- Capitalism and Alternatives -

The Poverty of Moral Postivism

Posted by: Joel Jacobson ( none, USA ) on March 29, 1999 at 16:14:33:

On my earlier rant on Hegel's moral positivism I must make a comment. I do not attribute moral failings to Hegel as a person; I refuse to do this to anyone. However, his whole absolute/relative dialectic leads to the aforementioned moral positivism.

What is moral positivism? Essentially, it says taht whatever is the social standard at the time is what determines right (relative right as Hegel would have said). But in reality, all social standards are products of human action and, thus, moral positivism aserts taht whoever can control is, in the end, the moral result of a particular "age". Deathy, himself, has admitted that Hitler and Stalin were such necessities of development and, therefore, must be viewed by the prism of history. I disagree.

Regardless, of contrary claims, this view gives us no courses of action upon which we can make decisions. Anything we do is moral and rational as it is a product of "our times" and "our society" as relating to the Absolute ideal or material necessity according to the development of the human race. We have acknowledged, not that we possess no objective standard of truth, but that there is no standard of truth at all except what exists, and that anything we do is the standard of truth itself.

In reality, moral positivism simply is a tool people use to foist their personal value systems upon others. Hitler and Stalin, I contend, were vile individuals and represented the worst and avoidable manifestation of humanity in recent history; and, yes, that is an opinion, mine, precisely. Anyone certain that their personal value systems possess priority over other views is, in my opinion, following the spirit of Hitler no matter how benign-sounding their aims. As has been said, truly "the road to hell is paved with good intentions".

Humanity's ONLY hope and basis for morality is the will of good opinions, as all values are based upon opinion.

Follow Ups:

  • Rich man... Red Death Socialist party UK March 31 1999 (0)

The Debating Room Post a Followup