Monday, August 6, 2007

What's Wrong with I.E.R. (1)

I promised 7 things that would seem to make individual ethical relativism an inadequate view of the way things really are. Tonight I want to give you the first.

If relativism is true, then we can never say that anyone else has done wrong. We cannot object on moral grounds to what the Nazis did at Auschwitz or to years of apartheid in South Africa. It is not wrong to kill thousands by flying planes into buildings, to scuttle oil-containing tankers that are no longer seaworthy, or to rape a 10-year-old girl. The relativist can only say 'I wouldn't do that' or 'I don't happen to like it when others do that,' but she cannot say 'it is wrong.'

So, if it seems that some things (racism, sex slavery, torturing toddlers for the fun of it) are simply wrong, then individual ethical relativism must not be true.

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