It doesn't feel like people are moral as much as they choose Team A or Team B, then regurgitate all the shit the chosen team tells them to. In my day-to-day life, I see many pleasant people, some that seem inclined to do "the right thing." But, the pleasant people are also insanely comfortable. If pressure were applied, I'm not so sure they would do anything other than what saved their ass, "right thing" be damned. I can't say I've ever been immoral by any objective standard, but I've sure behaved poorly at times. Now, in older age, I seem to be less of an asshole. But if I were pressed against the wall, I would have no pity for those pressing. I do not have children, so the instinct to exact revenge isn't very strong in me any longer. With everything being so fucked up, if I chose not to fight with all my might, it would be from a broken spirit, and simply being sick of it all. I sure don't pretend to have the morals thing figured out.
One quibble with the argument would be with this sentence : "That’s basically the entire rest of Substack, and Fox, and The New Yorker, and CNN, and whatever Ben Shapiro is doing nowadays."
I don't include Substack, with those tools of propaganda because here the spectrum of writing is broad and there are all kinds of great degenerates that write here. Other people's moral outlook has never bothered me though sometimes it does seem as if I am listening to a foreign language that I do not understand. Cheers. (Of course, I'll keep reading. I liked the new metric for atrocities)
I think something you could write about was how much our morality seems to be driven by media coverage. For example, ISIS was a very bad terrorist group  that embedded themselves with civilians eg in Mosul. When we took it back we were estimated to kill at least 5800 civilians in airstrikes (ballpark at 10 9/11s to roughly use your calculations). I do not remember seeing a single article about this or how bad it was. It was just what happened in war. But the media heavily covers both atrocities/war actions (depending on your perspective) against and by Israel.
Or the Civil War in the Congo. Or Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Perhaps more Americans have relatives in Israel/Palestine and that is why - that's the best guess I have. Or it's just the vicious cycle of gets clicks/drives conversation/gets clicks once again
You lost me when you wrote that morality is relative. Sorry. There are some absolute rights and wrongs in the universe. A peaceful life to you and yours.
As much as I appreciate this outlook, I disagree, (unsurprisingly!), with part of it. Specifically with the idea that joining a fight on whatever side you and your family are put on - by the accidents of birth and others’ behavior - is a bad thing. It’s normal; it’s human; it’s even, I feel, although I cannot argue, *good.*
Yes, even though both sides are deeply opposed to the point of killing each other. Killing to protect your family and even the people you see as your people - should you be lucky (imo) enough to have a people - is the act of a virtuous (hu)man.
Because I agree with you that morality is ‘relative’ in some sense, e.g. not universal, not *the same for everyone*. (Why should it be? As a construct that comes out of a multiplicity of actors, with a multitude of viewpoints - out of evolution, in my atheistic opinion, not out of the laws of nature). But one of the big things that it’s specifically relative to is your position in the world. Given who you are, where you are, how ought a human animal to react.
(And a sidenote, but as a question of fact - I don’t think you can live in Israel or Palestine without having a position, even if it’s more complicated than a binary. Not even a month ago.)
Some folks I subscribe to on Substack for their more obvious moral takes which, more often than not, I agree with. Some I subscribe to for a more impartial presentation of the data or analysis thereof. One must keep themselves well rounded.
Your argument for morality not being objective is basically just that people and cultures differ a lot. But that's true of almost all things! The Aztecs also had different scientific views, for example. That doesn't mean it's relative.
For reasons to think moral realism is right, see here. https://benthams.substack.com/p/book-review-ethical-intuitionism
Can you expound on your viewpoint on moral relativism and how civilizations determine what is right and wrong? This is a fascinating moral philosophy topic.
Also you said you've lost readers for equating the relative morality positions of both sides. Can you clarify what you meant by that, since you said you're not actually doing that?
Thanks and keep up the great work!
So, recognizing that I am significantly outside the norm, I don't often stop reading people who I find valuable because they disagree with me. In fact, some of them I read explicitly *because* we don't agree, often on some very fundamental things, but they still manage to explain their positions well. (Freddie deBoer, I'm looking at you, here. 🤪 ) I happen to have a position on the Israel/ Palestine conflict, but I at least understand that position is heavily influenced by my priors about the world.
TL;DR -- I'm probably not going anywhere.