Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Moral Nihilism Is Not Relativism

I want to clear up a common misconception concerning moral nihilism.
Over the years in discussing meta ethics with non philosophers I have encountered many who confuse Moral Nihilism with Moral Relativism.
Moral Relativism is the meta ethical view that moral language is true or false relative to a given societal, cultural, or religious standard.
Moral nihilism clearly distinguishes itself from Moral Relativism as it is the view that moral facts do not exist, that nothing is either moral or immoral; and that moral language is either false or un—true.
Neither is Moral nihilism some sort of Cultural Relativism.
Cultural Relativism is the ethical view that all cultures are valid and thus no criticism of them should be made. The Power-Nihilist may point out to the Cultural Relativist that the prescription "You ought not be critical of other cultures." is itself an ethic (prescription) that is relative to their culture, thus not an objective moral prescription.