henry quirk wrote:
Simply: an amoral force contends with amoral forces for reasons grounded only in the agents.
I think the world works ths way, or -- if there is a divine arbiter -- it does a damn fine job of imitating such a world
That's a really good comment, Henry...and I think it deserves thoughtful treatment in its own right: "if there is any objectivity to morality, why does the world empirically seem uninterested in that so often?" Let's hold that thought for a minute.
Another thing occurs to me, based on the recent spate of abuse I seem to have incurred by the mere suggestion that female genital mutilation is objectively wrong.
Abuse is an admission of the objectivity of morality.
Why do I say so? Well, because rationally speaking, the person heaping the abuse on another -- say, that he's "self-righteous," or "a hypocrite," or " a fool," or whatever -- that same person heaping the abuse fully expects that the recipient will agree with him on the judgment that to be a "hypocrite," or "self-righteous,' or whatever IS OBJECTIVELY WRONG!
If it's not, the abuse has no meaning. It's as if the abuser were saying, "you're a human," "you're a person," "you exist," or "you have different opinions." That is, it's all neutral stuff, stuff that has no necessary negativity, and certainly no reference to universal axioms such as "Thou shalt not be a hypocrite," or "Thou shalt not be self-righteous."
In other words, every abuser is showing that he/she is actually a moral objectivist! He may imagine he's not, but we can see he's self-deceived. He's relying on our common belief in the objective moral wrongness
of "self-righteousness" (for example) to make his very case!
Now, do you think that when Obvious or uwot says those pejoratives to me -- like "you make me sick" -- that they are merely making a statement about how they, personally happen to feel at the moment? Or are they expecting me to understand "you should be ashamed of yourself," "you should be wounded," "you are a bad person," or something like that? It's pretty clearly the latter, isn't it? But absent any objectivity
to their moral judgment on me, why should I, or anyone at all, pay them any attention?
They're all objectivists. We all are. And anyone who objects to me saying so can only form the objection as an objective moral criticism.
Moral relativism isn't even relatively
tenable, then. It's self-defeating. For then it's only "relatively" wrong to refuse to be a moral relativist.