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Inconsistency of Moral Progress

If morality, if our ideas of right and wrong, are purely subjective, we should have to abandon any idea of moral progress (or regress), not only in the history of nations, but in the lifetime of each individual. The very concept of moral progress implies an external moral standard by which not only to measure that a present moral state is different from an earlier one but also to pronounce that it is "better" than the earlier one. Without such a standard, how could one say that the moral state of a culture in which cannibalism is regarded as an abhorrent crime is any "better" than a society in which it is an acceptable culinary practice?

Naturalism denies this. For instance, Yuval Harari asserts: "Hammurabi and the American Founding Fathers alike imagined a reality governed by universal and immutable principles of justice, such as equality or hierarchy. Yet the only place where such universal principles exist is in the fertile imagination of Sapiens, and in the myths they invent and tell one another. These principles have no objective validity. 

Yet relativists tend to argue that since, according to them, there are no moral absolutes, no objective rights and wrongs, no one ought to try to impose his moral views on other people. But in arguing like that, they refute their own theory. The word ought implies a moral duty. They are saying, in effect, that because there are no universal, objective principles, there is a universal moral principle binding on all objectivists, and everyone else, namely that no one ought to impose his moral views on other people. In so saying, relativism refutes its own basic principle.

JOHN LENNOX 
(Source: 2084)

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