Today’s reading has alerted my ears to a bit of a buzz in the blogosphere around the idea of “absolute”. I didn’t use the word in my review of Giles book, but the idea lurks among the commentary on the nature of men and their society and certainly is resident within the idea of the nature of God, from the Christian perspective. That is why anchoring ones debate within understanding of God’s person and the foundations of existance lends an air of unassailibility to the reasoning. Almost creates a superstitious fear of questioning. For some.
First, I read Bonnie‘s The absolute nature of human nature @ Intellectuelle. While commenting on the nature of the absolute, “absolutism cannot be escaped. Is not a statement claiming that there is relativity in regards to morality an absolute statement in itself?” she further extrapolates it to one of our very human problems:”change must begin within the individual, but it cannot happen nor be sustained by simply wishing and wanting it to. Human nature by itself cannot produce it. And this is an absolute truth.”
Then I found my way over to Maggies Farm, where, after reading about a wonderful Hungarian breed of dog, ( I like the Kuvasz, myself) I came to a linked riveting article from the Claremont Institute, Having it Both Ways on “Values” begins relating assessments of Pope John Paul II and the idea that “John Paul’s most important legacy will be his “defense of moral absolutism” then moves on to discuss the social issues, and conflicting views of how we should act in relevance to them. But what really grabbed my attention was how William Voegeli digs into what informs our thinking on values, and how we now operate our discussion within a rather weak framework:
No one is really “value-neutral” with respect to his own values, or regards them as values, arbitrary preferences that one just happens to be saddled with. The late Allan Bloom pointed out that the social scientists who embraced the fact-value distinction after 1945 believed that “the war against the Right had been won domestically at the polls and in foreign affairs on the battlefield,” so one could safely assume that all decent and sensible people were liberal Democrats. And since all decent and sensible people wanted the same decent and sensible things, the job of social scientists was to discover the means for attaining these goals, not to waste time debating value-judgments about which goals to pursue.
There’s an old saying: the problem with socialism is socialism, and the problem with capitalism is capitalists. Meyerson, Linker and Scheiber remind us that the problem with relativism is relativismâ€”and the problem with relativism is relativists.
What can I say? We are tapping into this in a broad way in our society….. I think it all has to do with the eternal search for truth. Big T Truth.
and …oh… there was a gem of a quote: