Explore by Topic
Explore by Format
Search Results | 33 results found
Even if relativists are right that cultures differ radically in their basic moral values, so what? The observation in itself proves nothing, because no conclusion about morality follows. Just because cultures differ on moral viewpoints doesn't mean that objective moral truth is a fiction. In logic this is called a non-sequitur; the conclusion doesn't follow from the premises.
A person can wax eloquent with you in a discussion on moral relativism, but he will complain when somebody cuts in front of him in line. He'll object to the unfair treatment he gets at work and denounce injustice in the legal system. He'll criticize crooked politicians who betray the public trust and condemn intolerant fundamentalists who force their moral views on others. Yet each of these objections is a meaningless concept in the twisted world of moral relativism.
If relativism is true, then all moral categories are meaningless. Any attempt at moral discourse is reduced to incoherence. Therefore, the only course of action truly consistent with moral relativism is complete silence. If you view all morality as relative and you're consistent, you can't ever make a moral recommendation.
When a person asks me a question, I've found it helpful to try to frame my response in the context of his own discipline or profession. For example, when an attorney tells me he won't believe in the soul because it can't be measured physically, I ask him how can he prove in court that a non-physical thing like a motive exists if a motive can't be measured physically. Even laws themselves are not physical. They can't be weighed; they have no chemical composition; they aren't located in space. The attorney must face the fact that his own methodology defeats his objection.
The approach many relativists take at this point is confused. First, they say that the Holocaust was evil and ask why God would allow such depravity? Later, when the tables turn and their own behavior is in question, they argue that morality is merely a matter of opinion. This reduces their earlier objection to: "How could a good God allow things that are contrary to my opinion?" or, to put it more bluntly, "I can't believe in the existence of a God who would disagree with me."
When some tragedy strikes, people ask "Where was God?" I ask "What precisely did you expect God to do? If you were in His place, what would you do?" If you would use your power to stop evil, would you punish it or prevent it? Either choice presents you with problems. One reason God doesn't wipe out all evil immediately is that the alternative would be worse. This becomes evident by asking a simple question: If God heard your prayer to eliminate evil and destroyed it all at midnight tonight, where would you be at 12:01?
Sometimes detractors to Christianity object to the idea of God's existence because of the occurrence of "evil" natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, etc. God created a natural world that is good in that it accomplishes certain things. In order for plants to grow and to continue to nourish humans, the crust of the earth must be replenished. Plate tectonics is one thing that accomplishes this. The incidental by-products are things like earthquakes.
If the truth were known, we do not judge disasters based on unprejudiced moral assessment, but rather on what is painful, awkward, or inconvenient for us. We don't ask, "Where is God?" when our pleasure comes at the price of another's pain (e.g., when our adultery destroys a marriage and the lives of the children involved).
Notice that one can't tolerate someone unless he disagrees with him. We don't "tolerate" people who share our views. They're on our side. There's nothing to put up with. Tolerance is reserved for those we think are wrong. This essential element of tolerance--disagreement--has been completely lost in the modern distortion of the concept. Nowadays, if you think someone is wrong, you're called intolerant.
A favorite ploy of professors whose teaching on relativism is challenged in class is to ask, “If you believe in moral absolutes, what are they?” A person might offer that it’s immoral to dock the professor’s pay just because he’s Jewish, or African-American, or a woman, or approves of homosexuals (or whatever your professor’s hot-button happens to be).