Re: MD Re: Is Morality relative?

From: Erin (
Date: Sat Dec 11 2004 - 16:29:04 GMT

  • Next message: Platt Holden: "Re: MD Is Morality Relative?"

    > ERIN: Are you saying the question is not about whether universals exist
    > or not but the question really is whether they exist outside of context?
    > I am not really clear about how absolutism and contextualism goes together
    > still---- that is if you believe one can you believe the other
    > absolutists argue that there are universals outside context and if so not
    > sure how you can you be an absolutist and a contextualist?

    PLATT: Absolute moral laws are meant to apply universally to all ethical
    decisions made by men. You can argue, as some have, that moral laws are
    contextual in that they apply ONLY to men. Pirsig, however, proposes that
    there are universal moral laws that not only apply to everything , but are
    the foundation of everything. His basic universal moral absolute is "Some
    things are better than others" including things that were around long
    before man appeared on the scene.

    ERIN: So absolute is only refering to who/what the law applies to, it is not also implying that it has always been and always will be a law?
    > Another thing that I am not sure about is when they say something that
    > is
    > absolute---are there certain aspects absolute or what? That is in Platt's
    > 101 book it was defined-- In ethics, the position that there are universal
    > ethical standards that apply to all men so what is absolute is to who it
    > applies to but that is not what I find objectionable about absolutes it is
    > more the time aspect. To really accept the MOQ as provisional, I don't see
    > how you accept it as absolute. So maybe there can be some explanation
    > about what absolute means or refers to.

    PLATT: It's provisional in the sense that a better metaphysics may come along,
    unlikely, but possible..

    ERIN: I agree but that "but possible" has kept me from applying the absolute label to it

    > To me it seems there may be absolutes when looking at the past but not the
    > future.

    PLATT: Well, I'm absolutely certain that I will die have to pay taxes. :-)

    ERIN: I was thinking about the MoQ and also one of the specifics absolute you gave me, my name being is an absolute until someone gets married and then may change it an absolute-- it seemed absolute to me in that you would always have been born my maiden name but it is not in that it changed
    taxes-- ask all the tax evaders
    die-- in same category as accepting the MOQ
    two bodies can't occupy the same space----- do you charge pregnant women two tickets ;-)
    even those math problems--can see you how you would say not in the context of modulo 3 or whatever
    (some of those above were just kidding around btw)
    On a more serious note when looking at the absolutes people have given me I noticed that the only one that really helps in making moral choices/decisions is that "some things are better than others." But I notice that this is very vague and leaves open the door for context.
    The others, math problems, paying taxes, names----- they may be absolutes but to me they don't give very much guidance in making a moral decision/ choice.
    I understand that to be open to DQ you can't list out moral absolutes for moral choices and decisions, so what I wasn't expecting much just seeing if you would call my bluff. The fact that you were not able (except for some things are better than others) makes me think to stick to the contextualist label only for what guides you in moral choices/labels.
    Also I had been doing a little rereading last night of Lila and I came across this --
    Pg. 161 " Why does any life survive? It's illogical. It's self-contradictory that life should survive.
    I know you expressed contempt for self-contradictory statements so can you explain that flaky statement.
    PLATT: Finally, those who say "There are no absolutes" assert an absolute. In the
    logic of language, there's no escape. Even those who claim "All is shades
    of grey within context" contradict their claim by invoking the absolute

    ERIN: just like you but the "possibily but probably not" on another theory coming along so can somebody can say, "possibly there are no absolutes" without refuting there are absolutes


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