Re: Relativism

From: Dan Fabulich (
Date: Fri Nov 17 2000 - 20:06:36 MST

Nicq MacDonald wrote:

> Oh, believe me, I had learned enough. I'd learned enough to know
> that it really doesn't matter a bit. I began to look in the mirror
> and realize that tomorrow, I will die. It doesn't matter if
> tomorrow is tomorrow, if tomorrow is sixty years, or if tomorrow is
> sixty million years- I will die. In the end, the dream is over.

How could you *possibly* know that?

Hazarded a guess, did you? Good. In my language, we call that
belief, and it is true by definition (in my language) that you believe
it to be true.

Speak in my language. The flaws you see are artifacts of the
logos-logic in which you think. Of all the realities, of all the
conceptual schemes, in all the gin joints in all the world, why'd you
pick THAT one?

Hey, whaddya know! That's the same reason I picked mine.

That's solidarity.

>From now on, whenever somebody says the word "objectivity," you and I
will pretend they're saying "solidarity." Whenever somebody says
"absolute truth," we'll pretend they're saying "beliefs we share."
Share your beliefs.

> In the end, it's all just opinion. There is
> no truth unless it is created, and no laws except the ones we impose.

In an earlier post on relativism, I presented you with two arguments
against relativism. One of them was traditional. The other was a
newer Wittgensteinian argument.

Did those arguments make sense to you? What's wrong with them on your

> Fantasy is merely reality without inhibitions. As for being a "walking
> vapor-person", I seem to be more aware of the nature of life than the people
> I seem to meet and work with every day, who actually think that they're
> accomplishing something! Or that, perhaps, they are right about something!
> Yet, I'm afraid, everyone is wrong. Everyone is, essentially, a walking
> corpse, a doomed machine thinking that they actually have this fiction
> called "free will".

Heh. Can of worms, but I don't think we have free will. Doesn't
bother me. Ever read any Nietzsche? Any Sartre? Any Kant? These
people were thinking about how people can make a free choice in a
world fully determined by law and chance, where "free will" is not
present in the World-in-itself. They had some interesting results.
Do you know what they are?

Or are you too self-absorbed to read even the most famous philosophers
nearest to your own beliefs? Have you got it all figured out? That's
no relativism. That's ethnocentrism, like I was suggesting. [I KNEW
you'd come around! ;)] But where's the open-mindedness?

Relativism is nonsense; if it serves any use, it's theraputic. But
you don't seem to have actually benefitted from the therapy. The
outcome was supposed to be open-mindedness. (In my language, being
rational is to be adequately open-minded, by definition.) What

There IS a revolution to be had. It's a revolution against
relativism. You think you figured relativism out all by yourself?
You're wrong. (No free will, remember? There are no new ideas,
remember?) It surrounds you. It pervades. It was forced on you.
You think you don't know anyone who believes like you? All of your
liberal friends are like that, but they won't admit it. (All of mine
are. They've told me everything and exactly what you tell me about

To revolt is to take our beliefs into our own hands. Relativism is
taking everyone else's beliefs at face value. But the real revolution
is in holding beliefs of our own, by ourselves, and rejecting the
false beliefs of others. We stand up for ourselves. Now, dust
yourself off and let's get on with it.


      -unless you love someone-
    -nothing else makes any sense-
           e.e. cummings

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