I was wondering what to write about today, when right on cue I got an email from my daughter with a quote she thought I might like. Its labelled Gellner 1992 so I assume, based on a quick search of my Amazon purchasing history that it is from his book Postmodernism, Reason and Religion. In full it reads:
The relativist endorses the absolutism of others, and so his relativism entails an absolutism which also contradicts it. let us leave him with that problem: there is no way out of it.
Now I think that is well said and makes an important point not only against some aspects of post modernism but also against any Leporid pellicius with an Age of Aquarius fixation. Thinking about it Leporid hisutus is nearer the mark. I probably own an apology for both translations as my latin is rusty to say the least, but all NAFBs will understand.
The obsession with not making judgements, either of fact or morality ends up in solipsism, or the acceptance of fascism or worse. You might be well intentioned, you might be concerned about not being judgemental, you might even want to respect other cultures, but there some a point where you have call something as being right or wrong. There are limits to tolerance and acceptance if we are to remain human.
The OED defines judgement as the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions. Wisdom is the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement. In all cases we have to make decisions. In Catholic dogma a sin of omission is as bad as a sin of commission and the same is true of a failure to take a stance on a moral issue, or even a basic one of truth.
The opening quote is from Camus, another from Henry James is apposite: I intend to judge things for myself; to judge wrongly, I think, is more honorable than not to judge at all. More enegmatically from Montaigne Judgement can do without knowledge: but not knowledge without judgement.