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Article > Crying in the dark
Description :: Moral Relativism and its effects
You can't escape it. Moral relativism has become a natural state for many people. It's almost as if (big shock here) either people get their morals from a written religious code or they don't.

I should begin by stating what I do believe. I'm a Christian. I believe that God defines good and evil. I believe (for now) that you can define Good and Evil for yourself (just like you can define X). Go ahead. Try. See? Good job. It still doesn't matter. What matters is that God is more powerful than you are (assuming he exists) and that he'll Fedex you to hell if you don't "kiss the Son." Are we surprised that it comes down to power *again?* Just so you know, I believe in Good and Evil. I'm no sociopath.

The religious people (those of us who are able to think well) look at moral relativism with fear and disgust. Its a creed nobody has to obey. Its a set of laws which if violated, the maker is obligated to feel bad about stuff. The self made morality is as effective as self made religion. It's like...it's like........the UN. All talk. No power. *grins at his constant prodding of the UN*

Naturally, moral relativists look at oldthinkful (pardon me but I just read 1984, and this bit of Newspeak is perfect because moral relativism was a necessity for good doublethink) people like myself with disgust as well. We get our creed from a book! An old book! An old book written by some old people a long time ago. Silly. Doubleplus ungoodthinkful.

That's funny, because our worst case scenario is their best case scenario. If all our beliefs are false, we're merely people who follow someone else's creed. Moral relativism cannot hope to achieve any universality of creed. Nazi's are okay as long as they are okay with what they are doing. Moral relativism is unenforcible on anyone but yourself.

Now, I shouldn't ignore the super silly and super common version of moral relativism which attempts to create (pay attention to the fact that someone had to invent this axiom....) one big objective moral axiom (an objective moral axiom that at one moment was not even thought of and the next moment had been thought of by a person....). Usually it revolves around not hurting other people. Lets pretend for a second that we could all agree on what "hurting" and "people" mean. Where did this axiom come from? If people were not around, would this moral system still hold? No? So when the first person (maybe second person) came into being (however that happened) this axiom merely became true? And so what? If I do something which is "wrong" what would that mean? Am I obligated to feel bad about it? No. Am I obligated to repent? No. Am I obligated to do anything at all? No. Moral relativism is baseless because it has no base. Someone thought it up. Others agreed that it was true. I could say "Sin is when you do anything which doesn't help you." That would have a far greater basis on human life than this nonsense. At least then it would be a good guide for you to follow if you wanted to live and thrive and gain power.

So should we be surprised in this morally relativistic world that no one listens to us? Should I be surprised that some people don't care that the government takes more from some people than it does from others? Should you be surprised that some people murder without flinching? That policians band together and spend tons of money for their own state simply because they can? Such people merely have different moral standards than yourself. What's new? Judge them if you like. It doesn't matter. Kill them if you like. It doesn't matter if morality is like art. Expect natural consequences. But that was already true wasn't it? If you lie in your job interview and are not caught, the natural consequence will be that you will have a better chance at that big job. If you cheat on your wife, and you get caught, the natural consequence will be ...whatever it is.

I dunno. People just don't police themselves so well.

So don't complain to me that somewhere out there, a homosexual is crying because he or she can't marry the person they love. That'd be like me telling a moral relativist that Jesus loves them and has a wonderful plan for his or her life. Just makes your skin crawl don't it? Good for getting people to roll their eyes. Not much more (unless you're already a Christian of course).

Do you get it yet? It either matters or it doesn't. If it matters, lets figure out what the moral law is and why. If not, then get used to crying in the dark. Because nobody cares what you think if you can't back it. Nobody cares what you define for yourself. Do we care what color the missile is painted? Why should we care what it hits then? Saying to the sociopath "But...you might kill people" is like saying to me "Oh goodness that's just *awful*...what you're doing with those colors is *wrong*!" So prove him wrong already. Oh wait, you're too busy killing him for his "crimes." See? It comes down to power again. The government is "god" and the sociopath is the sinner. Except this time you like it because "god" likes you and wants to protect you. Good of you.

After reading all that, ask yourself two or three questions. 1) If we destroyed the entire world and everyone in it, what will have been lost which was truly valueable (and would those things become less valueable really considering that you no longer exist)? 2) Would it be wrong if the person that did it thought it was the only way to purge the world of evil?

Oh go play video games, I can't believe you're still reading this. You probably agree with me or something. :)

*edit*

No wait, I just thought of a great way to put it.

Imagine that you have to define a set of words to establish a dialog with someone. Imagine if every sentence you used to define these words confused the person further because those sentences were comprised of words as well. The conversation grows more and more detailed and becomes more about words then about anything else. Eventually, you begin to run out of words because everytime you re-use a word your friend insists that you are using cyclical definitions (like, a cow is an animal an animal is a living thing, a living thing is...well..you know...they move and breathe and reproduce and.......you know....like a cow). Eventually you give you because you realize that language is a cyclical system; the whole thing is man made and is completely subjective. You can't prove to this person what any one word means because all the words you use to prove it will need definitions themselves.

A very similar problem is inherent in moral relativism. It lacks authority the same way my language lacks authority. I can't tell you what "courage" means. If we disagree and neither of us can convince the other, neither of us is right. One of us just has more people on our side which means very little. Nothing man makes can escape this problem unless it touches Reality. Like buildings which have to follow the laws of physics and math (which we did not make up but rather discovered). Philosophy, art, literature...without an objective and all knowing beholder, these things have no value in and of themselves.

Now you can go play video games.

~ensis

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Owned by Ensis Involucrus - Created on 09/08/2004 - Last edited on 10/14/2004

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