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Author Topic: Relitivism  (Read 5645 times)

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Offline ShrowdedPoetTopic starter

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Relitivism
« on: August 20, 2008, 03:00:19 PM »
I'm up for a good philosophical debate!

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2008, 06:08:07 PM »
I think you may need to state a position to start with.

Unless your position itself is relative? :)

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2008, 08:58:54 PM »
Which, doesn't that mean we can't argue it?  Everything being relative, we're all right.

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2008, 09:01:54 PM »
I am totally against relativism, having relatives, relationships. Basically anything that starts with rela.

Offline calamity

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2008, 09:18:53 PM »
Firm non believer!  I stand with Kant on this one - ethics are objective.  

There are a lot of problems with moral relativism/ethical subjectivism.  All philosophical ideas go through a period of evolution - ethical subjectivism is no different in this regard.  Simple Subjectivism (moral relativism in its most immature form) makes the presumption that any statement about morality can and must be reduced to an emotive statement about personal preference.  For example, if I say that abortion is wrong, what I am truly saying is that I do not like abortion, abortion makes me feel things I do not enjoy, or any variation thereof.  The most obvious flaw in this belief system is that it posits that such a statement as "I do not like abortion" can be true or false while also claiming that every single person's own opinion must be considered equally true.  This creates serious issues when it comes to moral disagreement.

If any moral statement is actually a statement about attitude, and there is no "moral truth," then there is no such thing as moral disagreement.  Unless one person can say to another person, "your opinion is wrong" (and subjectivism on the whole denies this possibility), there is no disagreement.  Instead, there are simply statements that are not about facts, but about beliefs.  This is in conflict with the basic human understanding of the existence of disagreement!  If I say that abortion is wrong and you say it isn't, we disagree.  Moral relativism doesn't allow for this.  Moral relativism says instead that we are simply discussing our attitudes.  No resolution can ever take place this way.

Ethical disagreement occurs: I am pregnant.  If I say that abortion is morally reprehensible and my acquaintance says that abortion is morally permissible, one of us has to be wrong.  This is supported by the fact that no matter what our opinions, a moral choice has to be made.  I will either have an abortion or I will not.  Furthermore, my action will either be morally correct or morally incorrect.  It cannot be both, and it certainly cannot be neither.  Ethical disagreement is important to us because it helps us to reason our way into moral understanding.  Through discourse, revelations occur.  Could society truly move forward if relativism were the best moral attitude?  What about rape, murder, child abuse, and torture?  Are these things only wrong to some people?  Or are they objectively wrong?  I say they are.  Morality, according to Kant, is something we as humans are able to reason to.  It doesn't mean that we always get it right.  We stumble, we make mistakes, we disagree.

If discovering a way that one should live and behave is important, then the adoption of relativism cannot be propitious.  The person interested in correct moral reasoning must hold an ethical belief system that will allow such reasoning to take place.  Moral relativism doesn't allow for this kind of rationalization because it is against the idea that moral principles exist objectively: everyone can be correct about morality because morality is nothing more than a conglomeration of arbitrary emotions.  This conviction leaves no real platform for why one 'ought' to do or believe any one thing over another.  Individuals need only ask themselves what their 'attitude' is on a particular matter.  The theory seems to nullify the whole concept of moral truths as objective and correct prescriptions and proscriptions of universal truths.  Determination of right and wrong seems reduced by ethical subjectivism to simple individual whim.  Ethical subjectivism tells us that there is no way that one should live.

Whew!  That's all I have for now.  *grins*




Offline Inkidu

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2008, 10:16:08 PM »
I think you may need to state a position to start with.

Unless your position itself is relative? :)
Relativity is the order of the day? :]

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2008, 10:32:35 PM »
I'm not religious but I tend to look to the tradition of Natural Law although there are variations on this I include a link for reference.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_law

Its suits my Libertarian sensibilities as the concept that a certain center of moral good can be considered that doesn't actually differs from one people to another regardless of class or situation. And this is not on its own steeped in religion although Christian Natural Law is one strong postion led by Thomas Aquinas. I feel that one cannot be a moral relativist and have a center that can suitably balance ones life or a society. And using it with no strong sense of what is right to do it can lead to great wrong such as slavery or even rape of children. What I consider is what is good and how can a human follow what natural law says which overall is steeped in common sense after all if one really studies it. And it can fit whether your religious or not based on what position is taken.

Offline ShrowdedPoetTopic starter

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2008, 10:36:33 AM »
My stance on relativism. . .

I think that it's utter bull.  If you are a relativist you can't argue your point because if you argue you have to be saying that you are right or wrong and you can't because everything is relative.  So you really can't get mad when I tell you that you're wrong.  But how many relativists do we see who not only argue but get downright pissed off when they are told they're wrong.  If in fact they believe that everything is relative they shouldn't care either way.

Now here is my example of how wrong relativism really is.  Sally believes that there is only one God, Timmy believes that there are multiple Gods, and John believes there is no God.  Amy, our resident relativist says, "you're all right".  But that statement doesn't work because they can't all be right.  There can not be only one God at the same time that there are multiple Gods at the very same time there is NO God.  This is a contradiction.  It is impossible. 

Just an example. 

Offline Greenthorn

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2008, 11:08:44 AM »
My stance on relativism. . .

I think that it's utter bull.  If you are a relativist you can't argue your point because if you argue you have to be saying that you are right or wrong and you can't because everything is relative.  So you really can't get mad when I tell you that you're wrong.  But how many relativists do we see who not only argue but get downright pissed off when they are told they're wrong.  If in fact they believe that everything is relative they shouldn't care either way.

Now here is my example of how wrong relativism really is.  Sally believes that there is only one God, Timmy believes that there are multiple Gods, and John believes there is no God.  Amy, our resident relativist says, "you're all right".  But that statement doesn't work because they can't all be right.  There can not be only one God at the same time that there are multiple Gods at the very same time there is NO God.  This is a contradiction.  It is impossible. 

Just an example. 

*Amy walks in*

Well..no.  They are all right.  Because who is to say what is right or wrong?  Is it ego which makes one believe that in a conversation about God that what they have learned/experienced means there can be nothing else? 

Think:  If I raise my child, homeschool her and everything...and I tell her the sky is not blue, it is green and really, the grass is not really grass, it is rock, is she WRONG when she tells her friends this?  Nope, she is not...nor are her friends.

There truly is no right and wrong if you think about it.  Everything we know we have been TAUGHT...so is the sky color really blue...or is it in fact green but we have always been taught to call it blue?

*smirks*

Yeah...probably time for my meds

Offline Sherona

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2008, 11:13:04 AM »
GT's post made complete and perfect sense to me, and I have often times wondered about what would happen if Humanity decided to discard everything they were taught on the fundamental level such as "red is red not Blue" ;)

Offline Greenthorn

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2008, 11:13:18 AM »
I'll add in:  There really is no right and wrong, there are degrees of acceptibility.

Offline ShrowdedPoetTopic starter

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2008, 11:13:43 AM »
*Amy walks in*

Well..no.  They are all right.  Because who is to say what is right or wrong?  Is it ego which makes one believe that in a conversation about God that what they have learned/experienced means there can be nothing else? 

Think:  If I raise my child, homeschool her and everything...and I tell her the sky is not blue, it is green and really, the grass is not really grass, it is rock, is she WRONG when she tells her friends this?  Nope, she is not...nor are her friends.

There truly is no right and wrong if you think about it.  Everything we know we have been TAUGHT...so is the sky color really blue...or is it in fact green but we have always been taught to call it blue?

*smirks*

Yeah...probably time for my meds

*grins*  Ah, we have an Amy huh?  I really do believe in right in wrong.  It's just the way I think and feel.  If murder is wrong and someone who was taught it is right walked up to me and said it is I wouldn't just shrug and say it's all relitive.  I'd tell them that murder is wrong.  I don't believe that two things such as god exists and god doesn't exist can be right at the same time.  Either there is a god or there isn't.  One statement is right and one statement is wrong cause they can't both be right.  That's my way of thinking.  

I'm Timmy by the way. . .*laughs*  ;D

Offline Greenthorn

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2008, 11:15:29 AM »
Well wait...Poet....

If JimmyJoeBob walked into your house and killed/hurt/raped your daughter....and you killed him.  Is it wrong that you killed him?

*points to my last post*


Offline ShrowdedPoetTopic starter

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2008, 11:16:56 AM »
Well wait...Poet....

If JimmyJoeBob walked into your house and killed/hurt/raped your daughter....and you killed him.  Is it wrong that you killed him?

*points to my last post*



Actually, yes it is.  I also believe in justice and going through the right outlets to get it.  Now if I was there and I had to defend myself against his attack and killed him in the process It would still be wrong. . .but I had no choice.  *shrugs*

Offline Greenthorn

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2008, 11:22:32 AM »
Actually, yes it is.  I also believe in justice and going through the right outlets to get it.  Now if I was there and I had to defend myself against his attack and killed him in the process It would still be wrong. . .but I had no choice.  *shrugs*

Well wait!

Murder is WRONG remember?  And murder is murder no matter what the reason behind it.

(I have just made my entire point *grins*  like how I did that?)

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2008, 11:22:56 AM »
Personally I believe the greatest sin of mankind is moral relativity. My two cents.

Offline Greenthorn

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2008, 11:28:45 AM »
If it is wrong that you kill someone for a valid reason in your own mind..is it really wrong?

Someone rapes/kills one of my children, they will die by my hand...and I will have no regret even if in the courtroom I find out this guy has 6 kids and is a loving husband and father.  He took away something that is mine, so in my mind I was RIGHT.  Do I also know that what I did was WRONG?  Yep.  Do I care? Nope.

Murder is wrong.  True.
Murdering someone because they murdered your child is still wrong.  True.
Murdering someone (by execution) because they killed 23 women is wrong.  True.

Murder is always wrong.  FALSE.

Offline ShrowdedPoetTopic starter

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2008, 11:38:26 AM »
Well wait!

Murder is WRONG remember?  And murder is murder no matter what the reason behind it.

(I have just made my entire point *grins*  like how I did that?)

. . .I just agreed it was wrong on all points.  Even if I had to kill him in self defence I said it was wrong. 

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2008, 11:41:31 AM »
If it is wrong that you kill someone for a valid reason in your own mind..is it really wrong?

Someone rapes/kills one of my children, they will die by my hand...and I will have no regret even if in the courtroom I find out this guy has 6 kids and is a loving husband and father.  He took away something that is mine, so in my mind I was RIGHT.  Do I also know that what I did was WRONG?  Yep.  Do I care? Nope.

Murder is wrong.  True.
Murdering someone because they murdered your child is still wrong.  True.
Murdering someone (by execution) because they killed 23 women is wrong.  True.

Murder is always wrong.  FALSE.
Alright lets pose this in a better format. When is murder right, GT?

Offline Greenthorn

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2008, 11:43:27 AM »
. . .I just agreed it was wrong on all points.  Even if I had to kill him in self defence I said it was wrong. 

But..if you don't murder them, society says it's okay (wait..not society, but the law says) to execute him for killing.  

Facts are just opinions.

What's wrong may be right to some, and it all depends on how they have been "taught".

I think murdering someone who hurt my child is right...you think it's wrong...that's okay...but I think it's wrong that he hurt my child and so do you!

Ahhh...all goes back to my third sentence.



Inkedu: It depends on how you were taught and what opinions you have formed yourself.  My own opinion does not matter because it might be different than yours and that is my entire point.  Neither of us is RIGHT...or rather be BOTH are.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2008, 11:45:23 AM »
Alright better question. When do you think murder is right, GT?


Offline Greenthorn

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2008, 11:47:55 AM »
Alright better question. When do you think murder is right, GT?



Well asking me that, would it not start a debate on murder?  Don't we already know from society that everyone holds a different opinion?  Why would I make a stand about it here?  Just to start a debate?  I think not.  The right and wrong of murder is not something I can change with my opinion, so I don't bother arguing about it.  Now, if I was a politician....*smiles* (the world would be screwed)

Offline ShrowdedPoetTopic starter

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2008, 11:51:37 AM »
But..if you don't murder them, society says it's okay (wait..not society, but the law says) to execute him for killing.  

Facts are just opinions.

What's wrong may be right to some, and it all depends on how they have been "taught".

I think murdering someone who hurt my child is right...you think it's wrong...that's okay...but I think it's wrong that he hurt my child and so do you!

Ahhh...all goes back to my third sentence.



Inkedu: It depends on how you were taught and what opinions you have formed yourself.  My own opinion does not matter because it might be different than yours and that is my entire point.  Neither of us is RIGHT...or rather be BOTH are.

*nods*  I understand what you're saying but it will still be wrong to me.  

I also understand that in different cultures it's seen as ok to murder.  So lets say we take is a little deeper.

I believe that humans (all humans except sociopaths who seem to be missint this function) have something in their minds, souls, spirits that tells them what is right and wrong ALWAYS.  And I also believe that these absolute truths are the same for all humans.  

Offline Greenthorn

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2008, 11:54:32 AM »

I believe that humans (all humans except sociopaths who seem to be missint this function) have something in their minds, souls, spirits that tells them what is right and wrong ALWAYS.  And I also believe that these absolute truths are the same for all humans.  

Again..but who is to say what -is- right and wrong?

It's our upbringing, our own opinions.  There is no true right and wrong..only what is or is not acceptable.

I think animal cruelty is wrong...testing on animals for our products is wrong.  But someone could come in and say...well...if we didn't test on animals we could potentially harm humans.  Hmmm welll okay, you're point is valid...but I still think it's wrong to do so.

Offline ShrowdedPoetTopic starter

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2008, 11:58:45 AM »
Again..but who is to say what -is- right and wrong?

It's our upbringing, our own opinions.  There is no true right and wrong..only what is or is not acceptable.

I think animal cruelty is wrong...testing on animals for our products is wrong.  But someone could come in and say...well...if we didn't test on animals we could potentially harm humans.  Hmmm welll okay, you're point is valid...but I still think it's wrong to do so.

*nods*  I understand what you're saying and I will honestly say, I don't know who says what is right or wrong.  I just know what I believe and feel.  I also know what I observe.  I can not prove anything so this is all thought and speculation.  I'm sure that my Philosophy teacher could put up a much better arguement but sadly I'm not THAT advanced in that field. . .  *laughs*  ;D