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l8dyluck81

Moral Relativism and doing the right thing

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I have a friend who is very liberal in her beliefs. I wasn't always as religious as I am now, so when we were growing up (we've been friends for 20 years), she and I agreed a lot of the time. Now that I'm older and have really begun discovering my faith in full instead of just going through the motions, we tend to butt heads a lot.

 

Yesterday, we got onto the topic of the situation of a longtime friend of hers. He recently got engaged to a woman who, through pending surgery of some sort, was likely going to be rendered infertile. She already has two children out of wedlock and I guess they wanted one more. Since they want a big wedding (and she didn't want to be pregnant during it), they went ahead and got pregnant and had the baby.

 

My question to my friend was, if they wanted a child so badly, why didn't they just go get married by a justice of the peace and then start trying for a baby? I understand that they want a big wedding, but why not make things legal first and then have a second, big ceremony to celebrate their vows? They could have just gotten married by a justice of the peace and then (if they wanted a church ceremony), had a priest/pastor officially bless their union. It's also not unheard of for people to have two weddings. After all, her brother is legally married yet they are not officially having a wedding until later this spring.

 

According to my friend, since it was what they wanted to do it should be fine, but I think that just because it's what they wanted to do doesn't make it the right thing to do. See, she tends to think that there's no right or wrong way to do things, there's just the way that feels good to you. That kind of thinking leads to sin very easily, in my opinion. After all, for an aboriginal tribe in South Africa, cannibalism might be "right" because it's what the tribe wants to do. If you live by moral relativism, anything you want to do could be made to seem permissible. Men who can't get women to have sex with them consensually might think they are justified in raping because it's the way to get what they want, but that doesn't make it right. And it doesn't mean that just because it's not illegal to purposely have a baby out of wedlock that there wasn't a morally correct way to go about it.

 

She gets annoyed with me because I have standards and I get annoyed with her because she's so lassiez faire about everything. "Do it because it feels good" seems to be her mantra.

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That can be kind of tough if you’re not getting along as well as you used to with a long-time friend. I went through something similar recently where a good friend of mine actually stopped speaking to me altogether because she didn’t like that I’ve been getting more into my faith. Even though I never forced my religion on her, she found religion in general to be stupid and didn’t want to hang out with me for believing in “fairytales†as she puts it. Anyway, we live in a society where the “If it feels good, do it,†mentality seems to have taken over completely. I think this can often be damaging because in certain cases where people base their actions off of that mantra, someone can end up getting very hurt if they just do what they want without taking anyone else’s well-being into consideration.

 

I understand your frustration, but people change over time and sometimes we drift apart from some people, and become closer with others. I would say maybe try to avoid potentially controversial topics with her to avoid arguments, but that gets difficult if you’re holding in your true feelings. You don’t have to agree on everything to be friends with someone. However, as I already mentioned, if the “Do it because it feels good†mantra causes your friend to become destructive, then that’s when something becomes more than just a disagreement and turns into something to be massively concerned about. However in a situation like the one you described, your friend’s friend having children out of wedlock, you’re not going to be able to change that so I’m not saying that you shouldn’t care, but that’s something for them to deal with. I’d say, please try to not be stressed over it. I really hope you and your friend find a way to get along better.  :)

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Yeah, we don't tend to talk about issues like abortion and this kind of stuff because we do have such opposite views on them. It can be frustrating because I sometimes feel like I can't tell her exactly how I feel and what I think, because it might start an argument. As a result, I am trying to forge other friendships and I try to reserve my hot-button discussions for online communities. In a way though, it's sad because I feel like my views are valuable and I should be able to express them to her without fear of it turning into a debate.

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I agree, It gets really tough because you should be able to be who you are amongst friends. I'm not saying that you have to agree on everything, but it helps of you have at least some friends of similar views as a support network. I think it is human nature to not want to feel alone, so it helps to know that there are at least some people out there who agree with you. I mean, it's good to be open-minded, but that does not mean that you have to compromise your values and beliefs!  :)

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Well its tough dealing with moral relativism. Just pray for your friend . If moral relativism is ok then anything goes ,and it then becomes a

Nothing but an opinion.

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My question to my friend was, if they wanted a child so badly, why didn't they just go get married by a justice of the peace and then start trying for a baby? I understand that they want a big wedding, but why not make things legal first and then have a second, big ceremony to celebrate their vows? They could have just gotten married by a justice of the peace and then (if they wanted a church ceremony), had a priest/pastor officially bless their union. It's also not unheard of for people to have two weddings. After all, her brother is legally married yet they are not officially having a wedding until later this spring.

 

According to my friend, since it was what they wanted to do it should be fine, but I think that just because it's what they wanted to do doesn't make it the right thing to do. See, she tends to think that there's no right or wrong way to do things, there's just the way that feels good to you. That kind of thinking leads to sin very easily, in my opinion. After all, for an aboriginal tribe in South Africa, cannibalism might be "right" because it's what the tribe wants to do. If you live by moral relativism, anything you want to do could be made to seem permissible. Men who can't get women to have sex with them consensually might think they are justified in raping because it's the way to get what they want, but that doesn't make it right. And it doesn't mean that just because it's not illegal to purposely have a baby out of wedlock that there wasn't a morally correct way to go about it.

 

She gets annoyed with me because I have standards and I get annoyed with her because she's so lassiez faire about everything. "Do it because it feels good" seems to be her mantra.

 

This seems like a rather large leap in logic to me. I'm not quite sure how someone who simply thinks it's ok to have a child outside of wedlock is going to take up cannibalism and rape as hobbies. Surely your standards aren't so low that you're friends with such people? Such vile demons, that would look upon a night feasting upon the flesh of a debauched maiden as the highest of pleasures?

 

This is what's known in logic as the 'Slippery Slope Fallacy', where you describe an action B resulting from action A, that is so much worse than the original action. ie: A glass of champagne now, will lead to a life of alcoholism and ruin. Just because your friend does not believe that it's a sin to have a child outside of marriage does not mean her morals are compromised. 

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This seems like a rather large leap in logic to me. I'm not quite sure how someone who simply thinks it's ok to have a child outside of wedlock is going to take up cannibalism and rape as hobbies. Surely your standards aren't so low that you're friends with such people? Such vile demons, that would look upon a night feasting upon the flesh of a debauched maiden as the highest of pleasures?

 

This is what's known in logic as the 'Slippery Slope Fallacy', where you describe an action B resulting from action A, that is so much worse than the original action. ie: A glass of champagne now, will lead to a life of alcoholism and ruin. Just because your friend does not believe that it's a sin to have a child outside of marriage does not mean her morals are compromised. 

 

I don't think she's saying that people who believe in moral relativism are therefore going to commit evil acts like cannibalism or rape. What she's saying is, if you don't believe there is such a thing as absolute moral truth, then you don't really have an argument as to why anything is wrong.

 

If someone believes there is no moral truth, and that what we believe to be good and evil is all just because of cultural experience, they can still decide to follow that cultural experience. If you live in a culture where cannibalism and rape are wrong, then you're going to follow those cultural expectations: "This is what is considered wrong in this society, so I will not do it." Very serious crimes will also elicit a reaction from people - we feel instinctively that cannibalism and rape are wrong, so that's another reason not to do it. The vast majority of people who believe in moral relativism aren't going to decide to commit awful acts just because they don't believe that there is such a thing as right or wrong.

 

What she's arguing is, even if moral relativists will follow the cultural morals of their time, they have no real basis for doing so. You yourself called cannibals and rapists "vile demons." As a moral absolutist, I agree that these acts are evil and disgusting. Now, I don't know if you consider yourself a moral relativist or not, but if so, there's really no basis for calling these acts wrong. You may not like them, and find them disgusting and vile, but a moral relativist cannot say these actions are "evil", because there is no good and evil in moral relativism. All you can say is, "Rape and cannibalism are wrong for me and the culture I live in, but other people and cultures may consider them to be okay, and that's true for them."

 

Like I said, she's not saying moral relativists are going to do evil things, just that they don't have any foundation for calling the evil things "evil."

 

xxx

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Exactly, Jegsy. Those were extreme examples, but they were just that: examples. We seem to live in a society which says, "Hey, as long as you aren't breaking any of our laws then have at it!". But I still think there's room for a higher law. God's laws are more absolute and more all-encompassing. When you live in a world which says "do what makes you happy" instead of "do the right thing", your morals and beliefs are far more likely to become compromised. No, my friend would not be okay with rape or cannibalism. My point was that a rapist or a cannibal might not believe that those acts are wrong - it feels right to him, so he will do it.

 

Where does the "live and let live" mentality end?

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Hey,

As a fervant catholics,I agree with almost all of you.I don't know how is in USA but here this points are sooo stretched out that nobody,even me, cares.

For example we even have something called PACS and it is some kind of contract as what we live together,we pay the taxes together and we are presented as a couple in front of the State.But it is not marriage because you can simply finish it with one signature.

You can be gay and also be married here.

And this is one of the countries,housed the pope.

But I have lived all ly life like that and to be fair my faith become more an "everyday" faith.With that I mean I try to accept everyone with a statement and I don't juge.Sometimes I am even looked at as some kind of a alien but it is not important because I do it too.

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