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Why relativism?

Mon 14, May 2012

First ask yourself; “why I should do good things?”.
Now exclude all your answers that can be included in one of these categories:

Logical loops: If you enter in one of these, is because your answer is illogical “I should do good things because is the correct thing to do because I should do good things because…”

Irrational emotions: What’s the first rule of philosophy? Yes, think with your brain instead of your heart; your heart is great for enjoy a happy life, but it sucks in any other task. “I should do good things because my heart says that I should do good things”

Pragmatism: Philosophy IS NOT a science that it’s constantly seeking for the best moral modus operandi for ourselves. It’s just a theoretical science that tries to rationalize our moral beliefs and solve metaphysical questions. And so; it’s all but philosophical think “I should do good things because those things are good for me”; unless your moral is completely egocentric or you’re Socrates.


Now, if you categorized your answers correctly; you will find that there’s no correct answer. In fact, there are no correct answers for moral questions. That’s relativism, where no moral has sense and where no pillar can be.


From → Philosophy

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  2. Trizo permalink

    Although you probably don’t mean it in such a way, I find it hard to believe one cannot classify moral understandings based on philosophy. The relativism of morality, although abstract, is so clearly defined. Everywhere, societies generally have the same moral standards. It’s wrong to steal because of logical reasons, and we can back up our moral understanding of that by investigating humans history. Societally speaking, stealing unfairly took from an individual, and that person was punished for the unfairness.

    I don’t know that I like relativism applied like this.

    • 1-Moral understandings can be classified in many ways, I don’t see any problem there.

      2-The moral of the society (usually) tends to improve the society; the mechanism that makes the society improve it’s own culture (moral included) is the same that the species use to evolve. If a society has a “let’s steal anything we like from our neighbours” moral; sooner or later the society will break. And the morality will disappear with the society. So, in the same way that a bat and a butterfly have wings although none of them has any flying common ancestor; the societies tend to have a common morality (the non-stealing moral is part of that common morality).

      3-I didn’t understand your last sentence, sorry (I’m Spanish).

    • Trizo permalink

      What I was trying to say was that I think morals CAN be classified and verified by these means. And that relativism applied like this, where it claims morals cannot be classified, is kind of senseless. I don’t agree that relativism dictates the inability to classify and understand morality.

    • Maybe I used incorrectly the term “relativism”; I only say that no moral has sense because there is not an “absolute moral”. I agree that morals can be classified by many ways but there’s not an empirical way that leads to the “absolute moral” because there’s not any absolute moral.

    • Trizo permalink

      That’s more understandable. I still think that there can be objective morals. I need to read “The Moral Landscape” by Sam Harris. I believe he talks more about the depth of morality in it.

    • I don’t think so. The morality started because the society needed a common law, and the ones who complied with the law had less problems with society; what means less punishments; what means a better social position; what means more women (or only one but guaranteed) or a better man; what means more offspring (in the first case) or better offspring (in the second case).
      And so, the people who had an inner “morality” based on the common law complied better with that law and left more offspring.
      And so, the “objective” morality is not more than an illusion. However, objectively; the best “objective” morality is which prevents the most social problems, but there is not a “perfect” and “objective” morality.

    • Trizo permalink

      It’s becoming more evident, though, that humans do in fact have an inherent morality, which is defined regardless of culture or geography. Morality doesn’t stem from law, law stems from morality. Human’s ancestors had the same general morals, albeit slightly different. I’m not saying that some of our laws and principles have been skewed. We SHOULD have had equal rights sooner, and it goes without saying that laws, and accepted social values make for a better society.

      The more we learn about neuro-science, though, the more we realize that morals can objectively be defined, at least from the perspective of a human’s inherent morals. I do, however, understand what you mean with regards to relativism, whereas defining morals subjectively is relative and abstract (as I believe you were saying).

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Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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