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Relativism
 PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:40 am Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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All thanks go to Reep for this thread Wink

Definition
Relativism: any theory of ethics or knowledge based on the idea that all values or judgments are relative, differing according to circumstances, persons, cultures, etc.
-dictionary.com

Common statements that might be considered relativistic include:

* "That's true for you but not for me."
* "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
* "You can't judge other cultures by the standards of your own."

"Some relativists claim that humans can understand and evaluate beliefs and behaviors only in terms of their historical or cultural context. There are many forms of relativism which vary in their degree of controversy. The term often refers to truth relativism, which is the doctrine that there are no absolute truths, i.e., that truth is always relative to some particular frame of reference, such as a language or a culture. Another widespread and contentious form is moral relativism."

"Relativism is sometimes (though not always) interpreted as saying that all points of view are equally valid, in contrast to an absolutism which argues there is but one true and correct view." -wikipedia

Alright, discuss
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"I believe toys resonate with us as humans, we can hold them them, it's tactile, real! They are totems for our extended beliefs and imaginations. A fetish for ideas that hold as much interest and passion as old religious relics for some. We display them in our homes. They show who we are. They are signals for similar thinking people. A way we connect with each other...and I guess thats why I do toys. That connection." -Ashley Wood


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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:54 am Reply with quote  
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  Old Master Ben
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Okay, I will gladly play Devil's Advocate and argue for relativism here. But let's have someone else make a point first.


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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:47 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Allright *cracks knuckles* What do you have to say to what I said earlier:
It isn't so much what people think is right, but what they feel is right. Someone who does something wrong might build up some dumb 'excuse' as to why they do it, there's usually a nagging feeling. It's gotta come from somewhere. Most bad things (murder, lying, cheating etc) can nearly always be profitable for the person. If humanity's only goal is to survive and Right and Wrong is a point of view, why do they feel guilt after they do wrong?
Relativism goes hand-in-hand with nihlism and nhilism says that eveything has no meaning. But what's the point of guilt then?

Have at it. Wink
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Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.


Last edited by Reepicheep on Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:18 pm; edited 1 time in total


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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:32 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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I'll certainly go along with the "trust your feelings" idea because I believe people do have an inherent moral compass. I for one do not believe that there is no "one truth" or "absolute truth." Two countries can go to war with each other and people can argue that both sides were justified and that the winners decide what the truth will be, but to me, there is a deeper truth to such things, a truth determined by purpose of the universe.

Now I'm going to try and avoid any specific religion here, but I think on a topic like this, it will be very difficult to keep religion out. One thing I think many people can agree on is that the universe has a purpose. There are just too many things that all fit together too well for it all to be chaos.

So, back on topic, I think there is "a" truth, but we often are too preoccupied with our own truths, be they right, wrong, or just misplaced. I think what I mean is that relativism applies partially, but not completely. If two people get into a fight, people will ask themselves "who was right and wrong?" In such a case, it's possible there is equal blame on both sides, thus they can both be right. But our views are contained to our world and to what we know. The real truth could be that neither person was right or wrong, but that they were destined to fight each other such that they could avoid dying in a bus accident.

Yet to get back to what Reep posted, doing what we feel is right is no easy task. I'd like to say "What I feel is right sometimes turns out to be wrong" yet I can't think of a real life example at the moment. So I'm going to leave that one to someone else.
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"I believe toys resonate with us as humans, we can hold them them, it's tactile, real! They are totems for our extended beliefs and imaginations. A fetish for ideas that hold as much interest and passion as old religious relics for some. We display them in our homes. They show who we are. They are signals for similar thinking people. A way we connect with each other...and I guess thats why I do toys. That connection." -Ashley Wood


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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:56 pm Reply with quote  
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  Queen Padmè Skywalker
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In the words of Marty McFly, this is heavy. Wink

All right, I'm gonna keep this short and simple. Man is always going to have different definitions of right and wrong, truth and untruth. It will all depend of their point of view. This is because we're humans, we're fallible, and we can't figure out right and wrong on our own. The only way to really determine it is to measure it against the Bible. God is the only one who knows what's really true.
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So this is how liberty dies....with thunderous applause.



Those without swords can still die upon them

The world is a mess and I just need to rule it.


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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:27 pm Reply with quote  
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  Old Master Ben
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Well, I think Padme just closed this up. I can't say much after that. Let's go eat and be merry!

Very Happy


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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:26 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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*gets out can opener*

I'm going to disagree on that. Personally I agree that "God" is the only one who knows what's really true, however, I do not believe the Bible is how we should measure truth. I'm not saying the Bible is wrong or that I don't agree with it, and we should also keep in mind that other religions have their own holy texts. But my thinking is that written words are easily misunderstood. Two people can read the same thing and can come away with completely different viewpoints on what they read. Using the Bible as a point, Jesus never wrote any of the books in it. His words are recorded by others. His teachings are recorded by others. It is all second hand information.

Now I am not saying that what was written was wrong. What I am saying is that reading what they wrote and finding the answer directly from the source are two different things, and that personally, I think too many people put too much emphasis on the Bible or their own holy texts.

So, if someone reads the Bible, for instance, and comes away with a certain belief based on what they read, they will think they are right. In turn the tell and convince others. Soon they have a religious sect of their own. They think they are right. Yet other religious sects have their own beliefs and think they are right. This is where relativism really comes into play.

Rather than argue who is right or wrong, I'd say Reep has the right idea in that "feelings" are a good place to turn to. Which feels right? I would say that "feeling" is you inner connection to the creator, ie. THE TRUTH. The hard part is shifting through those feelings, as we humans have so many. But I do believe the truth is there.
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"I believe toys resonate with us as humans, we can hold them them, it's tactile, real! They are totems for our extended beliefs and imaginations. A fetish for ideas that hold as much interest and passion as old religious relics for some. We display them in our homes. They show who we are. They are signals for similar thinking people. A way we connect with each other...and I guess thats why I do toys. That connection." -Ashley Wood


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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:53 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Good points, DS. Smile
There's one reason while I think the Bible is credible though. When it was written (especially during the Old Testament), God had a more physical role on earth (i.e. the Tent of Meeting). So if the Bible was being written during this time, and it was written wrongly, you can bet God would put a stop to it.

But it is good to remember things like cultural context and translational differences when you read the Bible.
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Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.


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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:43 pm Reply with quote  
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  Queen Padmè Skywalker
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Reepicheep wrote:
Good points, DS. Smile
There's one reason while I think the Bible is credible though. When it was written (especially during the Old Testament), God had a more physical role on earth (i.e. the Tent of Meeting). So if the Bible was being written during this time, and it was written wrongly, you can bet God would put a stop to it.

But it is good to remember things like cultural context and translational differences when you read the Bible.


It also comes down to if you believe that God is capable of preserving His Word over the years. And something else to keep in mind, while two different people might look at a verse and get two different meanings out of it, God only had one meaning when He gave it. I believe that He will give understanding to those who desire it.
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All things die, Anakin Skywalker, even stars burn out.

So this is how liberty dies....with thunderous applause.



Those without swords can still die upon them

The world is a mess and I just need to rule it.


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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:24 am Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Okay, I don't want to get too side tracked on focusing on the Bible, but I'm compelled to do so. To me, it's not that I think there are flaws in the Bible, it's that I think the Bible is like a resource. You should read it, and you should gain knowledge from it, but I feel it's inappropriate to look to it for guidance, or to consider it divine law. I don't consider the Bible a rule book or manual. To me, if I need guidance, I pray. I seek out Jesus and God. I use the knowledge I've gained from the Bible to help me, but it is not the end all be all defining factor in my decisions. For that, I look inside myself and search out my feelings or inner voice.
_________________

"I believe toys resonate with us as humans, we can hold them them, it's tactile, real! They are totems for our extended beliefs and imaginations. A fetish for ideas that hold as much interest and passion as old religious relics for some. We display them in our homes. They show who we are. They are signals for similar thinking people. A way we connect with each other...and I guess thats why I do toys. That connection." -Ashley Wood


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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:36 am Reply with quote  
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  Old Master Ben
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Yeah, I have to agree there. I can bring up numerous topics from the Bible that people debate everyday, simply because people will read it and interpret it in different ways. So, while I believe the entire Bible is true, I also know that man is not perfect and can make mistakes when interpreting the Bible.

Back to relativism; here's question. If I give a toddler a gun, have him point the gun at another person, and have him pull the trigger, he will not know if he has just done right or wrong. The only way to stop him is to teach him that shooting the gun is wrong. So, while you may say we are all born with the ability to tell right from wrong, I'm not sure that's the case. Would a toddler know to treat others nicely if nobody taught him? No! I've seen toddlers who's parents don't teach them to play nice, and so they don't. They don't have a feeling inside telling them to be nice anyway. Let's look into gangs. There are people out there who will shoot, steal, and commit other crimes that the general public considers to be wrong; and these people do not care. They are born into it. They don't see the problem. It's just part of their life. I think the only way they would ever know that killing is wrong is if they were told, but they aren't going to be told. That's why we see people kill their "loved-ones". You think, oh, how could you ever kill your mom/dad/brother/girlfriend? It's because they don't see it as wrong.

Just playing devil's advocate there.
Smile


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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:01 am Reply with quote  
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  Queen Padmè Skywalker
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Darth Skuldren wrote:
Okay, I don't want to get too side tracked on focusing on the Bible, but I'm compelled to do so. To me, it's not that I think there are flaws in the Bible, it's that I think the Bible is like a resource. You should read it, and you should gain knowledge from it, but I feel it's inappropriate to look to it for guidance, or to consider it divine law. I don't consider the Bible a rule book or manual. To me, if I need guidance, I pray. I seek out Jesus and God. I use the knowledge I've gained from the Bible to help me, but it is not the end all be all defining factor in my decisions. For that, I look inside myself and search out my feelings or inner voice.


Ok, last thing I'm gonna say on the subject. I most definitely believe that any differing opinions on Bible passages stems from man's inability to always discern the intent of it. Because I believe that the Bible is the perfect Word of God, I do see it as divine law. Of course, people who don't believe the first statement will disagree with the second.

Ok, I'm done. Smile
_________________
All things die, Anakin Skywalker, even stars burn out.

So this is how liberty dies....with thunderous applause.



Those without swords can still die upon them

The world is a mess and I just need to rule it.


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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:47 am Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Thanks OMB, you just trashed the whole "feelings" theory. Razz

Okay, so if what OMB says is true, then people are taught right and wrong and everything is in the hands of the parents and the person's environment. Young minds are impressionable.

However, that doesn't address the issue of a person's gut feelings/guilt/conscience. Sometimes you get a feeling that something is just wrong. Now since hardly anything is just black and white, maybe there's a combination of the two factors. Maybe a person's inner voice is something that grows with time.

Another example: two kids throwing rocks, one sees a window and says "hey, lets throw a rock at it". Kid #2 hesitates because he feels/knows this is a bad idea. Kid #1 convinces kid #2 to do it. Rock breaks window.

According to relativism, each side can be right in their own view. In this case the kids are obviously in the wrong: they broke another person's property. Can it be argued that both sides are "equally valid"? I think not. Kid #1 wanted to break something because they thought it would be fun. Kid #2 was pressured into it. Good bet that both feel guilty afterwards.

But taking OMB's example into account...

Kid #1's parents are enemies with the next door neighbor. Kid #1 grows up thinking the same thing. Neighbor runs over kid #1's dog. Kid #1 takes dad's gun, shoots neighbor.

Now outsiders would say kid was in the wrong. Kid #1 however would think he was justified. Both sides think they are right.

So is the line with relativism that people who believe/support it would actually think the kid and and the neighbor are equally right in their own way and that there is no "true" right in this situation? Or is that such an extreme that there aren't any relativists like that (well not enough to be taken seriously)?

I understand the idea of relativism, but I guess I'm wondering if any of us here are really relativists, or if any really exist.
_________________

"I believe toys resonate with us as humans, we can hold them them, it's tactile, real! They are totems for our extended beliefs and imaginations. A fetish for ideas that hold as much interest and passion as old religious relics for some. We display them in our homes. They show who we are. They are signals for similar thinking people. A way we connect with each other...and I guess thats why I do toys. That connection." -Ashley Wood


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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:20 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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I would say they're the majority honestly. There's probably not many hardcore relativists like you said, but a lot of people are they just don't think about it as much. Look at art, now compared to the past. Old movies, like Westerns, had a Good Guy and a Bad Guy, but now movies tend to blur the line. It's definitley there.

@OMB. I disagree a toddler wouldn't feel bad shooting someone in the head. There aren't stupid, they will probably know just by looking at the person bleeding and suffering. Now, about gangs and people who supposedly "don't know Right from Wrong". I believe everyone is born knowing Right from Wrong, just as I believe everyone is born with some kind of knowledge of some kind of god, but it can be supressed. If you, or those around you, keep denying these truths you will eventually believe it.
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Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.


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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:33 pm Reply with quote  
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  Old Master Ben
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But, it's not always so simple as the good guy bad guy.

For example, in the Orlando Magic game I was watching, two players got into a fight. Now, I obviously felt it was the fault of the other teams player. Any fan for the other team would think it was my guy's fault. My guy comes out and says that the other guy started it by throwing elbows. But nobody besides those two (and God) would know who was at fault and who started the issue. A lot of times we will look at a situation and say "that guys the good guy, and he's the bad guy." But many times it can be more complicated than that.


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