The Problems With Moral Relativism

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  • ethang5
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    Moral Truth – The Problems with Moral Relativism

    Problem 1: Moral relativism suffers from what is known as the reformer’s dilemma. If moral relativism is true, then societies cannot have moral reformers. Why? Moral reformers are members of a society that stand outside that society’s moral code and pronounce a need for reform and change in that code. For example, Corrie ten Boom risked her life to save Jews during the Holocaust. William Wilberforce sought the abolition of slavery in the late 18th century. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for civil rights in the U.S. If moral relativism is true, then these reformers were immoral. You see, if an act is right if and only if it is in keeping with a given society’s code, then the moral reformer himself is by definition an immoral person. Moral reformers must always be wrong because they go against the code of their society. But such a view is defective for we all know that real moral reform has taken place!

    Problem 2: Moral relativists cannot improve their morality. Neither cultures nor individuals can improve their morality. The only thing they can do is change it. Think of what it means to improve something. Improvement means becoming better at something. But becoming better at something requires an external standard of comparison. To improve a society’s moral code means that the society changes its laws and values closer to an external ideal. If no such standard exists, then there is no way for the new standard to be better than the original; they can only be different. A society can abolish apartheid (racism) in favor of equality. A society can provide equal rights for women. It can guarantee freedom of speech and the press. But according to moral relativism, these are mere changes, not improvements. The Nazis used moral relativism as a defense for their crimes at the Nuremberg trials. The court condemned them because they said there is a law above culture.

    Problem 3: Moral relativists cannot complain about the problem of evil. The problem of evil is one of the most commonly raised objections to the existence of God. Some of the great atheists— Bertrand Russell, David Hume, H.G. Wells— concluded on the basis of the evil and suffering in the world that the God of the Bible must not exist (genocide, child abuse, suicide bombings). The common argument is that if God was all-good and all-powerful he would deal with evil. But evil exists, so God must not. The force of this objection rests upon moral evil being real and some things being objectively wrong. But such a claim is peculiar if we understand the nature of evil. Evil is a perversion of good. There can be good without evil, but not evil without good. There can be right without wrong, but not wrong unless there is first right. If morality is ultimately a matter of personal tastes, like ice cream flavor, the argument against God’s existence based on evil vanishes. If evil is real, then so is absolute good, which means moral relativism is false.

  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    Empirical morality is just a collection of what everyone agrees is subjectively bad in their collective opinion.

    - Ethang5 2020
  • zedvictor4
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    --> @ethang5
    Hello it's me. Zed on British Time.

    The problem with moral relativism is that it is philosophical bullshit.

    Which is great in terms of high brow debate and literary discourse but not particularly useful to the man in the street.
     
    Nonetheless:
    Moral relativism is, acquired stored and utilised data and the ongoing  evolution thereof.

    And reform is the ongoing evolution of data and/or society.

    And morality is an assumption, which may be modified relative to how data and society evolves.

    And good and evil are assumptions, which may be modified relative to how data and society evolves.

    And you mentioned a god...And gods are still only assumptions and the attribution of assumed morals to assumed gods is doubly pointless.

  • ethang5
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    --> @zedvictor4
    You missed every point in the OP and repeated your mantra of "acquired stored and utilised data". I guess you're our new Mopac.

    Hopefully there are monasteries for secular fundamentalists too.
  • Melcharaz
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    Yeah i deny moral relativism. Morality is based on the conscience God gave us, the reason morality is different is because of sin. God is the only one who can define morality, and we see him doing it in scriptures.
  • ethang5
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    Any thoughts on the 3 problems mentioned in the OP?
  • zedvictor4
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    --> @ethang5
    Well

    Posing philosophical problems is just that.

    But a problem is only a problem if it is a problem.

    And therefore my response addressed the issue of academic problem solving rather than the academic problem itself.


    And Melcharaz makes wild assumptions. Will you be taking them up on this issue?

    Or is it just O.K. because they are a signed up member of the god club.



     
  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    --> @ethang5
    Any thoughts on the 3 problems mentioned in the OP?

    You should rethink number three a bit. Why is it invalid for someone to take a for-the-sake-of-argument view on something to make a point?
  • ethang5
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    It probably is not invalid for someone to take a for-the-sake-of-argument view on something to make a point, but is #3's point itself incorrect?
  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    --> @ethang5
    It probably is not invalid for someone to take a for-the-sake-of-argument view on something to make a point, but is #3's point itself incorrect?

    When someone invokes the problem of evil they are assuming for the sake of argument that morals are derived from a supreme being in order to demonstrate an internal inconsistency in the idea, they don't necessarily believe themselves that an objective evil exists.
  • ethang5
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    When someone invokes the problem of evil they are assuming for the sake of argument that morals are derived from a supreme being in order to demonstrate an internal inconsistency in the idea,
    And what exactly is that internal  inconsistency?

    ...they don't necessarily believe themselves that an objective evil exists.
    Then they are being incoherent. Because God can exist in the absence of objective evil. The POE does not stipulate the existence of objective evil.
  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    --> @ethang5
    And what exactly is that internal  inconsistency?

    The topic of this conversation isn't whether the problem of evil is a valid argument. The topic of this conversation is whether 'problem 3' in the OP is actually a problem.

    In the OP you say that they are assuming objective evil must exist in order for the problem of evil to actually be a problem, which is incompatible with moral relativism. Your quote where you make this point:

    The force of this objection rests upon moral evil being real and some things being objectively wrong.

    If they were actually making this assumption then you would be right. What I am doing is pointing out that they aren't making such an assumption.
  • Melcharaz
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    --> @zedvictor4
    If you believe im making "wild assumptions" then you deal with it. Ask my source, tell me why you think that what i said is an assumption. 
  • ethang5
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    If they were actually making this assumption then you would be right. What I am doing is pointing out that they aren't making such an assumption.
    Then they aren't making such a point either. Their position is incoherent because without the assumption, there is no contradiction with the OP's point.

    And I still see no internal inconsistency.
  • zedvictor4
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    --> @Melcharaz
    #5.

    All assumption without proof.


    You have introduced the god debate and the god debate is ongoing and therefore unresolved.

    And so can you prove the existence of an external god and therefore unequivocally verify the statements you asserted?

  • Melcharaz
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    --> @zedvictor4
    You are asserting again. There is no debate of God, only a convincing to others of his works. This world doesnt revolve around you. Just because you see someone unconvinced doesnt mean there is no God. Miracles proof God. Man cant do them. And by holding to Gods morality we see God operating through those who believe. And those who dont obey God progress toward more evil.



  • zedvictor4
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    --> @Melcharaz

    And who's asserting?

    Can you prove any of these claims.

    I certainly cannot disprove them, and have never claimed that I could.

    Hence the honesty of the atheist and the dishonesty of the theist.

    It does seem rather like you rant because you were taught to rant...That is to say, you appear to have a rigidly conditioned mind set.


    And if there is no god debate then why are you debating?...Just be content with your faith and do something else.



  • zedvictor4
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    --> @Melcharaz
    Oh.

    And reality is nature.

    And miracles and super-nature are mythologically inspired.

    As far as I am aware. (No assertion)

    Prove me wrong please.

    But don't just say I'm wrong, because you say so.
  • ethang5
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    --> @zedvictor4
    The thread title is "The Problems with Moral Relativism"

    You are a moral relativist, yet you have not rebutted a single point in the OP. You haven't even addressed one.

    That is like a racist asking to be shown an intelligent black man. One just knows he isn't going to see one no matter what is shown him. If he believes no intelligent black men exist, why would he think the doctor/lawyer/professor/scientist before him is an intelligent black man? He wouldn't.

    What the racist should do, to prove his point, is to take a challenge he claims a black man cannot beat him in. That would settle it.

    So, since we are far apart, and anonymous, it has to be a challenge that would get in the news so we all know who won.

    Is there something you and this alleged God can compete on so we settle this? How about,....

    Curing a famous person of the Corona virus infection? Can you do that?

    Or maybe that is too specific? How about just getting a story into the international news? Choose your subject, the first person to get it done wins.

    Does that sound fair?
  • Melcharaz
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    Meh, just ignore em. Is there a situation where moral relativism could be true and consistent? For example, there being no God.
  • EtrnlVw
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    --> @ethang5
    Hopefully there are monasteries for secular fundamentalists too.

    Lol Zeddy has become a secular robot, a completely conditioned airhead. Is he thinking or just regurgitating data??
  • ethang5
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    --> @EtrnlVw
    That is the inevitable end of strict materialism. Completely incomprehensible and contradictory nonsense.
  • zedvictor4
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    --> @Melcharaz
    Could be true.
    You admitted it, well done.
  • zedvictor4
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    --> @ethang5
    Labels are just  labels.....So label me how you will.

    And the racist is conditioned

    And save for a few numpties, the black/white thing is pretty much history in the U.K, perhaps it's still more widespread in the U.S.
    Doctors displaying various degrees of darker skin tone are very commonplace here and widely respected.

    And which alleged god?

    And fame is a concept.

    And a virus is what a virus is and the recovery of the individual is largely dependant upon the individual.

    And as I tried to point out. ...Moral relativism is in fact problem free, because of the nature of how the concept of moral relativism manifests itself.
    The problems or not of moral relativism are merely secondary concepts derived from the original.

  • ethang5
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    --> @zedvictor4
    Let me try it....

    God is what a God is and is just an arrangement of acquired data.

    Tadaaaa! Sophistry.