Re: new to list

From: David G. McDivitt (
Date: Fri Aug 24 2001 - 22:04:41 MDT

I do not differentiate between classes or disciplines of knowledge, as
in science compared to morality for instance. There are simply different
contexts in which we devote similar forms of thought. Each contains
protocols, authority, and experience. Each is a social endeavor.

I do not agree with people who say morality does not exist because there
are no facts to support it. What is a fact? Isn't a fact just what you,
me, or someone has chosen to be significant? Saying there are no facts
to support morality implies there are facts to support something else.
Is anything really supported by facts? No. Not to me. Things are
supported only by an argument someone makes, or the will of that person
to make an argument.

About relativists being prone to facilitate an over abundance of
morality, I call myself a civil libertarian more than a relativist. I
challenge reality because I do not like being told what to do or how to
think. When you tell me what reality is, or is supposed to be, you are
attempting to dictate to me what things to find significant and

>From: "Mark Walker" <>
>Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2001 12:49:48 -0400
>What are we talking about here? Cultural relativism is often understood as a
>general thesis about the relativity of culture in its entirety, e.g.,
>science, morals, art, religion, etc. Perhaps this is what Russell is talking
>about. David seems to be speaking about moral relativism, which is a proper
>subset of cultural relativism, e.g., one might be a relativist about moral
>truths but a nonrelativist about scientific truths or vice-versa.
>> I agree morality exists.
>I think you need to explain this a bit more. Relativists do not generally
>deny that morality exists--indeed, if anything the complaint against
>relativists is that they allow for a superabundance of morality. There are
>thinkers that deny that morality exists. The Aussi philosopher J L Mackie
>famously argued that all moral truths are false because there are no moral
>facts, i.e., morality does not exist. Mackie and other error theorists
>(Nietzsche is sometimes interpreted this way) do not say that moral truths
>are relative to some social group, rather all such claims are false.
>>I just do not agree it is always the same, or
>> must always be the same.
>I am not sure I see the point here. Clearly nonrelativists can allow that
>morality is not always the same or must always be the same. Variability
>might be a necessary condition for moral relativism but it is not a
>sufficient condition. Mark.


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