MCCAIN AGAINST RELATIVISM
McCain understands that the only real way to defend the most vulnerable is to confront human oppression:
There is a tendency in our age to accede to the spurious excuse of moral relativism and turn away from the harshest examples of man's inhumanity to man; to ignore the darker side of human nature that encroaches upon our decency by subtle degree. There are many reasons for this. Blessed with opportunity, and intent on the challenges of work and family, our own lives often seem too full and hectic to take notice of offenses that seem distant from our own reality. There is also the threat in a society passionate about its liberty that we can become desensitized to the dehumanizing effect of the obscenity and hostility that pervades much of popular culture.
It is in our nature as Americans to see the good in things; to face even serious adversity with hope and optimism. And yet, with so much good in the world, for all the progress of humanity, in which our nation has played such an admirable and important role, evil still exists in the world. It preys upon human dignity, assaults the innocence of children, debases our self- respect and the respect we are morally obliged to pay each other, and assails the great, animating truths we believe to be self-evident – that all people have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- by subjecting countless human beings to abuse, persecution and even slavery.
Confronting evil has never been easy – in our age or any other. But the failure to do so affects even those who are complacent with our own blessings and secure in our human rights. Accepting the degradation of values we believe are universal is to relinquish some of our own humanity. America was founded on the belief in the inherent dignity of all human life and that this dignity can only be preserved through shared respect and shared responsibility.
We can retain our own freedom when others are robbed of theirs, but not the sense of virtue that made our revolution a moral as well as political crusade, and which recognizes that personal happiness is so much more than pleasure, and requires us to serve causes greater than self-interest.
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