Sunday, May 01, 2005

Moral Relativism in Action

Link skipping this morning, I happened across of tangle of posts about the topic of moral relativism.  TO give credit where it is due, I first encountered a link on Majikthise, then Left2Right, then Yglesias.  All very erudite, but with something missing.  What is missing from those posts is a good, concrete example, to help people know moral relativism when they see it.

Naturally, comedians had a field day with this, but most people recognize that Mr. Bush was being culturally sensitive when he kissed and held hands with the Crown Prince.  Nothing wrong with that: it would be considered proper in the Prince's own culture.  If Bush had done it with Dick Cheney, that would have been indecent.  That's moral relativism.

In fact, I don't care what Bush and Cheney do to each other, either in public, or behind closed doors.  The point is that some people would judge such behavior between two men as decent in one context, but indecent in another context.   I encourage those who would be inclined to make such differential judgments to recognize that as an instance of moral relativism. 

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