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Video of Matthew Flannagan Speaking on Moral Relativism

August 27th, 2009 by Madeleine

Matt spoke at Thinking Matters Auckland on 28 May 2009 on Moral Relativism.

A popular view of ethics holds that actions are right or wrong only if a person or a community believes that they are right or wrong, and that it is inappropriate to apply your own standards to others. This position is known as moral relativism. In this talk Matt looks at the common arguments for relativism, argues that relativism is a mistaken view of ethics and shows how relativism fails.

RELATED POSTS:
Video of Matthew Flannagan on Apologetics: Answering Objections to the Christian Faith
Cultural Confusion and Ethical Relativism I
Cultural Confusion and Ethical Relativism II
Cultural Confusion and Ethical Relativism III
With God Anything can be Permitted: Another Bad Argument against Theistic Morality
On a Common Equivocation
Sunday Study: The Virtue of Judging – Jesus was not a Relativist

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5 responses so far ↓

  • Is this available as a mp3?

  • I have asked our tech guy. I only recall him videoing the talk though he is a professional so who knows – maybe.

    Matt and I blog with rather crusty equipment, a slow connection and I am not even sure if Blogger allows one to upload MP3's anyway so I am not sure I could put it here.

  • Yes we can make it into an MP3 (tech guy just emailed me). But we are going to have to think about cost and logistics so we'll discuss it at the next Thinking Matters Auckland meeting.

  • […] Matt Flannagan at MandM.org.nz has an excellent video about moral relativism which is the opposite o…. […]

  • I’m not sure how the changing attitudes towards assisted suicide fit in with your criticism of relativism.

    Social attitudes have changed. An act that was viewed as immoral and unethical 20-30 years ago is no longer viewed in such stark terms.

    Further, the example that you cited of two cultures (a) and (b) and pre-marital sex – I’ve actually come across this living in an immigrant community, so it does actually happen.

    Muslim fathers applying strict Islamic standards to their daughters who are going to mixed schools with girls who do not have such restrictions.

    “What they do is what they do and what we do is what we do !”

    sort of thing (I’ve actually heard an Islamic father shouting that).

    It’s an interesting area because it leads into difficult questions regarding honour killings, forced marriage and whether or not Western values can be imposed on non-Western cultures while recognising that the child born in the UK has UK rights while living here but Pakistani rights when living there.

    I’m not suggesting that there is an easy answer but I’m happy to stick with moral relativism for the time being.