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By Peter Kreeft

No factor is extra fateful for civilization than ethical relativism. historical past understands no longer one instance of a profitable society which repudiated ethical absolutes. but such a lot assaults on relativism were both pragmatic (looking at its social effects) or exhorting (preaching instead of proving), and philosophers' arguments opposed to it were really expert, technical, and scholarly. In his usual targeted writing sort, Peter Kreeft shall we an enticing, sincere, and humorous relativist interview a "Muslim fundamentalist" absolutist in order to not stack the cube in my view for absolutism. In a fascinating sequence of private interviews, each achievable argument the "sassy Black feminist" reporter Libby offers opposed to absolutism is just and obviously refuted, and not one of the many arguments for ethical absolutism is refuted.

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Good morality has good consequences, and bad morality has bad consequences. Happiness and freedom and self-esteem are good consequences, and unhappiness and un-freedom and guilt are bad consequences. Absolutism gives you those bad consequences, and relativism gives you the good consequences. Therefore absolutism is bad, and relativism is good. How's that for logic? 'Isa: Very good. You've given a moral reason for rejecting traditional morality. Libby: I'm not sure whether I'm being insulted or complimented.

So it must be subjective, in us, from us, relative to us. The emotivist theory says it's our feelings. Libby: That answer was supplied by Romanticism, I suppose. 'Isa: Yes. Libby: Which philosopher first invented the emotivist theory of values? 'Isa: David Hume is probably the key philosopher here. He's the Empiricist who analyzed moral judgments as subjective feelings. "Murder is evil" really means "I hate murder". Libby: Hume was eighteenth century, right? How does this get into the twentieth century?

Wouldn't the Razor want to eliminate religion? So why would a Razor man choose the divine command theory? 'Isa: It could work either way. The Razor could be used to eliminate the natural law or the divine law. The religious Nominalists like Luther thought they could maximize religion by eliminating the natural law, and the nonreligious Nominalists thought they could minimize religion by eliminating the divine law. Both sides used the Razor. The same principle that the Protestant reformers used to eliminate the natural law and the natural human reason that knows it, the secularists used to eliminate divine law and the faith that knows that.

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