Skip to main content

Sans expliquer, de ma sketchbook:

The upshot of a thorough going and tenable moral relativism or a similar rejection of moral absolutism or moral objectivism is not that morals, moral sets, and moral systems cannot be judged, but they should not be judged in an absolute or objective manner. In looking at an ethical issue and in evaluation a moral judgment or system, it may serve us to remember there are other useful and perhaps equally feasible approaches one may take. This is the biggest change (in my opinion) between a stance that holds morality as relative or subjective (in my case also denying moral realism) and one that calls it absolute. One does not deny oneself the opportunity to discuss or debate more issues, to have an opinion about morals, to make moral pronouncements, or to engage in other such games merely by accepting that moral absolutism does not attain.

This presents us with a painless transition, which begs the question: why are so many so resistant to moral relativism and the like? It's not as though there aren't several worthwhile arguments for some kind of 'political' pluralism and against moral absolutism. It's not as though someone has ever come across a convincing and lasting moral system in a study of ethics. Given time, all such philosophical systems have been defeated or seriously problematized. All religious systems have faced constant, and sometimes massive revision and in-fighting. Individuals, sects, nations, and regional cultures cannot agree with one another about what is moral and why--especially why. We therefore live in a de facto pluralist society and world.

Meanwhile, there is little empirical evidence for any ethical position, and none of it is epistemically foundational or definitive. If we cannot adequately address questions of naturalistic fallacies, none of that evidence will be admissible, anyway. If no single ethical or moral system can lay claim to a unique and unrivaled grip on justification, it should be harder for any of them to declare themselves the sole holders or arbiters of moral truths.


Popular posts from this blog

Well now.

I think I'm going to try to revive my online writing habits, outside of Facebook.

And what have I been thinking or feeling in the interim, across the last couple years or so? Well, I'm glad you asked.

In part, this.

Pointless Ruminations on the Absurd

The world around us is in no way required to conform to our expectations, beliefs, or desires. Rather, it is all but guaranteed to disappoint us, at least once or twice a lifetime. The loftier (or more deeply felt) our ideals, the more this may be true.

When we accept this incongruity and are keenly aware of it, but cannot change our thinking, absurdity steps in. The world no longer quite makes sense. It is untethered from rational or moral concerns, adrift in a bizarre joke told by no one.
Desire for normative order is often irrational and misplaced. Placing ethical constraints on amoral matters makes no sense. Yet these appear (sometimes, seemingly) inescapable conclusions. Hence the sensation of absurdity.

We can apply these incongruous demands to anything and anyone. But this is not a universal philosophy. It is a philosophy of the self, a diagnosis.

Happy Valentine's Day

Mindful concentration and earnest effort make health, safety, and creativity more likely, but there are no guarantees. Every plateau has a cliff. Each incline can become a decline. These paths require attention. When we traverse uncertain ground in the darkness, if the wind sweeps past, we may keep our feet or we may lose our footing and tumble down.
When I requested February 14th off from work, I didn't expect to spend the day alone, you know. Now, it's just another day on which I should be doing chores. There is so much to do around my small apartment. It's almost amazing. But of course I realize, keeping our spaces clean requires persistent effort, as well.
Still, there are cliffs all around. Some of them seem treacherous, others quite comfortable.