Friday, April 13, 2012

Granting Others the Moral High Ground

Politicians and would-be debaters often attempt to claim the moral high ground when attempting to disarm their detractors.  They talk about fairness as if it is an absolute.

However, it is worth noting that what is "Fair" is determined by reference which moral system is used as the standard. In the process of evaluation, one's idea of good and evil in the realm of human behavior determine what one thinks is fair or unfair in politics.

Far too few people are willing to question the moral premises on which they operate.  If we believe this, how much should we trust their politics?

In reason, you should never cede the moral high ground to someone whose morals you don't understand or agree with.  This is something that can happen before you're aware of it so it's something to look out for and the only solution I have for you at this point is to question premises.  Keep asking why.

When someone claims something is not fair... "by whose standards?"  "why are those standards valid?"

A moral judgment is not an intellectual argument that something is right, valid, and should be done.