Examples Of Boring Relativism

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“No claim is ever true, period. What’s true is always true for someone. It’s true relative to a particular person or culture. And what is true for one person or culture may be false for another. There’s no such thing as the absolute truth on any question.” This quote from Stephen Law really encompasses the subject matter in the chapter “Into the Lair of the Relativist” in the book Philosophy Gym. He also talks about the matter of relativism and tries to answer the question, “Is there such a thing as an absolute truth?” In a quest to answer this question, the author explains interesting, boring, moral, and conceptual relativism, and how they differ. Stephen Law also goes into depth about relativists vs. those who oppose relativism, and how …show more content…

The example used by the author is a conversation between two characters, Olaf and Mrs. Barbery. In this conversation, Olaf states that female circumcision is wrong, but Mrs. Barbery makes the point that even though female circumcision may be wrong or “false” to him, that in a Sudanese culture it may be “true” according to their own moral standards. However, when the truths are compatible, this is called boring relativism. An example of boring relativism would be if someone says “I like apples,” this statement may be true for one person but not true for another, but both people can disagree and still accept one another. Along with interesting and boring relativism, Stephen Law goes in depth about moral and conceptual relativism as well. Moral truth is relative to certain cultures. The author uses an example of polygamy, and how the statement “polygamy is wrong” is true for western cultures, but it may be false for others. There is not a deciding factor or an independent being that can decide whether polygamy is right or wrong, and it would be arrogant to impose our own particular moral point of view about polygamy to these other cultures (Law 50). Another form of relativism is conceptive. Conceptual relativism is how different people perceive something, and how their truths may differ from one another, but can still be right based on their perspective. It is said …show more content…

When I read the chapter at first, I considered myself a relativist, because it seems that a relativist would be the most tolerant of other people and cultures. But after reading, I learned that relativists can be the most hypocritical, and while being acceptable of somethings, they can be highly intolerant of those whom they disagree (Law 56). I also found the conceptual relativism very interesting in this chapter. The fact that two different people can perceive something in two different ways, and both be right, is an interesting concept. I feel if more people realized this, they could learn from each other and less arguments would be caused.
In conclusion, there are many types of relativism, and after reading the chapter I have concluded that there is no absolute truth in any type of relativism. There are too many types of people, cultures, religions, beliefs, and perceptions to have an absolute truth for anything, and that is okay. There will never be an all mighty person who decides on what is the absolute truth, so if more people could be like non-relativists - open, accepting, and tolerant – the world could be a better

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