Our close blog-buddy DuWayne Brayton has been published in a philosophy publication covering morality called Moral Relativism Magazine. I can only assume the purpose of the publication is to retake a label that the evangelical crowd has turned into a slur, considering that moral relativism is far more nuanced than “we should do whatever we want because all morals are relative”. DuWayne sent along a preview copy of the article, so I could pimp his writing, and I figure there’s no harm in giving you a sample of the first two paragraphs so you can gauge whether you’re interested in the full thing.
A mere fifty years ago it was generally accepted that people who had different colored skin getting married was so immoral it was illegal in most states in the U.S. Even today, the few states allow same sex couples to marry and such marriages aren’t recognized by the U.S. federal government. Less than fifty years ago people who engaged in homosexual sex could be imprisoned in several U.S. states. In Kenya, Uganda and Nairobi homosexuality can still be cause for imprisonment, in some cases inducing a life sentence. Homosexuality is a capital crime in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Nigeria. Most people in most cultures worldwide consider monogamy the default assumption for romantic relationships. Even many atheists find polyamorous relationships morally ambiguous at best.
Yet there has been miscegenation since people of different colors have been in contact with one another. Homosexuality would not be illegal or otherwise frowned upon if it had not existed for all of history in a myriad of cultures. Polygamy and polyamory, not to mention the assumption of cheating have been accepted in innumerable cultures throughout history. All of these also occur and have occurred in cultures that generally consider them immoral. While it can be argued that every culture has ethical frameworks, parts of which are considered moral axioms to the majority of individuals within that culture, it is absurd to assume that everyone in a given culture accepts all of that framework as moral truth.
The full magazine is $8 per issue, which is good considering it’s a relatively (heh) new and self-published startup providing actual physical copies for each issue, operating primarily through Lulu. The best part is, it’s a paid gig for DuWayne, and the more people buy this magazine and support their efforts, the more likely it will stick around to provide a revenue stream for DuWayne and other philosophers like him. If you’ve got the change and are interested in this sort of thing, it might be worth your while to support these folks.