It's not the "should" that should go - nor the right/wrong or
good/evil. It's not the "moral judgements" that are the problem.
What constitutes the problem is the lack of signifier for the speaker
and their authority or validity in making the statement.
The above sentences contain the same error. The problem is in our
speaking and in our listening. What's the difference in the
following two sentences?
1. People shouldn't make moral judgements.
2. I believe that people shouldn't make moral judgements.
I'm not sure of the linguistic sources but I first heard the phrase
"radial speaking" from a postmodernist. The term refers to speaking
for yourself, for being aware that you (and others) are speaking for
themselves and that what you are saying carries no more authority
than the second more explicit formulation above.
It might help us if we spoke in the 2nd way but, however people
speak, it is possible to listen as though they are speaking in the
My major issue with the idea that "we need to make moral judgement
and/or keep the moral judgement words" is that it trivialises what
constitutes a dialogue of moral issues. To my way of thinking, the
importance of the moral is the dialogue, the inquity, the continual
exploration of the implications of a subject. The "final" assessment
is not the point. I do have opinions and assessments about
good/evil but I don't consider these major constituents of morality.
For my thinking, these assessments are not the stuff of powerful
dialogue, communication and relationship. When I use them, I'm
usually intending to end a dialogue. The only access to dialogue in
these areas is when I can talk about them at a level below my
assessment and my attachment to my assessment. I have not seen the
value of making such declarations yet. I have seen the cost of these
declarations. (For instance, union members shooting at managers.)
The expression, particularly when generalised rather than
personalised, has occurred not as "morality" but as righteousness to
me. Depersonalised, you are speaking for God or the king or some
other authority. Personalised, you are expressing yourself and then
we are dealing with our ability to generate something after such
-- Michael McMaster Michael@kbddean.demon.co.uk