Saturday, September 28, 2013

Don't ignore the warning signs

In a recent discussion with someone, I finally had an awakening about their beliefs and asked "So, you don't believe in 'right' or 'wrong'?"

And the response I got was "Correct. I believe in like and do not like(.)  I believe in 'failed to produce the desired results'".

If that's the case, wouldn't that make the person a psychopath?  Yeah, I think people call that "utilitarianism", but what evil couldn't be justified under that notion?  Only those that "failed"?

He went on to say he believes in right and wrong only where science and math are concerned.  So, I take that to mean things like: 5 is the right answer to "2 + 3 = ?", or this rope is the wrong length to reach from here to there, or it's wrong to use up all your water right now, since it means you will die of thirst later and things of that nature, but not with regards to other questions?

Where do I go from there?

If right and wrong are meaningless to you with regards to human interactions, why would you ever debate something like this with a person like me?  And why would I ever voluntarily associate with you?  You might decide you would like to kill me, and feel your plan wouldn't fail.  That's all it would take for you to murder me.

Even if someone believes it is right to initiate force or to steal, they are easier for me to deal with, and more predictable to deal with safely, than the person who thinks such concepts are meaningless.  In my opinion.



  1. Ah yes, the wonders of moral relativism.

  2. Is that even relativism, or is it denial?
    He had been arguing that "taxation" isn't really theft, and that initiation of force wasn't a problem (which, as I have said before, if you feel you "must" initiate force, recognize you are acting outside what you have a right to do, and accept any consequences that come from it), and that The State is necessary for some things (and isn't always a bad thing). That's what led to my question about right and wrong.

  3. Excellent thoughts, Kent. I don't think you can have ANY productive discussion with a person who holds that view, and yes, it is both "relativism" (utilitarianism) and denial, and even can be accused of being situational ethics.