Title: Morality Matters
Author: Roger Trigg
Publisher: Blackwell Publishers
Cogent and insightful critiques of relativistic morality
Makes a strong case for the importance of reason and rationality in moral debates
Unnecessarily extreme depiction of relativism
Unnecessary and inexplicable generalizations about liberalism
Analysis of the nature of morality
Critique of relativistic positions on moral issues
Argues that morality is important and fundamental to all aspects of life
As a matter of fact, the basic premises of relativism require, in some ways, a rejection of the conclusions of relativism. After all, moral relativism depends upon certain values which, if completely relative, dont allow for any definitive conclusions:
- No one can consistently use moral language, except in the most cynical way, without recognizing that it intrinsically makes judgments, calls on reasons which are applicable to everyone, and rules out some possibilities.
It is the nature of moral judgments and the role they play in our everyday lives that lies at the center of Roger Tiggs book Morality Matters. This title is a play on words: the book is about matters related to morality and an attempt to argue that morality really does matter after all, regardless of what some may argue. Ultimately, Tigg argues that while morality may involve a lot of very difficult issues, the solution is not to flee from them into relativism but to insist upon rational standards when making moral decisions.
- The issue is whether moral judgments can be made rationally, and should be influenced by anything outside our own arbitrary will. Can they be open to discussion and argument? Otherwise moral beliefs become mere facts about individuals or groups. Some have some preferences, or desires, while others have different ones. ...Morality matters, not just because it should govern our personal behavior and the way we treat others. It should provide the context in which all affairs are conducted, and nations governed.
Quite a lot of what Tigg has to say on morality involves government and political decisions. Law is, he argues, necessarily bound to morality. We shouldnt want it any other way, in fact. Laws created out of moral interests are far better than the alternatives, for example laws created purely for commercial interests. The language of law and politics is the language of morality because people are making claims on to what extent they should be permitted to find their own way in life and to what extent others should be hindered from interfering.