Thursday, March 6, 2014

Moral Relativism is Morally Bankrupt [Clinton Wilcox]

On Monday, March 3, 2014, pro-life advocate Seth Drayer debated pro-choice professor Ralph Webb on the question of whether or not abortion is a human rights injustice. It is not my intention here to give a full-blown review of the debate. Drayer won the debate, hand's down. He made a solid case that the unborn are human beings who are unjustly discriminated against, so abortion is a human rights injustice. Webb's response was less than stellar. But I do want to touch on one barbaric thing that Dr. Webb said during the debate, which is a natural result of his morally relativistic worldview. As Blaise Pascal has observed, there is no idea so absurd it has not been said by some philosopher. If you missed it, you can watch the debate in question here.

While Drayer was cross-examining Webb on his relativism, he asked Webb if sex trafficking is ever morally permissible in some cultures. Webb's response? "Yes." ...Yes? Yes? Let's take a moment to examine what Webb is saying.

Sex trafficking is a barbaric act by criminals to kidnap young girls, usually in their teens, from their homes or from their families while on vacation. These young girls are then brutally beaten into submission, sexually assaulted and raped several times a day for the sick pleasures of animals who, under all other considerations, appear human. And Webb believes this is morally permissible behavior in societies that have legalized it.

This is absolutely absurd, and any position that leads to absurdities we are free to reject. Of course, one should believe that morality is objectively binding on all persons and at all times, but this makes it much more difficult to justify abortion to the masses. If you can make abortion a religions or moral issue, and argue (falsely) that positions that are moral in nature should not be forced upon those who disagree with your morality, then it becomes much easier to justify leaving abortion legal. But this would also mean that if our society decided to legalize murder, rape, and theft, that would make those acts moral.

Any worldview that says that rape, murder, and torturing children for fun are moral if you believe it is, or if society legalizes it, that worldview should be rejected. To bring this a little closer to home, it was once legal in the United States to treat women as property and to enslave, beat, and kill blacks. It was legal -- that doesn't mean it was right, and it doesn't mean that the civil rights pioneers like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were moral monsters for opposing the morality of the day.

People like Webb hold to barbaric views, and if Webb believes that sex trafficking is moral in some cultures, he is someone that I would not want around my own (hypothetical) children.

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