103: Moral Relativity
Title text: It's science!
The main joke in this comic is its interpretation of moral relativity along the same lines as the theory of relativity. In the field of ethics moral relativity holds that moral judgments are not absolute, but rather relative to the group of people involved. The scientific theory of relativity predicts (among other things) that measurements of an object change the closer to the speed of light it travels—length contracts, observed time slows down, the notion of separated simultaneous events is relative, etc. The graph is a parody on that of the Lorentz factor, which is the factor by which time is dilated and length contracted. It's humorous that the ethics of a situation would be relative the same way physical properties change as the speed of light is approached.
Note that relativity in Theory of Relativity (in physics) came from principle of relativity idea that equations describing the laws of physics have the same form in all admissible frames of reference (as opposed to moral relativity).
- [A graph, rationalization as a function of speed, increasing asymptotically at c.]
- Related to moral relativism, it states that ethics become subjective only when you approach the speed of light.
- That is, it's okay to be self-serving, steal, and murder as long as you're going really, really fast.
- (Note: This is why rap sounds better on the highway at 90 mph)