The Cost of Moral Relativism?

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1938
"We can never tell our readers the whole truth, otherwise our job as propagandists will be over."
“We can never tell our readers the whole truth, otherwise our job as propagandists will be over.”

…by Jonas E. Alexis

 

Last March, New York Times columnist David Brooks—who has a “strong connection” to Israel and whose “oldest son serves in the Israel Defense Forces,”[1] not in the United States army—published an interesting article entitled, “The Cost of Relativism,” in which he argued that America is declining morally because no one sets the standards.

The average family, Brooks said, has lost its grip on reality because it has lost its moral foundation. As a result, chaos looms and society can no longer tell what is right and wrong. So, everything becomes relative. An idea can be true for you, but not for me—and it’s all good. He wrote:

“We now have multiple generations of people caught in recurring feedback loops of economic stress and family breakdown, often leading to something approaching an anarchy of the intimate life.”[2]

Brooks concluded his article by saying:

“Every parent loves his or her children. Everybody struggles. But we need ideals and standards to guide the way.”[3]

First of all, I am in agreement with Brooks on this issue here. Moral relativism is a one-way ticket to intellectual suicide and virtually no serious thinking person pays much attention to it anymore precisely because it is self-destructive and contradictory.[4]

If you have watched A Beautiful Mind, you probably remember the line by Charles Herman which goes like this: “Nothing is ever for sure, John. That’s the only sure thing I know.” If you guess that the statement is internally contradictory, then you are right. But this formulation has been propounded in different ways by postmodernist apologists. For example, listen for example to postmodernist philosopher John D. Caputo:





“The truth is that there is no truth.”[5]

Caputo really shot himself in the toe here. If his statement is true, then it is false. And if it is false, then we can ignore Caputo’s intellectual project because it is vacuous and because, as Plato would have put it, it does not correspond to the ways things really are.[6] In other words, Caputo is positing a truth claim while denying truth exists!

Evolutionary biologist and philosopher Massimo Pigliucci of City University of New York himself knocks the postmodernist project down with one simple bullet:

“The modern general framework of moral relativism is provided by the philosophical current of postmodernism, which maintains that all theories, moral or otherwise, are culturally constructed and that none is better than any other.

“Of course, if one takes postmodernism at its own word, one should wonder why we have to consider seriously postmodernism itself, since it too must be socially constructed.

“Most people therefore reject relativism on the basis of its internal inconsistency and because they simply abhor some of its practical consequences.”[7]

One can say the same thing about the internal inconsistency of Darwinism, an ideology which is at the core of Pigliucci’s philosophical project.[8]


What stunned me was that throughout his article, David Brooks never told us who really was behind moral relativism.

He should have told his readers that postmodernism is an intellectual and subversive movement. And if Benjamin Disraeli is correct, that no revolutionary or subversive movement is possible without Jewish revolutionaries,[9] then Jewish intellectuals would be on the front line supporting postmodernism. Disraeli turned out to be correct.

Even the verification principle, which was popular in the early 1920s among a group of mathematicians, scientists and philosophers called the Vienna Circle, was a largely Jewish intellectual project. As philosopher of science James Ladyman of the University of Bristol points out,

“Many of the Vienna Circle were Jewish and/or socialists. The rise of fascism in Nazi Germany led to their dispersal to America and elsewhere, where the ideas and personalities of logical positivism had a great influence on the development of both science and philosophy.”[10]

Postmodernism was articulated in academe by a number of Jewish intellectuals in the 1960s. Jewish philosopher Jacques Derrida himself declared that when the Jewish Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70, ‘everything became discourse,’ which is to say Talmudic-like commentary on commentary.”

In other words, if the Goyim want to survive, they have to drop Logos in all its manifestations and embrace Talmudic metaphysics. Derrida said:

“The surrogate does not substitute itself for anything which has somehow existed it. From then on it was probably necessary to begin to think that there was no center, that the center could not be thought of in the form of a being-present, that the center had no natural locus, that it was not a fixed locus, but a function, a sort of non-locus in which an infinite number of sign-substitutions came into play.

“This moment was that in which language invaded the universal problematic; that in which, in the absence of center or origin, everything became discourse—proved we can agree on this word—that is to say, when everything became a system where the central signified, the original or transcendental signified, is never absolutely present outside a system of differences. The absence of the transcendental signified extends the domain and the interplay of the signification ad infinitum.”[11]

As E. Michael Jones points out, it was people like Derrida and Stanley Fish who began to implement essentially Talmudic discourse and mores on college campuses in America.[12] They took the Whig definition of freedom and bludgeoned young and eager students to death with it. Overtime, Talmudic principles became the rule:

“The traditional view claimed speech was subordinated to the moral law, the good in question. The Whig Enlightenment claimed, in the case of speech, that the moral law was subject to individual freedom. This rallying cry allowed Jewish revolutionaries to take over the university. Once in power, they changed the rules.”[13]

Once moral relativism was fully established on college campuses, Marxist Goyim like Richard Rorty began to formulate it in a slightly different tone.

Citing Walt Whitman approvingly, Rorty declared that “there was no need to be curious about God because there is no standard, not even a divine one, against which the decisions of a free speech can be measured.”[14]

This statement was not even true even in Rorty’s own professional life. Here is Rorty at his best:

“It seems to me that the regulative idea that we heirs of the Enlightenment, we Socratists, most frequently use to criticize the conduct of various conversational partners is that of ‘needing education in order to outgrow their primitive fear, hatreds, and superstitions.’

“This is the concept the victorious Allied armies used when they set about re-educating the citizens of occupied Germany and Japan. It is also the one which was used by American schoolteachers who had read Dewey and were concerned to get students to think ‘scientifically’ and ‘rationally’ about such matters as the origin of species and sexual behavior (that is, to get them to read Darwin and Freud without disgust and incredulity).

“It is a concept which I, like most Americans who teach humanities or social science in colleges and universities, invoke when we try to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic, religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own.

“The fundamentalist parents of our fundamentalist students think that the entire ‘American liberal establishment’ is engaged in a conspiracy. The parents have a point.

“Their point is that we liberal teachers no more feel in a symmetrical communication situation when we talk with bigots than do kindergarten teachers talking with their students…

“When we American college teachers encounter religious fundamentalists, we do not consider the possibility of reformulating our own practices of justification so as to give more weight to the authority of the Christian scriptures.

“Instead, we do our best to convince these students of the benefits of secularization. We assign first-person accounts of growing up homosexual to our homophobic students for the same reasons that German schoolteachers in the postwar period assigned The Diary of Anne Frank.

“You have to be educated in order to be…a participant in our conversation…So we are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable. We are not so inclusivist as to tolerate intolerance such as yours.

“I don’t see anything herrschaftsfrei [domination free] about my handling of my fundamentalist students. Rather, I think those students are lucky to find themselves under the benevolent Herrschaft [domination] of people like me, and to have escaped the grip of their frightening, vicious, dangerous parents…I am just as provincial and contextualist as the Nazi teachers who made their students read Der Stürmer; the only difference is that I serve a better cause.”[15]

Wait a minute. Didn’t Rorty say that “there is no standard…against which the decisions of a free speech can be measured”? Why did he have to indoctrinate his students into his own “provincialities” (his own word)?[16]


What we are seeing again and gain is that you cannot embrace moral relativism without committing intellectual suicide. Stanley Fish was confronted with almost the same thing right after the event of 9/11. A reporter asked him quite frankly if the event pronounced a deathblow on moral relativism and postmodernism. Fish responded:

“Postmodernism maintains only that there can be no independent standard for determining which of many rival interpretations of an event is the true one. The only thing postmodern thought argues against is the hope of justifying our response to the attacks in universal terms that would be persuasive to everyone, including our enemies.

“Invoking the abstract notions of justice and truth to support our cause wouldn’t be effective anyway because our adversaries lay claim to the same language.”[17]

One needn’t be an intellectual or philosopher to realize that this formulation is ridiculous and quite silly. If Fish really believes this, then why did he play a major role in attacking our good friend Denis Rancourt, former professor of physics and climatologist at the University of Ottawa?

Why did Fish seek to suppress Rancourt’s views? Why was Rancourt fired after teaching at the university for more than twenty-five years and after publishing at least one hundred articles in peer reviewed scientific journals? Why has he been mercilessly persecuted?

Furthermore, why doesn’t Fish fight against the Holocaust establishment, which continues to place people who question key aspects of the “Holocaust” narrative in jail for not believing in the universality of the so-called Nazi Holocaust?

If “there can be no independent standard for determining which of many rival interpretations of an event is the true one,” why is Fish so obsessed with anti-Semitism in his recent book? Why does he feel an urge to formulate a refutation of John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt’s The Israel Lobby? [18] Could it be that Fish strongly believes that Mearsheimer and Walt are wrong? And if they are, doesn’t that refute Fish’s own prevailing doctrine?

There is no doubt that Fish has the intellectual sophistication to understand this, for people like E. Michael Jones have pointed out these issues to him. But he is not going to listen precisely because he is operating under a system that is metaphysically contradictory. Jones was absolutely right when he said:

“The modern intellectual is, for the most part, a lecher and a fool. His stories are propounded for everyone but himself. So Rousseau, the writer of Emile, the first modern book on child rearing, sent all five of his illegitimate children to the orphanage shortly after they were born, which, given the condition of orphanages in the 18th century, meant to their deaths.

“Marx, the champion of the proletariat, knew only one proletarian in his life, his maid, Lenchen, to whom he paid not one single penny in wages. In addition to this economic exploitation, there was also sexual exploitation. Marx fathered an illegitimate child by her and refused to acknowledge it.”[19]

G. K. Chesterton came to similar conclusions decades ago. He wrote quite forcefully:

“The new rebel is a Skeptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty…and the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything.

“For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it…As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is a waste of time…

“In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men.

“Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything, he has lost his right to rebel against anything.”[20]

If you think that Chesterton was just propounding philosophical propositions with no real application in the intellectual world, just crack-open a few books by Richard Dawkins and you will quickly realize that they should never let people like Dawkins get out of the lab.

Dawkins postulates in the God Delusion that the God of the Old Testament is “petty, jealous,” “pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”[21]

But Dawkins knocks himself out in another book by saying that

“The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference…”[22]

There is no evil and no good, but the God of the Old Testament is evil!

What we are seeing here is that Dawkins, since he denies good and evil, has become the anti-thesis of his own existence. He must thank his lucky stars that he never met people like Aristotle or Kant or Mortimer J. Adler, for they would have blown his head off.

Perhaps this is one reason why Dawkins and his co-thinkers do not want to debate people who understand his claims.[23]


[1] Rob Eshman, “David Brooks’ Son Is In the Israeli Army: Does It Matter?,” Jewish Journal, September 22, 2014.

[2] David Brooks, “The Cost of Relativism,” NY Times, March 10, 2015.

[3] Ibid.

[4] For a discussion on the intellectual bankruptcy of postmodernism, see for example Paul Boghossian, Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Deconstructtivism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006); Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont, Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998).

[5] John D. Caputo, Radical Hermeneutics: Repetition, Deconstruction, and the Hermeneutic Project (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987), 156.

[6] Plato, The Republic (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 116.

[7] Massimo Pigliucci, Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism, and the Nature of Science (Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates Inc., 2002), 70.

[8] I will discuss this issue in a future article tentatively titled, “Vladimir Putin and the Metaphysics of the New World Order.”

[9] Benjamin Disraeli, Coningsby (Boston: Adamant Media Corporation, 205), 299.

[10] James Ladyman, Understanding Philosophy of Science (New York: Routledge, 2002), 148-149.

[11] Quoted in E. Michael Jones, The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History (South Bend: Fidelity Press, 2012), 648.

[12] Ibid., 1000-1001.

[13] Ibid., 1001.

[14] Richard Rorty, Achieving Our Country (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998), 16.

[15] Richard Rorty, “Universality and Truth,” Robert B. Brandon, ed., Rorty and His Critics

(Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2001), 21-22.

[16] Ibid., 23.

[17] Stanley Fish, “Condemnation Without Absolutes,” NY Times, October 15, 2001.

[18] Stanley Fish, Think Again: Contrarian Reflections on Life, Culture, Politics, Religion, Law, and Education (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015), 13-16.

[19] E. Michael Jones, Degenerate Moderns: Modernity as Rationalized Sexual Misbehavior (South Bend: Fidelity Press, 2012), 14.

[20] G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1996), 52-53.

[21] Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (New York: Mariner Books, 2006), 51.

[22] Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (New York: Basic Books, 1995), 133.

[23] Tim Ross, “Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God,” Telegraph, May 14, 2011.

Author Details
Read Jonas Alexis’s latest posts here >>>

Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, history of Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the new book Zionism vs. the West: How Talmudic Ideology is Undermining Western Culture. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.
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