What Moral Relativism Really Looks Like

Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

Related Post Roulette

10 Responses

  1. North says:

    Made me ill the first time I saw it. Still makes me ill now. But at least the boy’s soul is pure even if his life and mind are in torment.Report

  2. Mopey Duns says:

    An extremely disturbing and cruel thing to do to a small child. Even if you don’t approve of homosexual behaviour, how could you do that to any four year old, let alone your own son? No wonder the poor boy tried to kill himself.

    I am forced to point out, however, in the interest of clear thinking, that it is nonsensical to accuse the people involved in the ex-gay movement of moral relativism. They are mistaken, and their conduct is wrong, but that does not make them moral relativists. Dr. George Rekers is a hypocrite of the deepest sort, but one of the few things you can’t accuse him of is the public espousal of moral relativism.Report

    • @Mopey Duns, I would say that a moral code that deems what Rekers did to that child less immoral than effeminate behavior (or homosexuality) or otherwise acceptable or at least less-indefensible than other acts of inhumanity is relativism of the worst sort.Report

      • Mopey Duns in reply to Mark Thompson says:

        @Mark Thompson, I happen to agree that it is worse. But what you are describing is not moral relativism. No one involved in this at any point is implying that moral judgements are arbitrary, culturally conditioned, or limited to the social setting in which they originate. You are critiquing one moral framework by making an appeal to a higher (or at least different) sense of justice.

        Now, if Dr. Rekers were to excuse his hypocrisy by appealing to it taking place in a different cultural context, that would be moral relativism, of a particularly irritating sort.Report

        • @Mopey Duns, No time to properly respond, but I would say that Rekers quite likely was justifying it as taking place in a different cultural context, ie, “The Bible says homosexuality is wrong!” Which is all well and good, but is the sort of thing that gets me started talking about the Euthyphro. Which reminds me….I need to write about the Euthyphro.Report

          • Mopey Duns in reply to Mark Thompson says:

            @Mark Thompson, Sorry, wires got crossed in our discussion somewhere. I meant his hypocrisy vis-a-vis enjoying the services of a rentboy while simultaneously decrying the evils of homosexuality. That has nothing to do with being a relativist. While you can argue from a relativist standpoint that biblical injunctions against homosexual behaviour do not apply to the modern LGBT movement, that is a critique using relativism, not a critique of relativism.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    What kind of mother would do that?

    What kind of screwed up thinking would you have to engage in to act that way? We’re past “what will people think?” land which *MIGHT* justify showing up at the office in the first place.

    Is it the white coats everybody wore? Is this another Milgram thing?Report

    • Mopey Duns in reply to Jaybird says:

      @Jaybird, What I keep coming back to is what convinced them that their four year old was homosexual, and that it was so deeply rooted that they had to lightly torture him till it stopped? I can only imagine how hellish it would be for a small child to know that your parents hated the way you naturally behaved, without the slightest conscious desire to disobey or feel their disapproval. How corrosive that would be on your soul. How you would be willing to do anything to make them love you again, to win their approval. Forget homosexuality (or, more likely at that age, simply being a little girly); this would be a terrible thing to do to a small child to solve any habitual behaviour. Parental love should not be contingent on behaviour. But maybe I’m projecting a bit too much.

      And yeah, Jaybird. Milgram comes to mind.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

      It’s amazing where logic will take you if your premises are sufficiently fucked up.

      What kind of mother would do that?
      One trying to save her child from eternal damnation.

      I meant his hypocrisy vis-a-vis enjoying the services of a rentboy while simultaneously decrying the evils of homosexuality.

      Its being evil was probably half the fun. This isn’t (in the mind of Rekers and his ilk) hypocrisy, but being too weak to resist temptation.Report

  4. Kyle R. Cupp says:

    People who claim to be saviors are not infrequently cruel.Report