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Philosophical debate: relatavism vs absolutism

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I remember a few months ago I found out that it was actually taught like a fact that relativism's weakness is that it holds no absolute values. I think this is beyond stupid, because it's also taught that absolutist values are also weak because they aren't adaptable enough because they lack relativism. Really though, I don?t see the point in absolutist values to start with. If you think about it, Absolutism is just a weak attempt at trying to deny human nature. If someone says it's wrong to kill and then you put a gun to his child's head giving him no other option (somehow) other than to kill you, he's broken an absolute moral.

An absolute moral is a moral that under no circumstances should ever be broken, and the fact that in some given situation there isn't anything we wouldn't do, absolutism is therefore shown to just be a silly way of trying to cast our understanding of evil upon certain actions deemed by the current authority on morality to be negative. Relativism, on the other hand, is generally the acknowledgement that under certain circumstances, no matter how unlikely, any given action would be justifiable. If you like, I'd like you to post me an action in which I can't find a scenario in which it'd be the right thing to do. Now I don't find human nature to be the authority on morality, but if you think about it, we're human and are generally hardwired to act a certain way.

Now we have no reason to turn away from, or even try to change our hardwiring, so why bother to stop killing etc.? Imagine you're all alone in the wilderness in the Stone Age. We're animals, and alone in the wilderness we're not going to live very long. Like you, every animal around you is going to live an extremely short, painful, misery of a life where life is a constant fight to just find food and to just survive. But when we group together, we can share workloads and raise the amount of food we can gather together. We can raise life expectancy and even its quality. Life is a lot better when we organise into societies.

If we don't organise into a society in which we WILL actually be better off, then what the point is? That's why it's good that we make laws. This is why it's good that we stop people from doing negative things like murder etc. But the moment you centre in on a certain action, you cripple our moral decision making process. I agree with bits of the law now, namely, motive for your killing is taken into account and you'll generally be let off if you did it in self-defence, but when you read religious texts and it tells you to do things like respect your mum and dad, what do you do if your dads a raging alcoholic that beats the shit out of you? Not respecting him is the sane answer, because why should you? Why would god want you to respect someone that doesn't deserve it? Then there's the slippery slope argument against relativism, it frustrates me to no end. First of all, if you make a perfectly cogent argument for euthanasia, someone will then go "oh but where does it stop!?". The answer is the length of the bloody logic i.e. Making an argument for one instance thats perfectly logical, does not mean another action is then suddenly also acceptable because of it. It's another argument.

Making one argument does not automatically mean that another action is then justifiable because a prior related action is. People also say, well if you grow up with one action justifiable, what stops them from justifying worse ones? Well if they have a good justification, then it is justified. They're also assuming that what you have put into effect with your argument is then responsible for the next generation's social engineering. Please feel free to debate though.

:thumb:

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Have you ever heard of paragraphs?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    Have you ever heard of paragraphs?

    Yes, but not when i'm busy ranting.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd argue that laws don't prevent events but rather identify the remedy in place if that event occurs.

    As an aside though, I suspect that you've just given us an insight into your recent lectures ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    An absolute moral is a moral that under no circumstances should ever be broken, and the fact that in some given situation there isn’t anything we wouldn’t do, absolutism is therefore shown to just be a silly way of trying to cast our understanding of evil upon certain actions deemed by the current authority on morality to be negative. Relativism, on the other hand, is generally the acknowledgement that under certain circumstances, no matter how unlikely, any given action would be justifiable. If you like, I’d like you to post me an action in which I can’t find a scenario in which it’d be the right thing to do. :thumb:

    Have a few ideas but not sure which one to put first, so I'll list all three: GBH (Grevious Bodily Harm), rape, torture?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd argue that laws don't prevent events but rather identify the remedy in place if that event occurs.

    As an aside though, I suspect that you've just given us an insight into your recent lectures ;)

    I've given you an insight into the problems i have with my lectures, yes. I realise that laws don't prevent events and i agree that they identify what the problem is, that isn't what i was saying. I do think, on that note, we're better off with them. Then there's the fact that if you got things stolen from you, it's nice to have police there that can find who did it and then get your stuff back. That isn't to say that i like the police, or even agree with most law etc. But it is better to have a few laws in place than none.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Basically, to save us both a lot of time, i don't think anything is inherently impossible., but I do think of things as unlikely. For example, because we have no idea of what other universes will be like (they might not even have the same laws as ours does) we have no idea of what is and isn't possible there. We don?t even know if one day, the laws in our universe will change and things that weren't possible, will suddenly become possible. There may even be science out there that we don't know about in which all preconceived possibilities in some way, are now possible. I talk about this argument when I go on about relavatism. Like I argue that I have no absolutist morals due to the fact that there will always be a situation in which a horrible act will be acceptable to me.

    Like maybe torturing one person would be ok to save millions of people, maybe raping someone would be ok to save billions of people...I don't know. It boils down to your questions getting more grandeur, and my answers getting more rediculous. However unlikely, it's still likely and therefore it's still possible for there to be a situation in which something horrible would be the lesser of two evils. I realise you could use the slippery slope on me, but i have a few arguments against that annoying thing in the original thread up there.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Have you ever heard of déjà vu?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes, but not when i'm busy ranting.

    You could go back and 'edit' the paragraphs in? ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes, but not when i'm busy ranting.

    It does make long passages a lot easier to read; you'll get more responses.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thank you for being polite about it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    For the sake of someone actually having a cogent to thing to say about my argument, i've done it. Now i hope the rest of the following comments will actually be about the argument, be they criticisms or otherwise, and not about how their pathetic attention spans are too mitigated to handle a following text. If all you give a shit about is how i write stuff, then i'm not interested. I'm interested in trying to find out whether this argument i've raised can be defended.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Two points.

    1. You're a dick.
    2. I'm dyslexic.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You don't need to get on your high horse about being asked to put paragraphs in. Yes, Fiend could have explicated her first comment more, but you're automatically assuming the tone of her post without knowing her and getting on the defensive. Consider that you are posting on a forum whose main audience is 16-25 year olds. How many of them are genuinely going to read a long, convoluted rant which has absolutely no signposting in the way of paragraphs/spacing etc?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    1.Good for you
    2.I don't care
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No, my first response to her was not defensive. I just said that i don't generally bother when i'm ranting, i rush. If you look at some of my other responses, you'll notice that my grammar is pretty shitty because i rush. I don't have the time to consider everyones needs, and i don't care. I don't want anyone that doesen't want to, to read my thread. If someone looks at my thread and decides that they can't be bothered to read it because it's too long and not well composed, don't. But if somebody gets on THEIR high horse and demands that i re-edit because they aren't happy with how i've written it, then they can fuck off. I'm 17 and read loads, well spaced or not. I'm not out for the most views on the forum, and don't care if most people don't want to read my thread. If someones dyslexic and generally wants to read my thread properly, asking me politely, i'd be more than happy to apologise and quickly re-edit. But if someone rudely demands that i do, on the basis that i'm being rude...Well.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've given you an insight into the problems i have with my lectures, yes. I realise that laws don't prevent events and i agree that they identify what the problem is, that isn't what i was saying. I do think, on that note, we're better off with them.

    Then there's the fact that if you got things stolen from you, it's nice to have police there that can find who did it and then get your stuff back. That isn't to say that i like the police, or even agree with most law etc. But it is better to have a few laws in place than none.

    I guess it depends on what the law is trying to achieve, one only has to look at how Common Law and Criminal Law developed in England to see that. However, laws can also be used to control a population - to protect the state against the masses. In that instance I start to get a little jittery.

    It's also worth noting the difference between "law" and "enforcement of law" because they are also completely different aspects.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well i agree with you. This is just my take on morality. My morality ties into my politics in that i don't see the point in laws that skew individual freedoms etc. Like i think that we should have as few laws as possible, the general idea being that you can do whatever you want as long as you don't breach the individual freedoms of others. I'd legalise all drugs and all of that good shit lol. I do note the difference of law and enforcement of law, i just let things slip sometimes. I personally hate the way the police are aloud to treat you, and also hate the way things are generally within society. I think you'll find if we actually got into it, we'd have a lot in common. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Although I have the ability to use paragraphs :p

    What you have there is a fairly Libertarian approach to the law. That's something I can sympathise with and you'll find most people on these boards would feel the same. The question you have to answer though is what are the "individual freedoms" you talk about - freedom of speech can also lead to spreading of hatred for example.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Although I have the ability to use paragraphs :p

    What you have there is a fairly Libertarian approach to the law. That's something I can sympathise with and you'll find most people on these boards would feel the same. The question you have to answer though is what are the "individual freedoms" you talk about - freedom of speech can also lead to spreading of hatred for example.

    Well you can do anything you want to, obviously, although a lot of things you could possibly do would end with neggative consequences. I like to think that everyone would have individual freedom to do anything they wanted, granted that they don't inteferre with the freedoms of other people. Yes, there may be some exceptions for pragmatic reasons etc. But on the whole, individual freedoms are your freedoms to do what you want. This must be limited to some degree for society to work, but i think that it's limitation should be kept to a minimum.

    Freedom of speech should again follow suit. I really thinking that the spreading of hate is just due to poor education and the many problems our society creates for itself. As you've said before, prevention is the best way to stop crime as opposed to punishment. There are loads of problems we'd need to fix for freedom of speech to reach it's potential, i think we should have it now in full, but at the moment all of this is just an ideal.
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