Re: Moral relativism.

Dr. Ernest N. Prabhakar (ernest@pundit)
Mon, 18 Aug 97 13:56:04 -0700

I must say, FoRK has really gotton on a moral high ground lately.
Quick, somebody post some Spice Girl lyrics before we get too much

I have nothing to add to Wayne's delectable post, but since I was
invoked by name I must respond.

>> But first, the obligatory
soul-baring disclaimer: I'm squarely in Dr. Ernie's camp, an
evangelical Christian, of fairly protestant flavor. <<

Gee, I have my own camp now. I think that makes three of us,
publicly. Can I charge overnight fees? Beware forest fires!

>> And aside from being constitutionally silly <<

As opposed to a silly constitutionalist?

>>Overall, I'd say that absolutist talk and relativist behavior
win, but not by overwhelming margins. <<

I like that. Not that we're in that state, but the way you summed it up.

> >| men always thought they were right, and that led to wars, ...

>>Also still true today. There seems to be an instinct in humans to
justify whatever they hold to be true. Sometimes by violent means,
sometimes simply by coercion, preaching or pouting.<<

My preferential formulation is that absolute truth exists, but I only
know it approximately. It is always surprising to me how both
absolutists and relativists think *they* have a complete handle on
truth (or non-truth, as the case may be). Absolute truth and absolute
certainty are not really that correlated, and most of the problem is
really with the latter.

> our hearts, if not in other places. Beware the Sheperds of Faith who
> Preach too Earnestly! (No, not you Chaplain Ernie :-).

Hey, I only preach Ernestly. Spelling is important, as Wayne says.

>>That's why I tend to discount people of "passion" (sorry, Ernie!). <<

That's OK, discounted items tend to be more popular, at least in the
Gospel according to Sam.

>>I consider passion to be little
more than a indication of intensity, and a somewhat negative one at
that. I'm more interested in what the object of the passion is. <<

That's a good point. To the extent this overlaps the previous
discussion, I still hold to my belief that passionate people are more
interesting. However, I would agree that the depth of interest is
tied to the size of the subject one is passionate about.

This also does not mean that I necessarily *trust* passionate people.
Boring people are often more reliable, and safe. Then again,
"Aslan is not a tame lion."

>>But I'd rather live here, now, than at any other place and
time in history. The future might be more interesting, though. I do
think that there will be a grand reckoning in the end. <<


Wow, it was kinda neat to see Wayne discuss moral relativism rather
than merely anagrammatize it. What *is* FoRK turning into?

-- Ernie P.
Having my six week sabbatical BEFORE starting at Apple

Dr. Ernest N. Prabhakar
"And ourselves, your servants for Jesus' sake." -- II Cor 4:5b