L&FP, 48k: Dallas Willard on the key self-referentiality in the Relativist thesis that there are no generally knowable, objective moral truths  

There is a lot of material here, but the manner of dealing with complex social issues at this site of the Christian right as usual evokes a strange inadequacy of these often cogent critics of Darwinism. I have not read this book and will try to do so but the material as is can lead to some commentary. Modern academics who are ‘philosophers’ preen their feathers a lot but are they even philosophers at all in the wake of figures like Kant whose contribution of ethics was a world-historical breakthrough? And yet Kant is actually ignored by this continuation comprising, Nietzsche, pragmatism, analytic philosophy and existentialism and/or postmodernism. I call that decline. And the people complaining are themselves in part responsible for ethical lacunae in modern culture. Kant produced a classic breakthrough by demonstrating a way to deriving ethical action sui generis without theological trappings. These conservatives dislike Kant because the questions of ‘god’ (and soul) become ‘metaphysical’.
But the seeming decline of ethical thinking seems real enough: the era of scientism and reductionist physicalism, soon confusing the Marx legacy, the completely confusing trickster Nietzsche, the onset of Darwinism and its crypto social darwinism and this in the context of Darwin’s racism, and genocidal selectionism, …It is small wonder the disappearance of morality seems the case. But a closer look also shows the way that ‘moral knowledge’, like learning a language in the very young, has a more elusive built in component, highly limited and emerging if at all in childhood, adolescence, then more strongly in young adults. There is an evolutionary mystery here and while this ethical core is obscure it serves to carry the individual fingers-crossed through a cultural confusion zone with many aspects, not least the tremendously dangerous ‘moral reversal’ of capitalist ideology from Adam Smith to Ayn Rand. The critics at this rightist site would never mention Kant, would never critique capitalism, and would continue the futile and archaic fictions of the Old and New Testaments. The liberation of the modern world from Mosaic mythology deserves its hopefully temporary vacuum effect. And the growing depravity of political culture in the flood tide of mediocre politicians converted to Machiavelli and adepts at the murder incorporated of the covert agencies and their trained spy game vices. How can anyone rise to ethical behavior if the psychopaths who have turned government in a criminal syndicate yet play the pious christian as public relations. The general public here is remarkable for having survived all of this, more or less.
Modern science cannot produce a theory of the will, although Kant managed the trick easily in his various antinomial discourses.

There is another angle here, of sufistic or buddhistic crypto-psychopathy dressed up as esoteric wisdom and/or gnostic christianity. Figures like Gurdjieff and Alesiter Crowley have corrupted the whole effort of New Age groups to produce a modern/ancient ethical spirituality. The path to being a demon with a sufi or Nietzschean angle seems to perverted a slew of ex-yogis who deem themselves beyond good and evil.

Human life has an inescapable moral dimension. That is, it essentially involves choices with reference to what is good and evil, right and wrong, duty and failure to do what ought to be done. Any human community, whatever its scope, will exhibit patterns of such choices, more or less recognized as such by its fully formed members. Those patterns usually guide first responses to any question concerning what is to be done, and they provide a framework for further reflection on the appropriateness of actions, character traits, and social arrangements.He soon adds:Throughout history it has been knowledge—real or presumed—that was invoked to provide a place to stand in opposing, correcting, and refining moral and immoral traditions and practices. That stands out in Plato and in later Greek thinkers, as well as in the biblical experience, life, and literature—Jewish, and then the Christian. Biblical teaching (contrary to much contemporary misunderstanding) places a relentless emphasis upon knowledge of God and of what is good, as the basis for criticism and correction of human practices. For Plato and Aristotle, as well as for the Stoics and Epicurean teachers, it was putative knowledge of “the good” and of the human soul that served as foundation for their understanding of good and evil in human life and institutions, and of what should and should not be done . . . .

Source: L&FP, 48k: Dallas Willard on the key self-referentiality in the Relativist thesis that there are no generally knowable, objective moral truths – Uncommon Descent

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