Re: Responses to Anthro-L

Deus Ex Machina (X8H1@MUSIC.STLAWU.EDU)
Thu, 25 Apr 1996 16:59:10 EST

I must say that I am forced to respond to the criticism I have received.
My comments have been criticized as "limited" among other things. I
must say that my commentary is no more "limited" than any other material
posted to this list. This criticism, in my opinion, reflects a contra-
diction that has been and continues to be commited by more than a few on
this list. According to the logic that many subscribe to here my
comments are just as "true" as anyone else's. Why is this? It is of
course because many on this list subscribe to relativism and
subjectivism! Therefore, my statements are legitimate, true, and right!
BUT, since it has been VERY clear that that my view is considered
"wrong" by many on this list, as evident by the response my post
provoked, than it is clear that those who subscribe to the relativist
and subjectivist world view are contradicting themselves. They are
guilty , as Mr. Pastore would say, of the "ultimate racism"
espousing their views as superior. By now many might begin to see that
this sort of world view just doesn't fly in science. What does fly in
science is the acknowledgement that there is a single ultimate truth in
most situations. This ulitmate truth is what is sought by scientists. We
may often fall short, we may often become blinded by our social back-
ground, but that does not change the nature of the truth we seek. This
concept of social influence is straight out of SJ Gould and Matt
Cartmill. Many probable probably deny thinking along these lines but I
argue that they have. Let me illustrate. If a person observes an event
or an object and they interpret that event, it DOES NOT make it auto-
matically true. It is clear that if we do accept this sort of thinking
than it is not only science that will suffer, society will as well. Why?
It is because the subjective and relativist thinkers allow for the
existance of inferior ideologies that are allowed to be
considered true under the subjective and relative system. Such an
inferior ideology would be racism or sexism. The irony of this is that
many relativists and subjectivists hold a strong belief in human rights,
yet if the practices of a given culture
violate human rights in the name of tradition or religion, the
relativist and subjectivist lets it fly because its "racist" to impose
our "values" on them. However, this is contradictory, and obviously so.
My whole point is that if you want to be a relativist hell I don't care
go ahead, but at least practice what you preach. Just as an end note
we are all "closed-minded" ultimately it comes down to the fact that we
all beleive our type of thinking is superior to other person's. For the
relativist/subjectivist this can only mean that sooner or later they are
going to slip up and contradict themselves.

Matthew D. Joanis
St. Lawrence University

"Those who desire to give up Freedom in order to gain Security,
will not have, nor do they deserve, either one."
-- Thomas Jefferson