Just trying to wrap my head round this very basic question.
Relativism holds that moral claims contain an essential indexical element, such that the truth of any such claim requires relativization to some individual or group. According to such a view, it is possible that when John asserts “Stealing is wrong” he is saying something true, but that when Jenny asserts “Stealing is wrong” she is saying something false.
e.g. Gay Science 345:
Their usual mistaken premise is that they affirm some consensus among people, at least among tame peoples, concerning certain moral principles, and then conclude that these principles must be unconditionally binding also for you and me–or conversely, they see that among different peoples moral valuations are necessarily different and infer from this that no morality is binding—both of which are equally childish.
I've read in a few places that Nietzsche was not a relativist and not a universalist. So, if Nietzsche was not a relativist, then any true value expression, such as "pain can be good" is true whoever says it. But, not being a universalist, that should read "some people's pain can be good". Right?
If so, is he practically a skeptic about those value claims, so that it is nevertheless not rational for those people to suffer pain? Then in what sense is his transvaluation philosophy: couldn't he just debunk practical rationality and be done with it?
I myself am more inclined to say something like "pain can sometimes be good for anyone" (universalism) but accept that someone else saying "pain is never good" could be right (relativism), and say that suffering can be rational response, just never an absolute one (it is always permissible to not suffer independent of context).