Is Moral Relativism the Right Approach? [Introduction to Common Law] [No. 86]

Is Moral Relativism the Right Approach? [Introduction to Common Law] [No. 86]


Here’s a very simple question. I hit you over the head, and a moral relativist
would say, “By virtue of the fact that I hit you, you now owe me money instead of my owing
you money.” And the reason we don’t do it in that particular
direction, is we all understand that the first principle of social organization, is that
we have to restrain the use of force by one individual against another. You could easily imagine situations where
this may be justified. But I don’t think anybody says it’s a matter
of course, everybody is entitled to strike everybody, um in any way they see fit. If one person can do it, everybody can do
it. And the moment you have the unlimited use
of force, you get a complete disintegration and destruction of the social order. You cannot be morally relativist about the
question of whether or not civilization should or should not survive. So, as you start looking at the ways in which
things are done, and you sort of put forward the antithesis of the major rules, you can’t
possibly say that the person who first possesses property has no claim of ownership, that a
person who makes a promise is always entitled to breach it. And that a party who strikes somebody else,
is always entitled to act as impunity. If you’re a moral relativist, all of those
positions become defensible in moral discourse, however, none of them are.

5 thoughts on “Is Moral Relativism the Right Approach? [Introduction to Common Law] [No. 86]

  1. A proper morality is based on the requirements of human life. The requirements of human life must logically be based on facts about reality, because we live in reality, and cannot act contrary to it, which can be referred to as cause and effect. In order to get the desired result of living, which is happiness, you must have the required effect of happiness. As to the requirements of a good life in regards to the proper role of government, it is Capitalism, which is the political system of a free people, to trade freely to mutual benefit. A proper governments role is and only can be the protection of that freedom. As to the foundation of Capitalism I refer you to the only philosophy to defend Capitalism on moral grounds, Objectivism.

  2. I was under the impression that moral relativism is specifically referring to how morals differ in other countries from our own, meaning their beliefs are vastly different, ergo we cannot judge that country for what they deem as moral/immoral. For example, Iran has stoned women to death for adultery. Well, most of us in Western countries believe it's immoral to stone a woman to death for adultery (meaning the punishing of adultery, stoning as execution, stoning period, execution period, etc. are all immoral). Now here comes the moral relativist who says, "Well, who are we to judge on what's defined as right/wrong (moral/immoral) in Iran. That country has a core different belief moral belief system than ours, ergo I can't say it's wrong if that's what they believe." A little help here?

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