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Question: In which camp do you belong?
Moral relativist and libertarianist - 7 (36.8%)
Not moral relativist but libertarianist - 4 (21.1%)
Moral relativist but not libertarianist - 4 (21.1%)
Neither moral relativist nor libertarian - 4 (21.1%)
Total Voters: 18

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Author Topic: Moral relativism and libertarianism compatible?  (Read 3075 times)
im3w1l
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July 11, 2011, 07:30:16 PM
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I get the impression that libertarianists think that there is one and only one correct viewpoint. Am I right in this observation?

Personally I'm morally relativist but not libertarianist
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July 11, 2011, 07:33:55 PM
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They are of the belief that there is one correct viewpoint and it is their own.  So your observation is correct.  Their worldview is absolutely not compatible with moral relativism.

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July 11, 2011, 08:40:22 PM
 #3

I get the impression that libertarianists think that there is one and only one correct viewpoint. Am I right in this observation?

No viewpoint is true or false because those type of statements are personal opinions and personal opinions are neither true nor false.

Also, we're called "libertarians", not "libertarianists".
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July 11, 2011, 08:55:37 PM
 #4

They are of the believe that there is one correct viewpoint and it is their own.  So your observation is correct.  Their worldview is absolutely not compatible with moral relativism.

This is an unfair generalisation of libertarians. Some libertarians think that their view is the only correct one but not all of us do. I'm sure the same could be said for some authoritarians and some people in between.

I am a libertarian and I wouldn't go as far as to say I am a moral relativist. I believe I am right on the whole about moral issues but I accept that I may be wrong and keep an open mind to other viewpoints. I also acknowledge that there are many difficult grey areas in morality.

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July 11, 2011, 10:32:39 PM
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They are of the believe that there is one correct viewpoint and it is their own.  So your observation is correct.  Their worldview is absolutely not compatible with moral relativism.

This is an unfair generalisation of libertarians. Some libertarians think that their view is the only correct one but not all of us do. I'm sure the same could be said for some authoritarians and some people in between.

I am a libertarian and I wouldn't go as far as to say I am a moral relativist. I believe I am right on the whole about moral issues but I accept that I may be wrong and keep an open mind to other viewpoints. I also acknowledge that there are many difficult grey areas in morality.


I often find this to be the case. Libertarians are generally quite stubborn in their personal views but far less prone to calling for the muzzling of opinions that they personally see as harmful. They have a personal constitution that is strong yet are less prone to propose one-size-fits-all social policies as most believe in self-determination over moral absolutism.

The trend is most definitely not universal, though. I have met a number of modern objectivists that are quite absolutist and unwilling to accept any level of dissenting opinion on religious or economic issues.
im3w1l
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July 11, 2011, 10:41:30 PM
 #6

I'm sorry if my OP was misunderstood. I don't mean that libertarianists are close minded. It is of course perfectly possible to believe in an absolute moral, while still being open as to what exactly that absolute moral is.
What I want to know is if you think that there is a true moral "out there" for us to find, or if it doesn't.
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July 12, 2011, 07:17:40 AM
 #7

I'm very open minded as to what people want to consider 'moral' - as long as it doesn't hurt me or someone else I'm willing to live and let live. I don't consider myself a moral relativist, though, as common use these days tends to imply one would accept something as backwards as Sharia under the banner of being 'relativist' and 'tolerant'.
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July 12, 2011, 07:25:30 AM
 #8

"good" "bad" "moral" "just" "should". . .all meaningless to me.   Imma be over here doing my thing, don't come 'round if you're gonna be an ass

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July 12, 2011, 07:46:07 AM
 #9

Well, libertarianism advocates individual choice, so in that sense we are moral relativists.

On the other hand, there are no circumstances in which a consistent libertarian can make concessions regarding liberty or about the rights of individuals (as in, opposing statism), so in that sense libertarians are incapable of being relativists.

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July 13, 2011, 12:41:12 AM
 #10

There really isn't any one theoretical foundation for Libertarian views, and not all Libertarians rest their views on a theoretical foundation anyway.

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July 13, 2011, 01:00:25 AM
 #11

There really isn't any one theoretical foundation for Libertarian views, and not all Libertarians rest their views on a theoretical foundation anyway.

True, as a spectrum. But I think for many AnCaps and Right Libertarians, their views come from an axiomatic understanding of the individual and property. This is not a good/bad or right/wrong thing, but there is a normative assumption at some point to build the rest of the philosophy around. The same is true of most (all?) political philosophies. Not sure I can think of any that don't rest somewhere on "Let X be equal to" declarations.
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July 13, 2011, 01:09:15 AM
 #12

Libertarian ideals allow for the further progression of social morality through the natural selection of laws, in a preferably competitive political environment. It's inherently relativist.
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July 13, 2011, 01:29:24 AM
 #13

Libertarian ideals allow for the further progression of social morality through the natural selection of laws, in a preferably competitive political environment. It's inherently relativist.

Darwinism applied to the legal system huh? Yeah, that's a fair description.

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July 13, 2011, 01:41:25 AM
 #14

Libertarian ideals allow for the further progression of social morality through the natural selection of laws, in a preferably competitive political environment. It's inherently relativist.

Darwinism applied to the legal system huh? Yeah, that's a fair description.
I accept it as the ideal form of progression with no remorse. Natural selection has been excellent in constructing sturdy sentient beings along with other sustaining organisms. To deny its validity as a method of construction would be irrational.
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July 13, 2011, 07:26:46 PM
 #15

I'm probably best described as a moral subjectivist and a libertarian.

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July 13, 2011, 10:03:43 PM
 #16

Libertarian ideals allow for the further progression of social morality through the natural selection of laws, in a preferably competitive political environment. It's inherently relativist.

I find this very difficult to comprehend. What drives the natural selection?
myrkul
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July 13, 2011, 10:11:53 PM
 #17

Libertarian ideals allow for the further progression of social morality through the natural selection of laws, in a preferably competitive political environment. It's inherently relativist.

I find this very difficult to comprehend. What drives the natural selection?

What drives biological natural selection?

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Anonymous
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July 13, 2011, 10:12:00 PM
 #18

Libertarian ideals allow for the further progression of social morality through the natural selection of laws, in a preferably competitive political environment. It's inherently relativist.

I find this very difficult to comprehend. What drives the natural selection?
Failure/reduction of entities that do not meet people's desires by the means of people denying them their support whether it be monetary or otherwise.
MatthewLM
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July 13, 2011, 10:33:54 PM
 #19

Isn't moral relativism just an effect derived from moral subjectivism?

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myrkul
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July 13, 2011, 10:36:37 PM
 #20

Libertarian ideals allow for the further progression of social morality through the natural selection of laws, in a preferably competitive political environment. It's inherently relativist.

I find this very difficult to comprehend. What drives the natural selection?
Failure/reduction of entities that do not meet people's desires by the means of people denying them their support whether it be monetary or otherwise.

In other words, entities which fail to compete, starve.

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