Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Values That Are Shared, But Not Universal

I asked before, do you believe there are any universal values? I hope that I've shown that there are some; innate values. All humans value survival and reproduction; it's what makes us alive, in the same way that other animals are alive. But apart from that, there isn't any set of universal values. Most people have (at least) four value systems that are developed to some degree, but the content of those systems varies widely. Especially aesthetics. Doctrine and ethics are much more culturally distributed, and that's usually why there are nation-states; groups of people who share cultural values living together and hopefully having the desire to protect their values.

But there is a doctrine that has been metastisizing in the west, and it is called moral relativism. It is a firm belief that no doctrinal or ethical value is an objective value; no value is greater or worse than any other. Well, I shouldn't say that too quickly, it is a cannibalistic doctrine, only capable of seeing faults in the doctrine that gave it birth - Liberty.

In fact, indulge me while I skate on thin ice, but I'd venture to guess that the self-loathing that the west currently languishes in is no less an enemy than any silly terrorist running around with crude weaponry.

Consider how a culture like Canada's with it's majority Christian population cannot bring itself to allow Christmas celebrations at many of its schools anymore, because it's afraid of offending someone, but at the same time raises almost no protest over a plan to bring oppressive Sharia law to Ontario! Or, don't blame the criminal, he's a product of society! It's our fault! Or, oh those poor inmates in Guantanamo, they are being detained without charge! We're such terrible people! Never mind that their compatriots like to lop off the heads of the people trying to help build Iraq! Or, oh Britain got bombed because they're allies with the terrible Americans, it serves them right - the 'resistance fighters' are just lashing out at 'western imperialism'!

And that brings us back to the silly terrorists with antique guns... The 'isolated incidents' that are actual terrorist attacks are not worth being afraid of - their means aren't terribly sophisticated, and the attacks should be easily subdued - it's our own self-loathing that I'm worried about.

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