moral relativity ... or, i know it's wrong, but i do it anyways - Page 3 - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-13-2006, 09:53 PM   #31
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Originally posted by Irvine511
getting relativistic about this, who created these moral standards? and who gives moral standards any sort of weight and credibility other than he who chooses to follow them?
I urge you to at least read a summary of Thus Spoke Zarathustra and then reflect on why it was so easy for the Nazis to bastardize Nietzsche's critique of "slave morality," and his idealization of the Ubermensch who by virtue of grasping his existential freedom transcends such restraints, into a justification for fascism.

The most widely observed and influential moral standards are those discerned, articulated and sustained by consensus, not by all-powerful single individuals. This is their saving virtue--while horrific abuses of the justifications they provide obviously occur, this is nonetheless better than a capitalist free-market model of ethics, where no individual's claims are considered more problematic than others and "justice is whatever is in the interests of the stronger". (Nietszche reviled Kant as a fool and a lackey for making this point.) To put a specificially religious spin on it--scriptural revelation is flawed for having been filtered through human minds (with all the contingency-bound weaknesses that implies), yes. Nonetheless, it also carries within it the time-tested authority and consensus-derived integrity of tradition, and I would say that this alone is enough to make honestly "struggling" with its (and our) built-in limitations (to borrow one of nb's favorite metaphors) preferable to dismissing it altogether. Really, the same goes for collective values derived from other sources--should we dismiss the principles enshrined in the Magna Carta because of the contradictory limitations in how it was (meant to be) applied, for example.

P.S. When I referred to the competing values executioners might feel subjected to, I specifically had in mind regard for the rule of law and the outcome of due process in a context where said values cannot always be relied upon to deliver on their promise of "equality before the law."

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Old 02-13-2006, 10:39 PM   #32
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This thread is over my head....

But you guys are debating with great thought and the way you convey your message is superb.

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