Or is it Moral Equivalence?

I think there’s probably a distinction I should have made in thinking about Clint’s Eastwood’s comments below about “sacrifice” as “moral relativism”.


Moral relativism implies that there are no ways of judging one culture superior or inferior to another. If for instance beheading of human sacrfiices is acceptable in one culture it is not for another culture to judge it.

Moral equivalence is something different. When Clint praises “sacrifices” that were made “rightly or wrongly” he’s doing more than impying that it’s impossible to make moral distinctions in the conduct of a war, which would be a form of moral relativism.

instead though he’s sayng that we must admire soldiers on both sides of a conflict regardless of what they’re fighting for: moral equivlance. not just that all cultures are equal but that all cutlures are good or both cultures have good in them if they are dfended by “sacrifice”

It was the logic that led Ronald Reagan to lay a wreath at a cememtery in which SS soldiers were buried. They sacrificed for what they beleived in, and who’s to judge: racist extermibationist doctrines were favored by their entire l; it was the default position were just doing it for the “homeland”.

Perhaps it goes back to Eastwood’s Tightrope in which he blurred the distinction between the sadist killer his cop was tracking and the sadistic impulses inside himself. (or some fuzzy concept like that).An attraction to moral equivalence not merely moral relativism.


I’m having some technical issues, probably due to my ineptness, in posting some Comments, but one commentator on the last post brought up the film Downfall, a film that excupates the German nation and blames the Holocaust on a small circle of madmen mesmerized by Hitler. But in fact as the commenter suggests the entire culture was responsible. They all made sacrifices to keep the mass murder going and almost no gestures to stop it. Do we honor sacrifices just because they are sacrifices. That’s moral equivalence, false moral equivalence in addition to moral relativism.

An even stronger statement of what I was suggesting can be found i this essay brought to my attention by one of the commenters. i feel there’s a critique of its harshness, but I’m not sure what it is. Any counterarguments?



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