Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How do you deal with student relativism?

4 comments:

Dan Lower / KKairos said...

When I had ethics in college, by like, day three or four someone asked the relativism question. My professor walked up to her and said:

"Let's say I decided it was okay to hit students with two-by-fours when they asked me hard questions in class. Would that be okay with you?"

David B. Ellis said...

I'm not a relativist but that still seems a pretty facile response. I can, quite consistently, be "not okay" with being hit in the head with a 2x4 (out of simple self-interest, for example) and still be a relativist. I hope the student didn't let it slide so easily.

David B. Ellis said...

Of course, that's regarding moral relativism and the article talked more about the much broader idea that "truth is relative".

Anonymous said...

Just flunk any student who's a relativist, and when they ask you why you did this, shrug and laugh.

Sure, you can't actually do that, but it seems like a fun way to make the point.