Sunday, December 01, 2013

Niceness, the fruit of relativism

What's wrong in our culture in a nutshell:
Unfortunately, when truth comes to be seen as subjective, toleration becomes the chief virtue, and it comes to mean simply ignoring one’s fellows, in essence not caring what others do. If you leave me alone to do what I want, I’ll leave you alone to do what you want—whatever it is, because truth and virtue don’t really matter, and probably don’t exist in any event. All we have are our own preferences, so that our chief duty is to ignore one another’s actions. The result is a culture in which religious faith is viewed in the same manner as any other “hobby,” whether it is stamp collecting or group sex. In the same way, “niceness,” as opposed to the discipline of civility, can mean simply not caring whether anyone is right or wrong, reasonable, unreasonable, or simply lazy, so long as no one bothers to challenge anyone else.

A related quote:

Relativism is, oddly, absolutist and totalitarian. It does not allow anyone to stray from its own relativism. Basically, it means ‘shut up’ or ‘don't meddle.’

--Pope Francis

It makes anything that people do not want challenged none of your business.

Youth are ignorant of the political situation?

Don't tell them to read a book.

None of your business!

People are sleeping around and spreading STD's.

Don't tell them to be monogamous or, worse, abstinent.

None of your business!

And if people want to drink themselves stupid, harass others, vomit on public streets, and make a spectacle of themselves, don't denounce their drinking habits.

None of your business!

The truth is: truth is our business.
Truth challenges and obliges people to do the right thing.

People don't want to do the right thing. They want to do what they want, regardless of the negative  consequences.

And they especially don't want the obvious answers to the negative consequences shoved in their faces.

It humiliates them, hurts their feelings, and undermines their efforts-- whether or conscious or not-- to keep doing what's easy, familiar or self-gratifying.

So frame every effort to change behaviour as Talibanesque, no matter how little coercion is involved.

It's easier to argue by ad hominems than by actual facts and logic.

But you can't with a group of people who relativizes truth. That's why all they have is ad hominems.