Sunday, January 22, 2012

Puck on... Relativism, pt. 1

I told you I would speak on relativism at a later date.  I’m ready to talk of it now.

I suppose you find that as entertaining as ignorance.

Oh my, yes.  But not for the same reasons.  This may surprise you, but ignorance and relativism are not the same thing.  Oh, no.  Ignorance is a state of mind, almost passive in its way; relativism is a choice, an action.

Don’t people choose to be ignorant sometimes?

No one can choose to be ignorant.  Once you’ve been educated you can’t go back to not knowing.  They may not know and choose not to be taught, but that’s really stepping out of true ignorance.  The best the people you are talking about can do is pretend, feign ignorance.  But it’s skin deep.  You can try and forget, you can ignore, but you cannot unlearn.  Once you have the knowledge, your ignorance is gone, and all excuse with it.

So people choose moral relativism?

Absolutely.  Usually when they are trying to be ignorant.  Like truth, like wisdom, if you can debunk it, if you can prove that it is not worth a thing, then you need pay it no mind.  Relativism is another dimension further.  If you prove there is no truth, if you can prove that there is no value for it to even have, then you need never listen again.

So, people choose moral relativism so they don’t have to believe in truth?

Yes.  Oh, they don’t say that.  They may have even convinced themselves they don’t think that way.  They have the best of reasons, you know.  They don’t even call it moral relativism.  That would give it away.  They call it postmodern thinking.  Or they define it by its negative.  Another of your little name tricks.  They’ll say that absolutes are antiquated, outmoded, even discriminatory.  They call themselves enlightened, and anyone who does not agree with them is therefore unenlightened, uneducated, even discriminatory.  “Us and Them” rearing its head again.

Now, lest your “readers” cry foul, we should mention where you fall on the issue.  Aren’t you an outmoded, antiquated thinker?

I believe in moral absolutes, if that’s what you’re asking.

Of course, you do.  And what a good boy you are for holding fast to truth.  Oh, I’ll bet you’ve caught some flak for that.  Bet you’ve got into some heated arguments with people.  The world’s tried to change you, but you’ve stuck to your guns.  You won’t be taken in like so many of your generation.

You’re trying to lure me into the Us/Them paradigm.

Yes, I am.  But then again, I don’t have to.  It already exists, and you know where you fall.  You’re not a relativist, my boy, and, I will give you this, unlike so many on your side, you actually know why.  You don’t stolidly stick to your side out of habit or tradition, but because you understand.  Or at least think you do.  (Sorry, had to throw one last in.)  And you’re not content to let people simply wallow in their ignorance.  You want them to know, to see, to understand why it can’t work.  You care.  It’s so endearing.

But that’s the problem.  They aren’t ignorant.  They pretend.  They ignore.  They forget.  And they are playing with a fire so terrible, if truly unleashed, it would destroy everything.

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