Dada is the sun, Dada is the egg. Dada is the Police of the Police.

2/11/2005

Right-wing relativism

One of the more annoying criticisms that the Right often makes of the Left is that lefties embrace "moral relativism" and thus reject the notion of an absolute right and wrong, or of absolute moral principles.

Of course, this is rarely accompanied by some sort of argument as to why we shouldn't be relativists, but never mind that. More and more, I've noticed that right-wingers are tending toward relativism themselves. Dennis Miller (who owns the title "Least Funny Comedian", though Colin Quinn was a close second) responded to Phil Donahue's anti-war argument by saying something like, "Well, that's your truth" or "that's right for you." And we've all heard the comment about the "reality-based community."

In this tradition, blogger John Henke at Q and O Blog, in a post criticizing "liberalism" for not having a raison d'etre, says

at the end of the day, I don't think a political philosophy can be "right" or "wrong", except in matters of internal consistency, and the reliability of its assumptions.

Egads!! Mr. Henke, are you saying that there are no moral truths? Are you saying that our society is not objectively superior to that of, say, North Korea?? Are you saying that democracy is not morally preferable to totalitarianism? You dirty relativist!! You looney multiculturalist!!

Next thing you know, you'll be saying that worshipping Christ is not "right", and that pagan worship of the Earth is not "wrong"!!!

In another post, Henke writes:

Let us remember, there is no intrinsic "value" in anything. Value is always, only a subjective judgement.

Well, a lot of people would disagree with that. Plato. Aristotle. Kant. Christians.

I suppose it is up to the Left, now, to defend such absolute moral principles as "It is wrong to lie" and "It is wrong to deprive people of their liberty" and "It is wrong to attack another country without provocation."

And by the way, the raisin debt that I would recommend the Left embrace would be:

Liberals: we are not maniacal fascists without the slightest regard for human life.

They've got my vote.

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