Criticism to an objective morality


There are several criticisms I tend to face when I defend the claim I posed "On Objective Morality...". Here I try to answer to the main one: the critic based on a relativist view of the world.


Criticism: Relativism

Our perception of what is good or bad only applies to our restricted environment or context, where certain set of values are the ones that are promoted or believed to be true. However, there cannot be universal or absolute values that can be considered objectively good or bad.

Answer: relativism is self-effacing

Ironically, the relativist criticism should be objective in order to be a valid claim.
If nothing is objective, as the relativist states, then, this claim cannot be objective either, therefore, it won’t be valid. Relativism dies in its own terms and is therefore false.
This answer is enough to dismiss any other criticism based on relativism.

Some could say that relativism itself is the only objective fact in terms of morality. This version of relativism, let's call it shrelativism, would imply that there exist at least one objective fact, but it does not justify why this fact is the only absolute one; hence, it leaves the door open to other facts being objective. Since shrelativism does not provide the justification of why only itself is true, it is an arbitrary limit and we must reject the claim.

Answer: what if there are contradictions in values

If all points of view are true in their own context, imagine there is one context where the relativist criticism is denied altogether. That is, in the culture X, it is believed that “there are indeed absolute values that can be considered objectively good or bad”.

The relativist claim says that culture X beliefs are true “in their own context”, however, culture X claims that the context does not determine the scope of validity of values. Which of them is right? Relativism does not provide the tools to give an answer and therefore we must reject the claim.

Answer: relativism is proposed from a particular context

Also relativism, as any idea, is always proposed from a particular context. If what is good or bad only applies to certain context, then relativism would only be valid where it's believed to be true, but we would not know what happens "outside".
As said before, in order for relativism to be true, it must apply to every context.

Answer: how can you even talk about it?

Relativism says that some societies see some things as good, while that same thing can be regarded as bad and none of them would be objectively right. However, to validate that point, we have to define here what is “to see something as good”.
How can you even talk about what is "good" or "desirable" if everything is relative? A common definition of what is good becomes impossible. In order to find a common definition of "good", then one must accept that there are some underlying characteristics of what is good that we intuitively believe universal.

Answer: who defines the context?

Is the context a society? an ethnic group? how does it vary: is it something unmovable or can it change with time? Also, can I change my views depending on the context or should I stick to my views regardless on which context I am?
It seems that the definition of "context" is vague enough not to permit a proper understanding of where certain claims of morality apply.

References


Image from Pixabay
https://pixabay.com/en/tree-snow-winter-landscape-1056598/

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