I have often pondered an apparent absurdity that is almost always held in tension within a certain group within society:
The belief that morality is subjective and relative – while simultaneously claiming the label of “Liberal Progressive.”
Of course, the tension is revealed in the question:
“If one believes that morality is subjective to each individual; and there exist no truly objective or absolute moral truths, then what is the grounding for labeling oneself a ‘progressive’ – which is is almost always in reference to views concerning social morality and/or positions?”
But why should this question be considered a problem? Because the very meaning of ‘progression’ implies that one is actually moving towards an Objective Standard that society is progressing *towards*; an Objective Standard by which society can measure its “progress” to morally superior positions from which it has held, or currently holds.
But how is this logically possible for those that label themselves as “progressives,” when many of the same individuals have simultaneously argued that no such Objective Standard exists, and that morality is determined by each individual’s own subjective notion of ‘right and wrong’?
If no such Objective Standard exists, then there is, literally:
Nothing for Liberal “Progressives” to ‘progress’ *towards*
One would only be justified in saying that “we are moving *this* way; not *that* way.”
But, certainly, one is not justified in claiming that one is truly “progressing.” To say that one is a “progressive,” one must hold that there is an Objective Standard that society may truly “progress” towards. But if morality is relative, then there is no such Objective Standard.
It seems that, in order for one to be a consistent Liberal Progressive, one must either adopt the existence of an Objective Standard of moral positions that may be “progressed” *towards* – or deny that one is actually a “progressive” as there is not truly such a thing in the absence of a Standard (and simply claim that he/she is a “Liberal ‘Mover'” or some such term).