carter pate (CPATE@UTCVM.BITNET)
Fri, 21 Jan 1994 15:46:05 EST

Not sure if James Carrier's comment on this subject Jan. 20, was directed my wa
y or not. But I cam support almost everything he says. The trouble is, I find
that many ideological relativists are as prudish as Jesse Helms re some forms
of "art." They too easily descend to ad hominen attacks and labels, and become
so emotional about the single principle or value they are defending (or seekin
g to impose) that they cannot recognize that many difficult social decisons inv
olve conflicts and imbalances of multiple values, which beg for a compromise
(terrible word--is that politically incorrect?) which offers a measure of respe
ct for several.
Our multicultural society is becoming more adept at relativity(an inquiry
which seeks understanding by recognizing context). Thank "whatever powers the
re be"! But for me, this authoritarianism in the name of freedom is becoming a
t least more conspicuous, if not more dangerous.
"Ideological relativism" is descriptive, but doesn't seem to have the
proper mana to exorcise the demon. Who has a name or charm which works?