[extropy-chat] In defense of moral standards (Was: In defense of moral relativism)

Mike Lorrey mlorrey at yahoo.com
Thu May 5 01:42:42 UTC 2005

--- Jeff Medina <analyticphilosophy at gmail.com> wrote:
> 1. The context of the quote you provided indicates he's talking about
> morality. E.g., "moral relativism does not say [...]"; "It [moral
> relativism] simply acknowledges [...]"; "I don't like the very
> concepts of absolute truth, or objective morality" (contrast this
> last snippet with the multiple references to "absolute or objective
> morality" in earlier posts by various discussion participants... but
> see 2 for an alternative if you don't feel like interpreting
> 'absolute truth' as 'absolute moral truth' based on the context.)
> 2. Opposition to absolute truth, on at least one plausible reading
> (epistemological, rather than metaphysical), is something you
> yourself
> readily and vigorously defend. It is the equivalent of assigning a
> probability or credence of 1 to a proposition, and known variously by
> such terms as "epistemological infallibilism," "faith," and
> "unbridled stupidity."

Absolute poppycock. Your ludicrous characterization implies that one
who is for objective truth is always sure which side of a coin flips
up, heads or tails, and is always right. This is completely,
absolutely, and objectively wrong. An objective thinker, moralist, or
physicist does not deny uncertainty. Instead, they recognise that the
amount of uncertainty of an event may be objectively determined. The
relativist sees all uncertainties as equally uncertain.

> While it's possible the alternative reading (that Giulio is opposing
> the idea of absolute metaphysical truth, or absolute physical
> reality) is what was meant, that seems such an obvious intellectual
> error to me that, based on Giulio's evidenced comprehension of other
> issues in the past, I give him the benefit of the doubt as to which
> interpretation he intended.

Only to one who cannot comprehend how one could abstract morality from
metaphysics, and abstract metaphysics from physics.

Mike Lorrey
Vice-Chair, 2nd District, Libertarian Party of NH
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
                                      -William Pitt (1759-1806) 
Blog: http://intlib.blogspot.com

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