Saturday, October 31, 2009

“Public Enemy Number One”

MORAL RELATIVISM is the ideology that claims that there are no objective moral truths, but rather that the rightness or wrongness of moral choice is purely relative to cultural or personal preferences. We are told that this view is good because it is tolerant: calling people immoral is bigoted and harmful to self-esteem. Moral relativists state that we ought not impose our moral views on others, and so keep our own moral views private.

But the German philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand (1889-1977) pointed out that a government of moral relativists is necessarily totalitarian, and will impose its moral views on others with force. His early opposition to the National Socialists made this scholar “public enemy number one” of that totalitarian German regime.

Yesterday I posted a short article on von Hildebrand; and after this I heard an interview of Dietrich's wife Alice on EWTN. (This interview is online, although I can't directly link to it, you can search for it here. Look for the date 10/28/2009). Alice is involved with the Dietrich von Hildebrand Legacy Project, which is seeking scholars willing to translate von Hildebrand's works from German into English.

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