Sunday, January 6, 2013

Thought for the Day: Inconsistent and Illogical Denial of Absolutes

Ever notice how some people claim there are no moral absolutes, but reject a claim that some things (like racism, genocide, rape or murder) can ever be justified?  The problem is these two positions are absolutely contradictory.  To say that there are no moral absolutes is to say that nothing is wrong all the time.  But to say that some things are always wrong means there is something about an action itself which makes it wrong regardless of the circumstances.

If we can know it is always wrong, it means we can look at understanding what it is about the act that makes it wrong and apply it to understand moral standards on our obligations to other persons.

That means those activists who stand up for a cause against injustice, yet deny morality when it comes to their own behavior are behaving inconsistently.  After all, they are insisting others follow absolutes while they will not follow absolutes in their own lives.

To put it in a syllogism:

  • If [no Moral absolutes exist], then [everything is permissible]. (if A then B)
  • Not [everything is permissible] (Not B)
  • Therefore not [no moral absolutes exist].  (Therefore Not A)

Since "not [no moral absolutes exist]" is another way of saying that moral values DO exist (the negative is required to keep the syllogism consistent) we have a syllogism where the premises are true and the argument is valid.  It means the statement "moral absolutes exist" is proven to be true.

Christianity, in particular Catholicism, offers explanations on why the moral obligations must be drawn where they are.  If a person should happen to reject these explanations, they are obligated to offer their own explanation as to why the line should be drawn differently.

But because they can neither create the justification for a different dividing line, nor refute the Christian arguments of morality, the usual result is to just go ahead with the illogical claim that there are no moral absolutes.

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