[extropy-chat] Re: In defense of moral relativism

Giu1i0 Pri5c0 pgptag at gmail.com
Wed May 4 05:36:19 UTC 2005

In reply to the post of John C. Wright:

The National Socialists of Germany and the International Socialists of
Russia.were the opposite of moral relativists. This is demonstrated by
two facts: one, the volume of metaphisical crap they felt obliged to
write to justify their sociopathic behaviour. Two, the number of free
thinkers they murdered.

I really wonder how someone who has evidently read much history and
philosophy can make such a grossly incorrect statement.

See the Wikipedia definition of moral relativism:


"Moral relativism is the position that moral propositions do not reflect
absolute or universal truths. It not only holds that ethical judgments
emerge from social customs and personal preferences, but also that there
is no single standard by which to assess an ethical proposition's truth.
Many relativists see moral values as applicable only within certain
cultural boundaries. Some would even suggest that one person's ethical
judgments or acts cannot be judged by another, though most relativists
propound a more limited version of the theory."

I do not push morel relativism to the extreme position outlined in
this paragraph, and do formulate opinions and act on them. But I call
them with their proper name: opinions. Not God-given Truths.

Most of us do have opinions on things, at times very strong opinions,
and do formulate value judgments. This has, I think, an overall
positive effect. But we should always bear in mind that we formulate
our opinion and judgments based on specific life histories, incomplete
information and imperfect reasoning. So we should be open to the
possibility that we may have to modify our opinions and judgments as a
result of more/better information and/or more accurate reasoning. Or
different circumstances, or different brain chemistry.
Rejecting moral relativism and deluding oneself into thinking that one
is the sole depositary of The Truth has, on the contrary, an overall
negative effect. Indeed, history demonstrates that it inevitably leads
to atrocities and mass murder.

John, you develop morality from the --Axiom: Do as you would be done
by--. Which is one of the axioms I also hold true. But, you said it
yourself: it is an Axiom, for God's sake!!! Axiom means something that
you can only accept without proving it.

On 5/3/05, john-c-wright at sff.net <john-c-wright at sff.net> wrote:
> Mr. Giulio Prisco is convinced we should have no convictions. His standard is
> that we should have no standards....
> The two most famous moral relativists philosophies of the modern age were the
> National Socialists of Germany and the International Socialists of Russia.

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