Tag Archives: moral relativism

Moral Relativism Is Dead. What’s Next?

From http://hypernews.ngdc.noaa.gov
From http://hypernews.ngdc.noaa.gov (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some claim that relativism is dying and needs only the status quo to end it’s messy march completely. While I’m not completely certain this is accurate, I’d at least agree that it’s control on our culture is being supplanted by other ideologies that must be addressed in their own way.

Helen Rittelmeyer, writing in the American Spectator, makes this argument and postulates that the newest, biggest ideological problem is one that, like relativism, has it’s enticements. From her description I can see how I myself have fallen prey to the idea of Utilitarianism, the idea that there must be a measurable and scientific reason behind any moral claim.

The great attraction of this new utilitarian mindset is its certainty—the fact that answers to such questions are not just a matter of opinion (and therefore, not relative)—which is why continuing to demonize the old enemy only makes the new one more appealing. Conservatives should be pleased, maybe even a little proud, that Americans are in the market for moral claims they can make with authority, but now it’s time to worry about which authorities they choose to trust. Economics can tell a country how to satisfy its desires efficiently, but not which desires are noble. Sociologists can put out a survey asking whether people are happy or fulfilled, but can’t give them the moral vocabulary they need to make sense of the difference between happiness and mere contentment, or between fulfillment and shallow self-regard. Some social-scientific studies make claims that turn out to be false, and others make claims that are correct on their own terms but not in the messy world of the human soul.

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Proofs Against Moral Relativism

Some things just fail on their own
Some things just fail on their own

The best counter to moral relativism is still the quip “is that so?” delivered with the appropriate raised eye-brow.

Any sufficient response to that query must consist of a positive statement of an absolute value which proves moral relativism to be a fraud at best.

While academics and other invested relativists insist that such verbal slaughter falls far short of fully discrediting their preferred viewpoint, they must first dismiss the truism that any philosophy that is internally inconsistent cannot be truth.

But just in case one needs more proof, consider the idea of FGM.

Female Genital Mutilation, or Female Circumcision, is a barbarous practice found exclusively among cultures whose religions require extreme subservience of their women.

The ugly process ensures women will derive no pleasure from sex with the supposed goal of guaranteeing the servitude of that woman to her man in all matters of sex and children.

The side effects are pain during intercourse, increased pain and damage during childbirth, and increased chance of infection.

There is no way this practice is moral. It produces no realistic, practical, or natural good for the woman, and who could argue successfully such enslavement of women is good for the men?

In America, we can fix this. We can remove the terrible effects of this mutilation. We can restore pleasurable sensations during sex and lessen the pain of childbirth.

That is a moral good.

Now, if some still want to argue that all cultures and individuals can find their own good which may or may not also be good for someone else, let them defend FGM. Let them defend the pain and the suffering. Let them say that action of mutilation is the same, morally, as the American action of restoration and healing.