One of the many problems with philosophy is its desire for abstract absolutes. This inevitably leads to intellectual dead-ends. In fact it can be argued (ironically, using a philosophical term) that the very notion of morality is a category error. Furthermore, the idea that moral relativism (meaning precisely that the "moral" solution to a problem will depend entirely on the local context) means that one believes "one set of morals is just as good as any other" is quite incorrect. One can be a moral relativist while still being able to rank moral systems according to any arbitrary system of scoring. For example, one can argue that there's no such thing as "absolute good" (in fact, the phrase is meaningless) while still being able to argue that brutalizing other beings is less moral than treating them with kindness under most ordinary circumstances. In the end, philosophy fails because words are insufficiently defined. Which is why we have mathematics through which we grapple with the really hard (and meaningful) questions.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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