(decides to try her hand at this. Hopes she doesn't lose it in the process)
Eh. As much as usuages of smileys irk me in discussions, I'll bite. A belated bite, but a bite none the less.
Reading your definition it seems that ethical relativism is about your beliefs about the ethical values.of others, while the relativist himself can hold any other beliefs he wants. So it's not really a contradiction - it may be a moral viewpoint, but that doesn't mean the intolerants are equally right.
I wish to state, before I cause offense, that I am honestly asking for clarification, and am not poking fun. It's just that I read this point, and I really can't understand how to interpret "that doesn't mean the intolerants are equally right."
We're going on Gerald's definition of ethical relativism, which I read as saying that relativists believe that ALL ethics and morality are purely subjective. If so, how can they see intolerants as any less right than they are?
I've been watching this topic for a while, but never had much to say. But we had a pretty interesting discussion in class, and I hope you guys don't mind me pasting a part of it here...
WingsOver's Class Notes wrote:
1) let S stand for any specific proposition
2) a relativist would say: no proposition is absolutely true or false; some are true from some perspectives, false from others.
3) Thus S is neither absolutely true or false; S is true from some perspectives, false from others
4) Right. Let P be any specific perspective from which S is true
5) Thus, the proposition [S is true from perspective P] is true
6) But then at least one proposition is just-plain-absolutely-true
7) But then premise 6 just contradicted premise 2.
And say S stood for "I believe that everyone aside from those in my Church are wrong."
Wouldn't an ethical relativist say that was correct? Being that all viewpoints were correct? And if it were correct, then it contradicts Ethical Relativism.
That's how I read Ger's comment as. I was wondering how you saw it.
Basically, my point is, there is still a point at which certain beliefs are viewed as being less valid than others because they are not, if I dare say, enlightened.
Ger, may I ask...who is "they"?
2. While most cultures do have different moral views, some actions, such as murder, rape, and theft, are almost universally seen as wrong, while others, such as the Golden Rule, appear in multiple, independent areas.
commits the ad populism
Not quite so. I didn't directly conclude that the absolutist is true from the statement. Rather, I'm pointing out that if ethics are relative there is still a tendancy for certain moral/ethical values to appear more likely than others. In a since, I am saying "Most people say X, there might be a possibility of X."
See, this part is the heart of the matter for me. IS there a universal code, "written deep within the hearts of men" (and women!) so that rape/murder/killing would be seen as bad by all societies, regardless of outside influence? Would a person, totally isolate, come to classify acts as "good" and "evil" from the workings of their own, untrained reason?
My church tells me to think so. I'd LIKE to think so. I wish I was sure.
"Right conduct" implies an idea of "rightness" that we need to look for. If, therefore, there is a unified idea of what is "right," then by extention there should be a way to follow these ideals of rightness that is better than the other ways. That's what ethics is all about, isn't it? Finding the best way to live in accordence with the idea of right conduct.
One of my classmates defined ethics as "the science of ideals". It's not that useful, but I liked it.
If there's a best way, then the different ways can't all be equal.
Does any of that make any sense? It did when I wrote it. I promise.
I think I get it. Not perfectly - I'm not rested enough for that - but some. Tell me if I'm restating this wrong. If there is something that IS right, which the definition seems to imply, then there are ethical viewpoints closer to the "rightness" and some that are farther - and therefore more wrong.
And again, I say: that's what I want to know. IS there a rightness? An innate conscience that would be the same for certain core issues no matter how you were raised?
If you raised a child telling her/him that t's okay to kill people - for the purpose of, say, world domination. And the kid never got that exposed to alternate viewpoints. Would something within the kid still protest when he/she killed people?