Moral relativism: Moral clarity’s exact opposite

In this blog I intend to discuss the difference between moral clarity and moral relativism and how one leads to liberty and the other to license.

Moral clarity is establishing a clear distinction between right and wrong, natural and unnatural.  This is done not on our own power but by recognizing that they are contained within the moral precepts inherent in the natural order which we inhabit (a subset of the divine order for those of us God-believers).  This leads to the formation of a Republic that governs fairly and justly, a Republic where you may have all the freedom you want provided that what you seek is not wrong and/or disordered.  And should you happen to do something that is rightfully considered a crime expect to answer for that crime, or expect to not be able to participate in some institutions whose rules are based upon natural law.   That sounds fair enough to me, that our freedoms must necessarily be limited by the constraints of moral clarity.  This is liberty.

Moral relativism, however, is the exact opposite.  Moral relativism states, quite simply: It’s all good.  Moral relativism rejects the notion that there must be a clear distinction between right and wrong, and in many ways attempts to state that there is no such thing as right vs. wrong.  this leads to a society where people are allowed to commit the gravest of crimes against humanity or live lifestyles that exist in total opposition to natural law.  Basically this is a society where wrongdoing has just as much respect as right doing.  This leads to those who believe that wrongdoing should be punished being called “haters.”  This isn’t liberty.  This is, quite simply, license.  And license cannot exist in a society that hopes to call itself free.

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6 comments on “Moral relativism: Moral clarity’s exact opposite

  1. Cold Fuzz says:

    Ah, moral relativism. If there’s something that makes this staunch objectivist’s eyes roll, it’s one of moral relativism’s great hallmarks: “There is no such thing as an absolute truth.” It’s a statement that just makes me go berserk every single time I encounter it because, if examined very closely, it’s a statement that horribly contradicts itself. To have an entire philosophy of thinking based on an oxymoron irritates me on so many levels. And yet when I disagree with a moral relativist, I get branded as “closed-minded” or even “evil.” But if all philosophies are equal and valid, how come I get the short end of the stick? Yet another self-contradiction on the part of moral relativists.

    Though there is much moral grey area these days, there are certain things that remain very black and white. Murder is evil to virtually everyone. I believe that stands as an absolute moral truth. There are other absolute truths out there: 2+2=4, not 5. Here’s another: Someone wrote this blog, and I commented on it.

    There are plenty of absolute truths out there. Whether or not someone chooses to see them and accept them are different matters altogether.

    • madgater says:

      The understanding of the natural order that binds us to right and wrong is actually based very much on Christianity in general, Catholicism in particular. You know what makes me stay Catholic even though people have done bad things in the name of God? Mainly because it’s not due to the nature of Catholicism itself that people do bad things….it’s the imperfection of the Church’s members that can lead to things like zealotry. But that in no way detracts from the religion itself having a being leading it who embodies all 3 of the main good qualities that make a good leader. A good leader leads by example, mainly by binding himself to his own moral code. God has done this (the moral code in this case being the 10 Commandments). Some say he didn’t because He killed in cold blood all those first born male children of Egypt. He didn’t. The Angel of Death did. Yes I think god does have an angel of death, a good one who comforts the dying in their last hours. But that’s not the one Scripture speaks of. The true Angel of Death is Lucifer, the fallen angel. Which leads to the second quality. A good leader allows his people to make mistakes and reap their consequences in order to learn and grow. This is why God allows sin to exist…to allow us the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. And the 3rd quality is that a good leader gives of himself, up to and including is life, for the freedom of his people. God has done this as well, by taking upon Himself our sins, bleeding, and dying to free us from them, and when He rose again on his own power (which He could do because He is God) takes us with Him. And that is why we labor so ardently to cast off our sinful nature, to be with the true Leader when we die. If all I had to look forward to was being reincarnated into this world and taking upon myself the nature of a corrupted world again and again, what incentive to I have to labor to cast off my sinful nature if all I have to look forward to is taking it back up again through reincarnation? And that is some insight into us believers you may find interesting.

  2. aretood2 says:

    Aquinas stated that all agents work to an end. That said end is attainable and real or else the agent would not move towards it. For movement to take place, one needs motivation. If there is nothing to attain, no end to meet then there is no movement. Thus all agents move to an real end.

    All ends are good, and the supreme good is God. So all agents move towards God. If an agent stops or is moved away from its path then the end is not reached thus there is no good in the agent’s movement, it does not lead to God.

    Moses Maimonides stated that a Law must be universally aplicable and treat the general situation and not a spacific situation. In other words every law must be made with the rule in mind, not the exception. Such as Murder, the rule is don’t do it. but the Rule is to protect life as well. So if there is a man who wants to kill 10 kids what is the rule?

    We have two contradicting rules here, or do we? Since the rules are general and based on the Rule and not the exception we must look at the interaction between the Rules and see what rule holds more weight. To save a life is greater than to let it die, but to save 10 is greater than to allow 1 to kill them off. So in order to meet a good end, one must deviate from another end.

    What I am saying is that we have a universal law instilled in us naturally and we know what is right and what is wrong. Automatically with out question we would pick to kill the murder and save the 10 lives with out spending time thinking about the ethics and morality and the rules. We know what is good and what is bad because all agents move towards and end.

    Now there is an absolute truth as evidenced in nature. A cat either flies or it doesn’t. A fish either swims or it doesn’t. There is only one rule. So too must morality have one rule. The only time where morality is different is when there are deep spiritual and religious differences in societies. Cannibalism for example is not Clean for Christians, but for some societies it is necessary for the soul of the dead that the body is consumed by the deceased’s clan.

    There fore we all agree on a right and wrong, but what we disagree on are the exceptions not the rules and this is where Moral Relativism falls short. They over emphasize the exceptions and make them the rule.

    All Agents act towards an end, but they don’t always make it. For a Relativist, they never make it. but that is where they fall short, if the end is never reached then why does the agent move at all?

    • madgater says:

      yup….essentially that is correct….moral relativism has aright and a wrong but it’s not a clear distinction because for a relativist what is wrong for one is right for another…..so right and wrong is subjective in moral relativism….subjective right and wrong cannot hope to create a society where people have liberty….as our liberty must be necessarily constrained because of our proclivity towards sin….this type of constraint cannot come from a notion that right and wrong are subjective…it can only come from a notion that right and wrong is objective

  3. colfoley says:

    you hit the nail on the head with the moral law. though it is a slippery slope, but we must take into consideration as a society what si morally right, as well as keeping people free. As long as ou are just willing to live on your own and do no harm to me, I do not especially care.

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