Relativism and the Law of Non-Contradiction

One reason that moral relativism is obviously not the correct way to view the world is that it breaks the Law of Non-Contradiction. I wrote about this law here a couple months ago.

Basically, the Law of Non-Contradiction states that something cannot be both true and not true at the same time and in the same sense.

A Persian medieval philosopher (Abu Ali Sina) once said

“Anyone who denies the law of non-contradiction should be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as not to be burned.”

Maybe that is going a little overboard in demonstrating the Law of Non-Contradiction, but it makes the point forcefully.

The Law of Non-Contradiction is a fundamental law in philosophy and it is undeniable and unfalsifiable. In order to either deny or falsify the law, you have to use the law.

Moral relativism breaks the Law of Non-Contradiction. Within a morally relative viewpoint, a person could say that killing unborn babies is wrong for them, but it is ok for someone else to do it. (This is a statement often used by politicians when talking about abortion and it is very bad logic.)

We all know that some things are objectively wrong for everybody, regardless of the circumstances.

Moral relativism is a very bad idea that has very bad consequences.


Anonymous said...

Would this be a circular argument? One that is both true and false at the same time?

Vertigo said...


Not sure what you are referring to...is what a circular argument?

Cassandra said...

Hi guys,
Sophistry (as relativism and deconstructionism) is full of circular arguments (oxymorons) and contradictions. That is because it is not true philosophy.
Vertigo is spot on! Keep it up!