Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Exploding the Postmodern Myth of Moral Neutrality

UK's Tory leader David Cameron told the fat and the poor yesterday they must bear some of the responsibility for their own conditions.

The shift from personal responsibility to victimhood - man shunned of Free Will and reduced to a mere plaything of God, Nature and circumstance - has always been primary to the traditional Left. In fact, it is an existential precondition.

Postmodernism has added another dimension to the concept of victimhood on the philosophical level. The entire field of ethics got cancelled out: truth, as well as the qualifiers good and bad, true and false, conveniently collapse before the rejection of objective reality.

The result is the relativist attitude that renders fact mere personal opinion: everybody is right from his or her point of view. As a consequence any critical response, or 'passing moral judgment' has become a social no-no in the etiquette of polite society.

The postmodern version of petty bourgeois morality - political correctness - does the rest for the paradox that passes moral judgment on moral judgment, rejecting it as unevolved and a tool for oppression wielded by white patriarchists.

This inconsistency, and many others like it, has not resulted in the rejection of relativism as a fallacy. On the contrary it is taken as a phenomenon typical of all 'interesting' concepts. Indeed, the absence of contradiction would have made it intellectually suspect in postmodern eyes!

Postmodern relativism survives thanks to sophisms, rhetorical tricks and the tolerance of fallacies. The myth of moral neutrality has applications all over the Western world: from religiously neutral public spaces - the French approach to the separation of Church and State - to appeasement and moral cowardice in the face of evil.

Here's a preview from the draft of "The Dystopia of Paradise" in which the matter is explained from the Aristotelian position:

Just as atheism is not a position of religious neutrality, but on the contrary, is the belief that God does not exist, so a relativist stance is not morally neutral either, but is in fact the conviction that all morality is relative.

The supposed ethically neutral stance that Western politicians are trying to maintain towards Muslims, the radicals lumped with the moderates, are a mistake as well as a deal with the devil.

Postmodern relativists have an inherent belief in a place of complete impartiality. No judgments nor any offer of personal views are allowed. A neutral posture towards the moral convictions of others is supposed to be the essence of tolerance. Greg Koukl, founder and President of Stand to Reason, an American institute for Christian apologetics, has falsified the notion.

Koukl points out that relativists by not 'passing moral judgment' actually imply that - because some circumstances are ethically ambiguous - there are no moral certainties at all! The assumption however that there is no particular universally valid set of values other than your own, does not constitute neutrality. It is a particular view of morality, called relativism. In relativism, relativism itself is the value!

Relativists heartily promote their 'value-free' stance. We should respect an other's view, and they assert how morally despicable - yes, immoral - it is to foist your own convictions on others.

- Caption: courtesy "Friendly Atheist" -

Did you spot the paradoxymoron [2] lurking in that statement? The 'syllogism' just committed suicide, by imposing the view on you that if you disagree with it, your view is not valid, while it just stated that all views are valid.

We see that, far from being tolerant, fair and neutral, relativism is dictatorial, intolerant, fallacious and morally bankrupt. If in your dealings with a multiculturalist you are overcome by a sudden awareness of being in the presence of a bigoted hypocrite, you may have mentally picked up this implied fact.

Give an opinion and your neutral stance has been forfeited. If it wasn't for the eloquence of body language, the only place for neutrality would be silence.

Even more vigorously enforced is the idea that lumping innocent Muslims with terrorists and radicals is unfair towards moderates. It is a line that will not be crossed. The problem is that at this point an ethical inversion takes place, as terrorists share in the untouchable 'moral neutrality' towards the innocent.

This occurs because in the face of two morally exclusive options, no choice is being made. The good can stand out only in the face of evil; in a world without wrong, in the end nothing appears to be right.

- Filed on Articles in "The Dystopia of Paradise" -


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