Monday, January 28, 2019

The Silence of the Relativists

While we often discuss moral questions where there seem to be plenty of shades of gray, there are lots of moral concerns where most of us would think that there are no shades of gray whatsoever. Let us take the behavior of someone who invites you over for dinner, shoves you into the oven, and cooks you as dinner.  No one I know of thinks that this kind of behavior is OK. If someone thinks it is OK, then do we say "Oh, that's your opinion, you are entitled to that?" If morals are really subjective, isn't that what you have to say?


bmiller said...

I just got it. The Silence of the Relativists!

"I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”



You should have made it a little more obvious to people like me who are a little slow!

David Brightly said...

If morals are really subjective, you don't have to say anything. OK, cheap shot, this is not a moral necessity rather a logical one. But can't the subjectivists just say, We will let you have your opinion but we aren't prepared to let you act on it? Must the subjectivist refer to something outside himself to justify this? He just wants to live free of fear of being eaten by his fellows. It's as if the moral response is independent of any theory as to the nature and origin of morals. And maybe that's not such a bad thing.