective basis), the best methods towards attaining a productive and succesful society, etcetera... These are questions that have objective answers, given enough data and the relevant information (like understanding what creates emotions like fulfillment at the level of the brain).

    Sadly, there is no money to fund these inquiries (shockingly, philosphical/scientific inquiries of this nature get little interest from policy makers). So for the time being we'll have to continue with what we've always done: testing and perfecting our moral systems in search of beauty and fulfillment.

    On the other hand, I can't say word games like these interest me:
    "No one can know anything for sure.
    If that is true, then we can know that we cannot know anything for sure, which is self-defeating."
    Last edited by Tankbuster; April 29, 2010 at 06:58 AM.
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    Manco's Avatar The Deathless King
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    Default Re: Moral Relativism: The new stupid

    Moral relativism isn't any more stupid than a belief in absolute morals derived from a deity that we have no proof of existence for.

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    Default Re: Moral Relativism: The new stupid

    Is killing someone immoral? It's relative.
    Is stealing immoral? It's relative.
    Is starting a war immoral? It's relative.

    Within those there are of course absolutes. Moral relativity is like the theory of special-relativity, it's relatively relative.

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    Default Re: Moral Relativism: The new stupid

    Quote Originally Posted by Arch-hereticK View Post
    Is killing someone immoral? It's relative.
    Is stealing immoral? It's relative.
    Is starting a war immoral? It's relative.
    Technically all those things are immoral but there is such a thing as a necessary evil.
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    Yaga Shu Ra's Avatar Kihei
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    Default Re: Moral Relativism: The new stupid

    Quote Originally Posted by SigniferOne View Post
    Sure it did. It said that moral relativism is intellectually unsupportable.
    No, read more carefully, the post lists arguments against:
    the philosophical position that all points of view are equally valid and that all truth is relative to the individual.
    A position the author misconstrued to be moral relativism:
    Relativism is the philosophical position that all points of view are equally valid and that all truth is relative to the individual.
    It should read:
    I, the author, guessed relativism is the philosophical position that all points of view are equally valid and that all truth is relative to the individual.
    He guessed wrong and procedes in elaborating on how this caricature is intellectually unsupportable.
    Last edited by Yaga Shu Ra; April 29, 2010 at 07:24 AM.
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    Default Re: Moral Relativism: The new stupid

    Quote Originally Posted by Helm View Post
    Technically all those things are immoral but there is such a thing as a necessary evil.
    Well not really.
    It's a moral neccessity to kill someone about to kill someone innocent, It's a moral neccessity to go to war to defend country and family, it's a moral neccessity to get food no matter what to feed your family. Morality is relative to the circumstances.

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    Default Re: Moral Relativism: The new stupid

    Quote Originally Posted by SigniferOne View Post
    Why not?

    You will quickly see that your system boils down to what got debunked in the OP.
    If you paid the slightest bit of attention before you post, instead of just leaping to ridiculous conclusions based on my political affiliation and lack of religious belief, you would have noticed:
    Quote Originally Posted by Justinian View Post
    No it wouldn't ... it would be relatively true. Moral relativism is a crock of shite but not for this illogical reason.
    If you want to see why I believe it's illogical, then read my post here:
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=298439

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Quote Originally Posted by Justinian View Post
    It is common to hear, when making a values judgment about another culture or people in a different time period, that "you are judging them through a 21st century perspective", or "it was another time -- they didn't know better" or "their morality differs from you; it's just their culture". This has been used to explain away all matter of practices ranging from the inane to the bizarre to the barbaric; though ironically, the perspective that we need to view other cultures through their perspective and not our own is a 21st century one, as for better or for worse (almost always for worse) we didn't stop to think about that in the past.

    My problem with this is that I do not believe in any kind of moral relativity -- I find it to be an illogical and inconsistent concept which devalues a key aspect of humanity. This discussion came up on another website and I think it took an interesting turn, so I'd like to repost it here and hopefully spur more debate on the topic because it is one I feel is very important. The context of discussion is how rape was considered to be not wrong in many different cultures in the past, so that should hopefully explain any passing references to it. So this is what I wrote on the subject of moral relativity:

    (in response to: "Well you're looking at "wrong" through a 21st century humanist perspective.")
    I hear this a lot. It's a difficult thing to tackle, because on the one hand, yes of course it's true, I view things from a 21st century perspective because that is my perspective; the question is whether that in any way invalidates my claim to right and wrong -- that is, does the time in which one makes a moral observation have any bearing on the legitimacy of the observation? This is not true of any more finite observation, so why should it be true of morality? Consider the scientific -- whether you are stating the Earth is (near) spherical and not flat in the 21st century or the 2nd, you are no less right. The difference is in what tools were available to people to affirm their observation, not in the truth of the observation itself. Or take gravity -- people have always known that things fall to the ground, because you can see it happen, but it took 4,000 years of human development to figure out what force causes it. Had Ahamahet the Egyptian formulated Isaac Newton's theory in the 10th century BC, he would have been just as right as Isaac Newton. So the time in which one makes an observation about the general way that things work logically has no bearing on how true it is. What makes morality any different from this?

    If a 12th century knight had said "you know what, rape is wrong because it violates the personal rights of the victim, shows a lack of respect and restraint for our fellow humans, and is a base and animal act", would he have been wrong to say so because the prevailing view in his time was the opposite? Does the opinion of the masses effect the truth of a statement? Does the fact that 90% of people in modern Western society would agree with my moral views make mine true and the Sudanese female circumciser's false?

    Of course the problem is that unlike the scientific, morality cannot be measured and proven to be "correct" or "incorrect", "right" or "wrong". The only thing we can PROVE about morality is that the concept exists, and has existed for recorded history, which would suggest it is as innately and uniquely human a concept as something like love or philosophy -- which gives it some power both as a force in our lives.

    Another problem my viewpoint encounters is that the only way it is possible to make a factual moral statement is within the framework of one's own morality. Something is wrong because I feel it is wrong, because that is the innate moral sense that I have and many share.

    This all is if and only if if I accept and we all accept the concept that morality is relative and not finite. And I think there is less for me to prove by saying that morality is not relative -- simply the concept was less developed in the past, like gravity or the perceived shape of the earth, which means that the majority of people held the wrong opinion but if someone had surfaced with the "right" opinion centuries early, he would have been right. That morality has progressed in a mostly linear way with fluctuations. There is more for you to prove that morality IS relative -- superficially it's an easier argument to make (people believe different things, murder and rape are acceptable in some places and not others, etc), but you then have to ask the 'why' which is the question that drives human knowledge. And I believe closer examination makes the argument for moral relativity disintegrate.

    If morality IS relative, then all morality is worthless; an idea is meaningless if it is true in some situations and not in others. It is illogical to even accept it as an idea, which would make the only thing holding you back from doing as you please and satisfying your purely animal urges the fear of retribution from society, and what does that make you? If morality IS relative it creates a situation in which morality is true in EVERY situation, which is a paradox -- if morality is relative and thus always true whenever anyone has a concept of morality, that morality is ALWAYS wrong whenever anyone has a concept of morality, because my morality and Papua New Guinea tribesmen's moralities are incompatible, in much the same way that all religions cannot be simultaneously right (because being simultaneously right would make them simultaneously wrong). It's like the philosophical equivalent of dividing by zero, you have to do all kinds of complex things to get around the roadblock you've created, whereas I can just say 'that's undefined and I don't need to learn more complex math, so let's just move on'.

    The only consistent way to say morality is relative is to say that it is neither right or wrong ... but since 'rightness' and 'wrongness' are the key concepts OF morality, doing this once again makes it worthless.

    So the only way in which morality is worth a damn thing at all is to say that it is constant, and the only way to have any moral feelings -- it is wrong to murder and rape children, for example -- without being a hypocrite is to accept morality as not being relative. If morality is relative then you must accept it is a worthless concept and that there is no reason to feel things are wrong or right, which would surely entail some amount of self-examination.

    Either a concept that seems to be deeply ingrained in the human mind on a level deeper than social construction for millenia is absolutely worthless, or there is some kind of quantifiable truth to it ... which is an uncomfortable view for an atheist like me to hold because of the questions it raises.

    So what do you think?

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