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Author Topic: Relitivism  (Read 5648 times)

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Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2008, 12:06:05 PM »
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.  

Unfortunately what is deemed right and wrong has changed with both time and culture.

Slavery
Womens rights
I'm sure there are plenty other examples that it wouldn't take too much effort to produce.

Offline Greenthorn

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2008, 12:08:59 PM »
Unfortunately what is deemed right and wrong has changed with both time and culture.

Slavery
Womens rights
I'm sure there are plenty other examples that it wouldn't take too much effort to produce.

Exactly my point.  It all has to do with what we are taught then how we process those teachings.  And it comes down to..no one is right or wrong...or better...everyone is right and wrong.

*smiles*

Offline Trieste

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2008, 12:11:53 PM »
Universal right and wrong leaks into the anthropology of things... considering that you are using murder as an example, this may seem to actually back up Poet's point, but it doesn't... Study of morals and ethics across human cultures has found that in modern and ancient cultures, there are only a few constants of accepted morality. There is a prohibition on murder of someone in your culture (doesn't often apply to them damned furriners). There is some form of discouragement of incest, though it's not always a taboo... sometimes, the concept is just simply laughable. Like a monkey with an adding machine. And often there is smoe form of marriage, although it may not take a form that is recogniseable to us.

That's it.

No theft taboo. No taboo against sneaking into your neighbour's house and secreting away his daughter if you can. Abortion. Fraud. Lying. All of these things we take as things you Just Don't Do to others might not exist in another culture. They may decide that right or wrong, Poet AND GT are two women who are JUST too mouthy and both of them need their tongues cut out as a lesson in humility to the rest of the women in the town. Would that be wrong? Of course not. It's considered for the greater good.

So ... yes. Relativism isa bit stronger than you might think, especially if you start getting into a discussion on other cultures.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2008, 12:19:07 PM »
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)
No I was just curious.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2008, 12:21:05 PM »
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.
I believe there are just wrong things. Killing off a whole race of people. Rape. Child abuse,

Offline Greenthorn

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2008, 12:22:23 PM »
*sticks tongue out at Trieste*

To sum up my own end of this discussion...right and wrong are interchangable and no one truly has the power to say which is which because even if the lawmakers tell me that wearing green on St Patricks Day is right (and yeah I'm using something trivial as an example), it doesn't mean that I agree...and it doesn't mean that they are wrong.

The more serious in nature that one gets with right and wrong, the more people are forced to think...and people who don't like to think are the ones who will slam their hands on the table and say YOU ARE WRONG.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2008, 12:24:23 PM by Greenthorn »

Offline Greenthorn

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2008, 12:23:34 PM »
No I was just curious.

Well why curious?  I had used murder as an example to why no one is truly right or wrong.  *smiles*  I wasn't taking a stand, nor trying to.  Murder was not what was on the table.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2008, 12:26:20 PM »
GT Hitler was legally right. That is to say he was endowed by law to kill millions of Jews. That will never be morally right no matter how you spin it.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2008, 12:29:25 PM »
!

...!

You will never ... never be forgiven for not wearing green on Saint Pat's, you godless heathen savage!

NEVER WILL I FORGET! ... March... uhm, March ... You know, that day is a little fuzzy, and I don't remember it that well. What date is it, again?

Offline Greenthorn

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2008, 12:29:47 PM »
GT Hitler was legally right. That is to say he was endowed by law to kill millions of Jews. That will never be morally right no matter how you spin it.

I didn't say whether Hitler was right or wrong...did I?

*blinks*

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #35 on: August 21, 2008, 12:29:53 PM »
I don't think it was written into law that he could kill them. Otherwise why the whole charade of sending them to the camps? Why not simply march in armed troops and gun them down in their homes?

The law permitted him to do a lot of nasty things, but I think it fell short of legalising murder.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2008, 12:37:11 PM »
I didn't say whether Hitler was right or wrong...did I?

*blinks*
Throughout your whole thing you keep saying no one can say anyone is right or wrong. That means anything anyone ever does they don't have to account for it. You can't call me wrong if I decide to off someone for kicks. If you choose to stand by your argument.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2008, 12:40:38 PM »
I would say that everyone has their own definitions of what is right and wrong, but those are not necessarily universal ones.

As for accounting for things, every action, every inaction, every word spoken, has consequences. Some will be minor, some will not. I believe that you should take responsibility for those consequences, since you chose to be the cause of them.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2008, 12:42:38 PM »
I would say that everyone has their own definitions of what is right and wrong, but those are not necessarily universal ones.

As for accounting for things, every action, every inaction, every word spoken, has consequences. Some will be minor, some will not. I believe that you should take responsibility for those consequences, since you chose to be the cause of them.
I don't know if it a hundred percent true but if everyone's not right or wrong that absolves them of any responsibility. It's like saying they didn't do anything why should they pay.

Offline Sherona

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2008, 12:45:43 PM »
I don't know if it a hundred percent true but if everyone's not right or wrong that absolves them of any responsibility. It's like saying they didn't do anything why should they pay.

In the US there is actually a clause which will excuse people's bad behaviors, such as murder. If they were mentally unable to comprehend what they did was wrong then they can not be sent to prison. Mental Competency thing.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2008, 12:47:55 PM »
In the US there is actually a clause which will excuse people's bad behaviors, such as murder. If they were mentally unable to comprehend what they did was wrong then they can not be sent to prison. Mental Competency thing.
Yes. Sometimes its bull sometimes its not but they should be sent to the mental hospital.
However, saying there's no right and wrong makes anyone of any reasoning ability free of any responsibility.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2008, 12:48:27 PM »
I don't know if it a hundred percent true but if everyone's not right or wrong that absolves them of any responsibility. It's like saying they didn't do anything why should they pay.

But they did do something. Whether their actions were right or wrong, they still chose to perform those actions, therefore they have responsibility for them (assuming mental competance, granted).

It may still be that someone chooses to perform an action which could be considered wrong (ie murder) but also necessary (stop someone from murdering others).

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #42 on: August 21, 2008, 12:51:59 PM »
But they did do something. Whether their actions were right or wrong, they still chose to perform those actions, therefore they have responsibility for them (assuming mental competance, granted).

It may still be that someone chooses to perform an action which could be considered wrong (ie murder) but also necessary (stop someone from murdering others).
Yes but I believe that someone who shoots a psycho about to light me on fire, is damn well justified in killing him. Is it murder. I don't know. When a policeman does it, is it murder?

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #43 on: August 21, 2008, 12:55:35 PM »
I'm sure its listed as justifiable homicide or something technical like that. The police officer is granted the right to do so under the law though. It could be argued that a lesser wrong is acceptable to prevent a greater.

Offline Greenthorn

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #44 on: August 21, 2008, 01:13:25 PM »
Throughout your whole thing you keep saying no one can say anyone is right or wrong. That means anything anyone ever does they don't have to account for it. You can't call me wrong if I decide to off someone for kicks. If you choose to stand by your argument.

That's right I have said no one is wrong or right..or rather everyone is right.  I never once said that one should not have to account for their actions.  If you have read my posts, one of my examples were me being in a courthouse facing prosecution for killing someone...*smiles*...I said I would still think I was right, but I did -not- say that I should not also be punished for what I had done.

So..before I sign off Elliquiy for the day I will say this.  Inkedu, I think you should read posts more thoroughly and not assume something because it simply was not stated.  Not once did I go into whether or not someone should be held accountable for their actions.  I am only stating that there is no true right or wrong...it all depends on how one has been raised and how one perceives things.

And I will say again...I never gave my opinion on murder...so this is not a debate on -what- is wrong or right...it is a general discussion on right and wrong....or at least it is supposed to be!

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #45 on: August 21, 2008, 03:06:57 PM »
How can a relativist say anything is right or wrong? An advocate of Natural Law can say murder is wrong because its taking another life unnecessarily and therefore takes their liberty (dead person) and upsets the community norms making it unstable. This would be one approach naturally one can argue.

A relativist can't ever say murder is wrong.

I consider this entire philosophy dangerous on so many levels. Hitler used an immoral view to kill anyone his people didn't like not just Jews, Stalin did so in the USSR and the like one cannot have a civilized society and not have a moral center. That doesn't have to be religious but there has to be one ingrained in law and custom.

Offline calamity

Re: Relitivism
« Reply #46 on: August 21, 2008, 03:20:55 PM »
That's right I have said no one is wrong or right..or rather everyone is right.  I never once said that one should not have to account for their actions.  If you have read my posts, one of my examples were me being in a courthouse facing prosecution for killing someone...*smiles*...I said I would still think I was right, but I did -not- say that I should not also be punished for what I had done.

This is a problematic concept, though.  Why should anyone suffer punishment for committing acts they consider right?  If it is to protect society, then a wrong has been committed.  If an entire society believes you did something wrong but you believe you did something right, one of you has to be incorrect in your estimation.  You can't have both.  Either your punishment is just or else it is not.  If we believe that morals don't really exist and that everyone can be right about what is good and bad or right and wrong, then a system of punishment becomes irrelevant.  Why punish someone?  To teach them a lesson, to keep society out of harm's way.  Well, what lesson are you teaching someone with federal prison or even probation/community service if he didn't do anything objectively wrong?  What is the point?

Regarding murder - of course there is a correct moral answer to the question, "when is it okay to kill someone?"  It doesn't have to be a simple "never."  I don't know the answer, but I could certainly use my moral reasoning to attempt it.  But make no mistake - I will be wrong or I will be right.  Not some suspended half-right that coexists equally with everyone else's opinions and personal feelings about when it's okay to pull the trigger.

Trieste - I see the temptation of swaying towards cultural relativism (the idea that what is okay for one culture might not be okay for another - it leads beautifully into Hobbes' idea of absolute government sovereignty and presents its own problems, such as the oft-used Holocaust example).  The problem is deciding upon action taken.  If, for example, we take cultural relativism to heart, we have absolutely no reason to interfere with Darfur.  Perhaps you are someone who believes we shouldn't.  I happen to believe we should, because what is happening in Darfur is objectively, morally repugnant.  Genocide - whatever the reason for it - is wrong.

As an aside, I am an evolutionary psychology student.  There are certainly ways in which we can reduce ethics or morality into explanations of biological programming whose purpose is to keep us alive and well.  But changing the language does not change the facts about morality.  We evolved into creatures of what Kant calls "moral autonomy."  We can reason to correct morality.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #47 on: August 21, 2008, 03:59:08 PM »
GT, I'd love a world where everyone could be right but that's just not the case. It never has been. It can't ever happen, and I'm an idealist.

Offline ShrowdedPoetTopic starter

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #48 on: August 21, 2008, 04:54:46 PM »
Ok, I'm pretty sure it started with you, Inkedu, trying to debate the rightness or wrongness of murder.  Drop it.  This is a discussion of relitivism.  GT was just using murder as an example as I was just using the existance of God as an example.  Hitler has nothing to do with the discussion of relativism unless we're discussing his stance on it.  I want the thread back on topic please and thank you!

Offline Trieste

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Re: Relitivism
« Reply #49 on: August 21, 2008, 05:00:19 PM »
GT, I'd love a world where everyone could be right but that's just not the case. It never has been. It can't ever happen, and I'm an idealist.

This is a statement of opiniona nd ideals, without facts or reasoning to back it up. The stated purpose of this thread was philosophical debate - make some.

Ok, I'm pretty sure it started with you, Inkedu, trying to debate the rightness or wrongness of murder.  Drop it.  This is a discussion of relitivism.  GT was just using murder as an example as I was just using the existance of God as an example.  Hitler has nothing to do with the discussion of relativism unless we're discussing his stance on it.  I want the thread back on topic please and thank you!

Stop attacking Inkedu because he is not going about the debate in the same fashion you would. The rightness and wrongness of murder is a perfectly valid example of relativism, and just because his posts have been frustrating you doesn't mean that they are flat out wrong, or that you have the right to tell him to stop posting.

Play nice por favor, or thread will be locked.