Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Side Note on Absolutes.

Ironically, the only person who truly can't judge whether a thing is good or bad is the absolutist.

The absolutist is holding out for a single standard that applies universally: a standard which could judge "good" from "bad" whether operating within opera or popcorn movies, whether within modernist or classical, whether within Hip-Hop, smoothed out on the R & B, or tipped more towards a Pop appeal. The absolutist wants "good" or "bad" to have absolute value, and to be applied the same by all to all. The absolutist has the highest standards for standards, and rejects all standards that fall short.

Well, good for the absolutist! I guess. But everyone else can see it's not merely bollocks, it is also hypocrisy. The absolutist objects to standards that are not held or cannot be applied universally, yet the absolutist's own standard can barely be applied at all! It's a ridiculously narrow, marginal stance, embraced by practically no-one - and for good reason. Is it ever useful? Is it even possible, for such a standard to ever be productively put to any sort of use? Who on earth can find it reasonable to insist that a standard for judgment cannot be valid, except that it applies universally?

The absolutist.

In practice, the absolutist would simply prefer the words "good" and "bad" did not exist. A useful stance for whom?

Nobody, really. Not even for the absolutist. You can't make language better by subtracting apt, clear, descriptive vocabulary.

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