Absolutism Versus Relativism
Ethnicity, traditions, religion, and social thoughts are merely a product of man’s relativist premises. Most ethnic and religious societies
regard the concepts of morality, political system and economics as relative. In my opinion, under any relativist society, the definition or concepts of the good, the moral, and the practical are determined by society, the most dominant social group, or anyone who wields absolute political power. This is essentially the case of all collectivist or statist societies like China, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and Iran wherein the dictator or the supreme leader determines the truth, the moral and the practical.
I believe in absolutism—the acceptance of or belief in absolute principles, whether they be in the area of ethics, politics, metaphysics, epistemology, and other special sciences. Absolutism is the opposite of relativism, which is the doctrine that holds that knowledge, truth, and morality are determined by society, culture, or historical context and are not absolute. Epistemological absolutism is the view that there is a universal standard of truth, while ethical or moral absolutism holds that there is a universal standard of right or wrong, good or bad, practical or impractical.
There is such a thing as an absolute universal truth, and man can discover it by observing reality and by applying reason and logic (the art of non-contradictory identification). Mankind has been here for thousands of years and yet rapid technological and scientific developments occurred only over the past 200 years. The question is: WHY?
Thousands of years ago the primitive man merely based his judgment on his whims and feelings. And then the pharaohs of Egypt established a relative society based on their feelings and caprices and on the guidance of an unknowable entity they call gods and goddesses, so the Caesars of the olden Rome and the Popes in Vatican city.
But the creators of knowledge and the producers of wealth who were persecuted by the mystics during the Dark Ages began to discover the wonders of the universe by observing reality and by rediscovering and applying reason. They were guided by the philosophy of Aristotle, who was reintroduced by the works of St. Thomas Aquinas.
The very concrete legacy of the Aristotelian philosophy was the United States of America that first discovered and practiced the concept and principles of laissez faire Capitalism. America introduced the concept of “separation of church and state” that ended religious wars on earth, as well as the noblest concept of individual rights: man’s rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness. It was during the earliest period of the fledgling nation of America, the first free society on earth, wherein its great Founding Fathers nearly practiced laissez faire capitalism. As such, the freest nation on earth, which was America, achieved the most.
By observing reality the scientists, the producers, and the creators over the past 200 years unleashed and discovered the wealth and wonders on earth, which were unknown to man for thousands of years. And by observing reality and by applying reason, man established the principles of science. This technological and scientific phenomenon took place because man began to understand that there is only one absolute order in the universe, and that there is only one and indivisible reality and one absolute truth. A thing cannot be false or true at the same time. The laws of physics, of gravity and or thermodynamics are the very proof that there is such thing as an absolute. Ethically, man can know the absolute moral standards by understanding man’s nature and rights with respect to reality. This is the reason why we now have the concept of individual rights. But this does not include man’s right to enslave his neighbor. Whatever is good to man is moral and practical. Thus, man in order to survive must choose the most proper and most moral social system, which is capitalism.
Epistemologically, man can gain more knowledge and discover the hidden wealth and mysteries in the universe by observing reality and by applying reason and logic. Science is the corollary—the most important consequence— of man’s application of reason and logic. The industrial revolution saw the noblest alliance of the two creators of knowledge and wealth in man’s modern history—the scientist and the businessman. It is the scientist who discovered the hidden wealth and wonders on earth; it is the businessman who offered them in the form of finished products and services to people of all economic levels in all parts of the world through mass production. Today most people now have their own television set, refrigerator, appliances, and computers, among others because businessmen in capitalist societies or semi-free societies are motivated by profit. It is the idea of profit that keeps on motivating the producers to discover the hidden wealth and wonders of the universe unknown to man for thousands of years.
Thus, I think that ethnicity or any tradition or religion that rejects man’s nature and rights is evil and impractical and must be rejected. Ethnicity and traditions are creations of man. If they go against man’s interest, nature and rights, then it is only proper and moral to reject them. A tradition, culture, or religion does not constitute the good or represent truth simply because it’s old. So far, laissez faire capitalism is the only economic-political system that corresponds to reality and respects and recognizes man’s rights and nature.