The San Francisco Philosophy Group Message Board › "absolute" vs "universal"

"absolute" vs "universal"

ken t.
kentyler
Berkeley, CA
Post #: 8
the use of the term "absolute" when speaking of moral law (as a pair with "relative") is interesting

it would see that morality... as opposed to local custom... is more a matter of the "universal"
a "universal" is something everyone must deal with, will he, nil he
consider "global warming"... you can "believe it" or "not believe it", you can "respond" or "refuse to respond" but you cannot "avoid it"
when something becomes "universal" it is a historical event. sometime in the late 50's racial prejudice in the US became a "universal truth". there was prejudice before.. but many parts of society did not have to take a stand... deal with it as a real part of their world
this is probably one of the aspects of ghandi's "civil disobedience"... what civil disobedience does is to take elements that are already present and turn them into "universal" truths or situations..that can no longer be escaped

so the universality of a truth does not mean that everyone must believe it... it means 1) that it bears on everyone... or that everyone is faced with it... and everyone must respond to it one way or the other 2) that everyone must negotiate with it and act differently in response to it... even though some people may act "as if it were not true" so you do not necessary agree with a universal truth... but you cannot escape it

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