It might be a good idea to have a world body for “objective” values. Something like the W3c standards for the web, maybe a few wise folks have got to sit around a table and start a blog toward defining a set of “absolute values” that transcend cultures and religions. It’s like this – there are certain html, xml standards that the w3c defines. Browsers don’t necessarily go by all of them, in fact most don’t conform to all the standards.

Are these standards objective? Yes, they are. They are not meant to be interpreted any which way by a browser manufacturer. That some don’t conform does not in any way diminish the importance of having absolute standards.

So too I would think with ethics. There is too much of relativity going around today. The thing with education, and an easy life is how easy it’s become to say “it depends”. Often I find that I am guilty of that myself.

A couple of days ago, someone asked me “what’s the difference between the Ramayana and the Mahabaratha?” I thought about it, and started off on something about duty and responsibility, when he interrupted me with this comment

“The Ramayana is about absolute truths. The Mahabaratha is about relative truths. You need absolute truths to aim for, but you live by relative truths to transit through life. ”

And I figure that’s pretty much the case. But with respect to our values, maybe we have begun to fool ourselves just a wee bit too much with the relative bit. It would be nice to cast in stone some absolute ones.

Despite everything, it can’t be all that difficult.


Posted on September 12, 2003, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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