Ever heard this one? ‘You’re on the wrong side of history.’ This from David Cameron during the gay marriage debate: “Strong views exist on both sides but I believe MPs voting for gay people being able to marry too, is a step forward for our country.”
This is about Progress, we’re told.
But arguing for anything on the basis of Progress is a bad idea.
It asserts that morality is ‘progressing’ and therefore our ‘current morality’ is superior to anything that has gone before. Yet, if we’re progressing, if we’re on a continuum, then why think that we’re correct just because we live in 2016? It amounts to this: This is what we think nowadays and because we’re living now . . . er, then we must be right. Because that’s what we think . . . now.
Bizarrely, this is counter to another popular viewpoint, namely cultural relativism. This assigns each culture’s practices an equal and inviolate value purely due to the status of being from a different part of the world.
Which do you prefer? Progress – everything is moving – or culture – we’re right because of our traditions?
God forbid we should actually argue for Truth.