Sunday, January 29, 2012

Puck on... Relativism, pt. 2

The one saving grace here is that no one who really believes in moral relativism really believes in it.  I can tell I’ll need to explain.  Try and keep up.

Let us posit that to believe in something is to think that it is true.  Can you agree with this?


Do you think most people would?

I don’t know why they wouldn’t.

Oh, by the end of this, boy, you’ll know exactly why.  But in any case, the conjecture stands.  So, therefore, one would assume, that if you believe in moral relativism you think it true.

Bit of a tautology.

Yes, you would think, as many do.  And kudos to your vocabulary, of course.  However, I think you’ll find that there is a vast difference between what people say they believe in and what they actually think is true.  Like our subject.

Let’s start at the beginning.  Moral Relativism says what?  That morals are relative.  Which is to say that truth is relative, since morality claims truth-hood.  Which is to say there are no absolutes.  True?


Then if there are no absolutes, then the only truth is relative or personal truth.  Which is to say “to each his own.”  Correct?


And if there are no absolutes, then there is nothing that exists which can claim absolute authority.  No truth, no institution natural or man-made, no way of life, no creed.  Right?


But if there is no absolute truth then everything is true.  Which is to say nothing is, since nothing can claim absoluteness.  So Relativism states that truth does not exist.  Which is to say, nothing is true.  Have I made a misstep?

No.  But I’m not a relativist.  I imagine they would have an objection to that.

Like what?

Like, truth is whatever you want it to be.  The only thing that matters is what you believe.

Ah, yes.  Personal faith, held in honesty.  How tolerant, how enlightened.  Except that it makes no sense.

They would ask, which part?

All of it.  It’s a house of cards without the cards.  See here, my boy, Relativism states that it is all relative.  Truth, morality, everything.  There are no absolutes truths.  But isn’t the statement “there are no absolute truths” itself an absolute statement?  It certainly doesn’t leave for much “wiggle room”, as it were.  And that’s where the true sin of relativism lies.  You think it’s because it denies morality.  But it’s the self-deluded hypocrisy of it all.  A philosophy which denies absolutism while claiming the very same power.  They think they’ve torn down the curtain and shown the universe for what it really is, but they don’t realize they are looking at an even bigger façade.

What did I posit at the beginning of this?

That to believe in something is to think it true.

And do you see now?  The blinding Achilles heel of the whole thing?  You can’t believe in Moral Relativism, not because it isn’t true, but because you can’t believe in it.  It won’t allow you.  It states that there is nothing to believe in, not excluding itself.  You can’t believe that there is no such thing as belief.  You can’t think true something that claims there is no truth. You can’t say “yes” to a question that denies your ability to say “yes” at all.  It’s a contradiction.

But, of course, people do believe in it.  Or say they do, which to your generation seems to be just enough.  So, that begs the question-


Why indeed?

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