By Peter Kreeft
No factor is extra fateful for civilization than ethical relativism. background is familiar with now not one instance of a profitable society which repudiated ethical absolutes. but so much assaults on relativism were both pragmatic (looking at its social results) or exhorting (preaching instead of proving), and philosophers' arguments opposed to it were really good, technical, and scholarly. In his usual targeted writing variety, Peter Kreeft we could an enticing, sincere, and humorous relativist interview a "Muslim fundamentalist" absolutist in order to not stack the cube in my view for absolutism. In an attractive sequence of non-public interviews, each attainable argument the "sassy Black feminist" reporter Libby provides opposed to absolutism is just and obviously refuted, and not one of the many arguments for ethical absolutism is refuted.
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Additional info for A refutation of moral relativism: interviews with an absolutist
But we can all remember what moral experience was like before we became sophisticated. It was absolute. We bumped up against moral law like a wall. That's why little kids are always so "black and white". Libby: They're simplistic. When we mature, we grow out of that. ) Are you saying we shouldn't? 'Isa: Whether we should or not is something to argue about. But the data, the fact, is that we always do begin as absolutists; we give absolute meanings to "good and evil", "right and wrong", "should and shouldn't".
You've given a moral reason for rejecting traditional morality. Libby: I'm not sure whether I'm being insulted or complimented. Do you mean that's a self-contradiction? Are you trying to refute my arguments already? 'Isa: No, we agreed to wait till next time for that. So I won't say anything about it yet. Shall we go on to your second argument, then? 66 I A Refutation of Moral Relativism Libby: No. This is too easy on you. " 'Isa: I agree. It's too easy. It feels unnatural to just let the argument sit up there and not do anything to it.
We also know intuitively that people have "rights"—ourselves and others. It's not right to kill you because you have a right to life. It's not right to steal your money because you have a right to your own property. And then there's ought. We all experience being morally obligated to do some things and avoid others. Libby: That's "conscience", right? 'Isa: Conscience is the word we use for that faculty of our soul, or our psyche—the faculty that . . well, actually conscience does three things: it informs you that you really ought to do good and avoid doing evil (and it also informs you about what things are good and what things are evil); and it also moves you or gently pushes you to do good and avoid evil; and then it makes you feel guilty if you choose evil instead of good.
A refutation of moral relativism: interviews with an absolutist by Peter Kreeft