Values: Relative or non-relative? My opinion...Note: this came about as a result of a previous topic on a message board I frequent.
"I think of it like this:
99.99% of values can't be concretely proven or disproven, but they can be lifted or lowered on the totem pole of usefulness. To use an example...say that you deeply value getting free porn on the net. To you, free porn is something to be charished beyond measure. Now, if you fire up some file-sharing program and end up with a large cache of videos that get you off well, then your value is for the moment justified, since you got what you wanted. If instead you end up downloading a bunch of viruses, then your deep respect for free porn just got you screwed, and for the moment seems less smart. However, life is not all one direction or the other, so eventually you get back to normal either way.
That other .01% is only the most BASIC of basic value that human beings have: value of their own lives and control of such. Outside of this "I am living, and would like to remain so" base, the rest is a debate that will never be won or lost."
Putting the principle I'll call The 1/10000th Undebateable to work on more serious topics, the result is this:
-"female circumcision" like what is practiced in the middle east is wrong. It's forced, so it violates the rule.
-Imprisoning people for speaking out against their government is wrong.
-celebrating your sons 18th birthday by buying him weed is not really "wrong", just stupid. Now if you FORCE him to smoke it, then it's wrong.
-homosexuality is not wrong. Beating the crap out of people for being gay IS wrong.
You get the idea.