Sunday, October 16, 2016

Relativism and Ignorance

During the Second World War, different people were fighting each other even though they had many things in common with each other. Probably the thing that they all had in common was that they strongly believed what they believed. This made credible to many the ideology of relativism. Relativism believes that it is wrong to believe strongly in anything. The relativist solution is to not believe in anything strongly at all.

Ayn Rand had a different view on the matter. She said that the problem was what she called “an orgy of self-sacrifice.” She came to the conclusion that sacrifice was evil, and she advocated as a solution rugged individualism.

Any number of others had all sorts of other explanations as well. I have heard it said that Nazis were illogical, and I have heard it said that Nazis were too logical. I have heard it said that Nazis did not have traditional values, and I have heard it said that Nazis were too much into traditional values. I have heard it said that the problem was sheepish conformity, and I have heard it said that the problem was ego. I have heard it said that the problem was irrationality, and I have heard it said that the problem was hatred. I have heard it said that the problem was tolerance for sin, and I have heard it said that the problem was intolerance. I see none of these mutually conflicting explanations as being worse than the relativist view.

Relativists may not have killed as many people as Hitler or Stalin; but they have been running all sorts of scams. That is a natural outgrowth of the ideology. A friend of mine from India described relativism as “scum-baggery”; and he was absolutely correct.

Now if you are going to run a scam on a population, you will want people to see villains in precisely the wrong places. You would want people to see as dangerous the people – such as myself - who have the capacity to see through the scam. You will also want to represent things as their opposites. Someone loves women, call him a misogynist. Someone honest, call him a sociopath. Someone altruistic, call him a narcissist. Practice the Big Lie technique, and eventually people will believe you.

In the current situation with the Jihadist Islam, the West is seeing the logical consequence of its beliefs. If you are a relativist, you will have no moral or intellectual foundation for fighting such things as Jihadism. Instead the conflict will be played out on the Darwinian level – the level of might-make-right. You may have more military hardware, but these people are quite good at what they do. They will make your life hell.

In American psychiatry, it is believed that it's healthy to believe in something weakly, but not healthy to believe in something strongly. It is sick to be a true believer; it is healthy to be a hypocrite. This creates a destructive effect upon the civilization. Everyone becomes corrupt. So then someone like Osama Bin Laden comes along and says that the West is evil and that it should be bombed. This message carries appeal to all sorts of people, and it will continue to have appeal to all sorts of people for as long as these are the beliefs.

Let's separate what is valid from what is not valid. It is valid to look at knowledge that is not a part of your upbringing or education. It is valid to understand where the next person is coming from, even if that person is nothing like you. It is valid to be open to useful ideas and cultural input from other places. It is not valid to believe in relativism.

Many people who do believe in relativism inevitably find it working against them. A woman may get together with a man who is likewise relativistic and who will use relativistic ideas to treat her like dirt. She will have no moral foundation to confront his abusive behavior. She may claim that the problem is “patriarchy” or “the Western civilization” or the man being a sociopath. The real problem is the relativistic beliefs that she has espoused.

If you believe in relativism, you will likewise not have the moral or intellectual foundation by which to defend your country. Someone comes in blowing up marketplaces and skyscrapers, you will have no place on which to stand by which to defend yourselves. The solution is not more relativism; the solution is a wiser, greater, and more courageously upheld absolutism.

It is valid to tolerate people who are not like yourself; and I tolerate all sorts of people who are nothing like myself, including any number whom nobody else tolerates. It is not however valid to tolerate lies. Wrong beliefs result in wrong action. And what we see now is hideous lies all around. This, once again, is a natural outgrowth of the conman's ideology that is relativism.

The solution is not relativism; it has been an abject failure. The solution is understanding the world well enough to know how your actions affect it. The solution is actual knowledge, and pursuant actual knowledge an actual understanding. This will create action that is genuinely informed. Which action, being informed, actually has the stance of being actually ethical and actually responsible.

Both the people who believe in relativism and the people who claim to espouse the values of responsibility or ethics even as they militate against knowledge that actual responsibility and actual ethics requires are dead wrong. You need to have knowledge in order to make informed decisions, and you must in no way compromise with attitudes that are wrong. Neither relativism nor ignorance are the solution. The solution is real knowledge. And, pursuant that real knowledge, a wiser, more informed, and more courageously upheld absolutism.


Post a Comment

<< Home