Morality is, by definition, relative.
People who say they are "pro-life" are often "anti-life" on issues of capital punishment (pro-death penalty).
People who oppose killing, when it is labeled as murder, may support it, when it is labeled as war.
People who oppose suicide may favor it when a soldier jumps on a grenade to protect his comrades.
Many societies will prosecute people for involuntary manslaughter (or the equivalent), but they will excuse "friendly fire" on a war stage.
We convince ourselves of a supposed absolute morality by coming up with different labels for what is, basically, the same behavior in different social contexts. Moreover, the importance of social context in defining morality is the definition of moral relativism.
If one says that morality is socially contingent, one is making a morally relativist argument. My contention is that appeals to universal values are nothing more than metaphysics - speculative philosophy. To state otherwise is to commit the fallacy of shifting the burden of proof. I do not have to prove that the yeti does not exist either. I can simply affirm that there is insufficient evidence for it. The burden of proof is on the person who claims otherwise.
I simply act based on my willful responses to existing social conventions. I recognize that my values, like those of others, are products of social construction. I attribute no ultimate meaning to them, i.e., I am agnostic on that issue. .
posted at 04:35:23 PM by Dr. Mark A. Foster