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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 3071 times)
Anonymous
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July 13, 2011, 10:47:48 PM
 #21

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.
...or adapt.
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FIAT LIBERTAS RVAT CAELVM


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July 13, 2011, 10:54:51 PM
 #22

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.
...or adapt.

Well, by definition, if it adapts, it's successfully competed.

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July 14, 2011, 07:06:16 AM
 #23

I find it hilarious how people try and pigeonhole libertarianism into some sort of mental box they made for themselves and want to export to everyone else.

Obviously some people need to be educated on the core of Libertarianism which at its core is Liberty.

lib·er·ty

1. freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.
2. freedom from external or foreign rule; independence.
3. freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.

I laugh inside when when I see people make up their own rules on what a Libertarian is or isn't here.  They seem mentally programmed, and ocasionally reek of having an agenda.
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July 14, 2011, 07:50:48 AM
 #24

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.

That only makes sense if we could switch to paying for a different set of laws. Are you referring to privatized courts? Or our ability to move country?
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July 14, 2011, 07:58:40 AM
 #25

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.

That only makes sense if we could switch to paying for a different set of laws. Are you referring to privatized courts? Or our ability to move country?

Not a different set of laws, exactly, a different enforcement agency. (Though that only applies to Anarchy, Minarchy is another beast entirely.)

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July 14, 2011, 03:04:58 PM
 #26

I think they can be compatible, but it depends on how you go about establishing each position.

If you take moral relativism to be the thesis that moral judgments all have the same truth-value (i.e. all are true, all are false, or they don't even have truth-values) or all have the same ethical value (no value is "better" than another), and you combine it with the empirical thesis that people will, in general, subscribe to and act according to many different moral values, then you pretty much end up with the current moral landscape.

Subscribing to libertarianism, even given this morally relativistic landscape, might still make sense though. You could go at it on consequentalist grounds. Since people will tend to act according to their own values (which are determined by socialization, upbringing, and whatnot), and since no values are ethically "better" than any other, it isn't reasonable to then argue that certain libertarian values are ethically better. But perhaps, given that people will act according to their own arbitrary values, libertarian values might be the values most conducive to social harmony in general since they would provide people with a set of default values which they can use when they interact with people they don't know. Libertarian values might be the most appropriate "default" set of values since they are probably the bare minimum necessary to ensure life on earth. Life on earth requires a) life, and b) access to scarce resources; following libertarian values would definitely assure these things. People can still subscribe to other values within their own value communities (such as females not being able to show their faces to men-strangers), but perhaps not with people outside their value communities. The problem with our current society is that certain values are legislated directly, or incentivized through social institutions, which have been imposed by coercive authorities; this creates an atmosphere where it is appropriate to impose one's own values on others, since it is efficient to do so. Political authority provides the means to do this; without established political institutions, I doubt this would be as easy. Without political institutions designed to impose certain values, I suspect that people's value sets would eventually shrink, and eventually approximate a libertarian value-set since it would be more socially efficient and less trouble.

I've just realized that over the course of writing this my views might have changed or become self-contradictory; please tell me what you think.
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July 14, 2011, 10:10:44 PM
 #27

I have actually met Libertarians who were also moral relativists. Their basic argument is that because nobody can ever really know what is right or wrong for someone else, decisions should be as decentralized as possible. Their position is essentially that moral relativism is incompatible with big government. (If you can't know what's right for me, why are you trying to run my life?) I'm probably horribly mangling their positions, but you get the idea.

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July 16, 2011, 07:28:23 AM
 #28

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

So what you are saying is that you don't feel that morals have absolute truth behind them, yet it is OK to persecute and imprison those with morals different from the majority.

Libertarians are united in the belief that people should have the right to think and do whatever they want so long as it doesn't hurt other people.  They are not united in a judgment about the "correct viewpoint" outside of that.  I'm not even sure what you mean by "correct viewpoint".  I assume you talking about cultural paradigms, like moral relativism considers.

In a libertarian society, these currently illegal things would likely be legal:
Drugs, Weapons, Polygamy, Publishing anything at all, kill eat burn endangered species on your property

These currently illegal things might be legal, might not, debatable:
Child abuse, statutory rape, drunk driving, domestic violence, pollution on your property, nonpayment of child support/ignoring court orders without going to jail

That would remove about 80% of all prisoners/felons in the U.S. from govt. jurisdiction. As a political philosophy, I think it is clear that Libertarianism takes a relativistic view toward morality insofar as it tolerates many behaviors considered so amoral by the majority vote that they have been made crimes punishable by imprisonment.

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July 16, 2011, 11:04:08 AM
 #29

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

So what you are saying is that you don't feel that morals have absolute truth behind them, yet it is OK to persecute and imprison those with morals different from the majority.

Libertarians are united in the belief that people should have the right to think and do whatever they want so long as it doesn't hurt other people.  They are not united in a judgment about the "correct viewpoint" outside of that.  I'm not even sure what you mean by "correct viewpoint".  I assume you talking about cultural paradigms, like moral relativism considers.

In a libertarian society, these currently illegal things would likely be legal:
Drugs, Weapons, Polygamy, Publishing anything at all, kill eat burn endangered species on your property

These currently illegal things might be legal, might not, debatable:
Child abuse, statutory rape, drunk driving, domestic violence, pollution on your property, nonpayment of child support/ignoring court orders without going to jail

That would remove about 80% of all prisoners/felons in the U.S. from govt. jurisdiction. As a political philosophy, I think it is clear that Libertarianism takes a relativistic view toward morality insofar as it tolerates many behaviors considered so amoral by the majority vote that they have been made crimes punishable by imprisonment.

I don't believe that "it is OK to persecute and imprison those with morals different from the majority." , but I desire the world function like that.

Libertarians are united in the belief (...) doesn't hurt other people.

So then it is as I suspected, at least in your case

EDIT: So, upon further checking, it seems that moral relativism has many closely related meaning. Shoot! Well, I feel I have some answers now anyway
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July 19, 2011, 07:26:39 AM
 #30

It's interesting that both camps disagree as to their own definitions. If there is a right or wrong philosophy then it should be scientifically testable to show evidence to support them. I wonder why anyone needs a moral philosophy beyond the scientific method? Science can use neurological evidence for social behavior and statistical tools to make useful predictions. Making claims about what philosophy is better or worse than another is useless without scientific data to backup such claims.

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July 20, 2011, 03:42:04 AM
 #31

Making claims about what philosophy is better or worse than another is useless without scientific data to backup such claims.
You don't need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.

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July 20, 2011, 09:56:51 AM
 #32

Making claims about what philosophy is better or worse than another is useless without scientific data to backup such claims.
You don't need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.
You *do* need a weatherman or at least a compass (a scientific instrument) to know which way the wind is blowing if you don't even have any evidence as to which direction is North. Most people have a moral compass that only points to their own greedy desires and ignore the reality of where they may lead if they follow them. Willful ignorance is the cancer of society. Twenty-First Century philosophy sheds much needed light on morality and the direction of human social, scientific, and spiritual progress.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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