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Absolute Truths

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  • Charles Vermont
    ... I think this gets to the real core of the problem. How on earth can we debate moral issues if we have no objective standard against which to judge our acts
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 2, 1999
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      Tom wrote:

      >If you can't agree on the same goals or absolute principals then surely there's no possible constructive debate except for on the validity of those goals or absolute principles?<

      I think this gets to the real core of the problem. How on earth can we debate moral issues if we have no objective standard against which to judge our acts an omissions?

      Tom also wrote:

      >Correct me if I'm over-simplifying things here. In fact no, you can't "correct" me because that would require the application of a set of absolute principles and would be denying my freedom of choice to a different set of them! lol<

      Absolutely! To deny you the right to hold your own view would be an infringement of your freedom of choice.

      However, I see a way out of this. If we can all agree that we each have complete freedom of choice then it follows that we are all responsible for the choices we make - no one else can force us to do something otherwise we would not be truly free. What's more, we also define who we are by the choices we make. (So far this logic follows Sartre's argument in 'Existentialism is a Humanism').

      If we all accept this then wouldn't it follow that when we choose to have a relationship with another human being we have to accept responsibility for our choice, and part of this is accepting that s/he has freedom of choice? This contrasts with choosing to have a relationship with a mirror or a car or a banana - none of these have freedom of choice in my experience.

      If we are prepared to go this far then existentialist morality comes out of accepting responsibility for our choices in relation to ourselves (i.e. Bad Faith) and other people.

      Does any of this make sense to the list? I would welcome comments

      Charles Vermont
      London, England
    • T Brooks
      Charles, Thank you very much for the last post: it helped clear up my earlier misunderstandings of what was going in Existentialism is a Humanism. You are
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 2, 1999
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        Charles,

        Thank you very much for the last post: it helped clear up my earlier
        misunderstandings of what was going in "Existentialism is a Humanism." You
        are quite right and well taken.

        Thom
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