Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Horror, the Horror...

"Sometimes I present morality as a negotiated social construct - a kind of moral democracy. This makes people go bonkers. They reflexively attack, with dire prognostications about what will happen if people didn't believe in Right/Wrong. "Are you saying infanticide isn't Wrong," they say, immediately jumping to some extreme worst case scenario.

Of course, anti-freedom people engage in the same kind of hysteria over democracy. What kind of world will it be if people are permitted to hold their own views and opinions? It will be sheer chaos! Well, it turns out, that a recognized environment of negotiation mitigates extremism, whereas an environment of absolutism/moral realism promotes extremism - but you can't convince the fear-mongers of that. They are too locked down by fear themselves - and desire for control. We say of such people that they are not ready for democracy.

This terror of moral relativism is baggage left over from religious "thinking."

I put it to you that an environment of negotiation with respect to morality will mitigate extremism as well, and those of you incapable of getting past your fear when thinking about morality are simply not ready for morality.

Now, some say, "What's to stop a society from "negotiating" something horrible, something truly deplorable and horrendous?! Look at Nazi Germany, after all!" Well, it could happen, but it also *does* happen under absolutism-think. The only difference is that in a realm of negotiation, there is the mitigation factor at work, whereas in an absolutist mindset there is no mitigating factor at all - people think they are somehow "Right" to be extremist, inflexible, uncompromising. There's no way out from that mental/emotional cage."

I wrote this four years ago, but it seems especially relevant today in "light" of the rising social authoritarianism of the regressive left (who have never learned why freedom is important and are hence willing to throw freedom under the bus in their righteous zeal), and the rising extreme polarization of the radical, fanatical right in America (who always thought, based on religion, that freedom was a challenge to their righteous authority).

The more things change...