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Classically relativism:

A theory, especially in ethics or aesthetics, that conceptions of truth and moral values are not absolute but are relative to the persons or groups holding them.
Today I interpret that in the culture of "but, but they are worse."

I have had explained to me when talking about equal rights and the rape culture that I should count my blessings that I don't live in Afghanistan, as if this somehow negates sexism in our own society. This method is often used to try and justify the rampant Islamophobia of the speaker.

I have it explained to me that even thinking of gay marriage would result in my stoning to death in foreign parts and I should thank my lucky stars that the person informing me of this, isn't picking up rocks.

When discussing politics and should one dare to point out the internal failings of one's own "side" this is brushed off by a statement concerning the mental health of the opposition.

You can always brush off or hide an "ism" by finding an example of something worse without even the need to delve further.

It's like watching white folk explain the joys of slavery, and how our slavery when compared to other cultures was really not as bad as some slave owning cultures.

Contorted relativism is all smoke and mirrors, rather than looking at the the reality and underlying truth of an argument a worse case can be found to justify the underlying failings.

So you think you are poor? Have you seen over there? Their poor starve to death. Now that's what I call poverty, so be happy.

So all I ask when listening to others justify their stance on any issue; when they immediately resort to "but have you seen how x behaves" is to immediately mark one point into the loss column.

After all, being at the back of the bus is better than walking.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar. Just a thought or two (12+ / 0-)

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 02:34:22 AM PST

  •  It's infuriating. (6+ / 0-)

    I don't even know how you can discuss it rationally.

  •  Well, all I have to offer is that truth is what is (5+ / 0-)

    left over after all the false has been discovered and proved. Which suggests that we need the false or the lie to get to the truth.
    Morality is a little harder to define because it seems to be intimately connected to an organism's powers of sensory perception. If we didn't see the ant hill we stepped into and from which the red ants swarmed to bite the offending foot, then merely brushing off the ants and going on our way may count as inadvertent good behavior. Would taking revenge on the ant hill by dousing it with poison be morally worse or better?

    Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

    by hannah on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 03:02:58 AM PST

  •  Wish I could recommend this post (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, Kristina40, quill

    More than once. It makes me ill every time somebody compares Democrats to Republicans as in, "think how bad, (insert issue or vote here), would be if the Republicans were in charge". That's just absurd. I don't vote for Democrats to behave marginally less disasterously than Republicans, I vote for them in the hope that they'll behave like Democrats. I left Firedoglake in part because they were becoming reflexively anti Democrat but this site isn't really much better with so many people reflexively pro Democrat. Anti or pro is a distinction without a difference when doing it out of reflex.l

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 04:03:28 AM PST

  •  I point out to the Islamophobes that (0+ / 0-)

    Islam has lacked a Reformation.  Schisms in Islam appeared early, within the first century after Mohammed's death, as compared to Luther's stand against a church that was long established.

    If Christianity represents the norm against which the evolution of all religions must be measured (which would appear to be the relativist stance), then there has been no Reformation.  Taking this viewpoint in comparing religions, then Islam is also the junior of the Abrahamic faiths.  This means it is still in flux (as is Christianity).  The fun begins with the relativists when it is asserted if siblings must be compared, then it is only fair to compare Christianity to Judaism since Judaism is the senior faith and (using the metaphor of siblings) and is therefore the more mature one.  Therefore the question is not why is Islam more "savage" than Christianity but rather, why Christianity is not as mature as Judaism
    (note: this is an oversimplification but the whole argument regarding relativism relies upon oversimplification, such as Santorum's infamous, "if gays are allowed to marry each other, then it should be legal to marry your dog or cat or the kitchen table)

  •  White folk? (0+ / 0-)

    "When white folk explain the joys of slavery?" I am usually classified as white (that's the box I am told to check most often) but I don't remember explaining the joys of slavery to anyone, because I don't think there were any except for the thrice-damned slave owners. Let's keep our criticisms and snarky comments confined to specific groups like "fiscal conservatives", "white supremacists", "right wing conservatives", "Tea Partiers" etc. Whenever we start identifying a particular color of skin as the container for a certain failing, we perpetuate that which we have been working against for so long.

    •  I've heard (0+ / 0-)

      Democrats around here that hold similar views. They are the old Dixiecrats or Reagan Dems so not a Republican view per se. I've also never heard anyone but a white person that thinks somehow slavery actually helped black people that came here because look at Africa and how awful it is and how good the black people here have it in comparison. I've never heard a black person espouse those views. I guess there are probably some somewhere but I've not met them. Perhaps, "some white folks" would be better but I'm white and certainly didn't take offense.

      ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

      by Kristina40 on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 05:01:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Frankly, I've never even heard white Southern (0+ / 0-)

        racists argue that slavery helped African Americans.
           I've read arguments like that but nobody takes them seriously.

        •  Check the last (0+ / 0-)

          CPAC conference.  There's a video on the Internet where a guy talks about pride in his culture, etc., and then goes on to mention that slaves were provided food and shelter.  If it's not quite the argument mentioned above, it's the closest I've seen with a video still floating around about it.

          "I don't want a unicorn. I want a fucking pegasus. And I want it to carry a flaming sword." -mahakali overdrive

          by Silvia Nightshade on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 09:07:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Because (0+ / 0-)

      white folk are so oppressed we need to make sure we don't hurt their feelings?  Is that what this is about?

      "I don't want a unicorn. I want a fucking pegasus. And I want it to carry a flaming sword." -mahakali overdrive

      by Silvia Nightshade on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 09:08:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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