Relativism and the Double Standard

double standard

I had an epiphany yesterday. Almost every time someone announces that there are no rules, they are getting ready to tell the world how to behave. Usually they are about to tell me why it is WRONG for anyone to criticize them for their choices because of course the rules are relative.

If you pay close attention, the person who says that there are no rules (or morals) almost always means there are no rules for them.  It is the parlor trick played by tolerance magicians everywhere.  They don’t like the morality that says their behavior is wrong. But they do have a long list of things that others must not do. They don’t call them rules or morals. They usually get tagged as justice, decency, or love. But a rule by any other name is still a rule.

And every human society has rules for conduct. Call them mores, norms, or whatever. Human beings all have behavior codes and we enforce them in social ways. Making judgments about the behavior of other people is one of the things that we do constantly.  So, when a person insists it is wrong to ever make judgments about other people, they are making the broadest condemnation possible.

Ironically they are making a case that it is wrong to make moral judgments, while making moral judgments.

This brand of hypocrisy is endemic to western society: A generation of people telling others how to live while insisting it is immoral for others to tell them how to live.

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