Lets start out with a topic that isn’t given much thought by the average person yet when brought up its very controversial. Why? Because thats what I like to do, make you think about something other then what Kim Kardashian had for lunch.
When it comes to morality there are two predominante paths you may choose. These paths are relativism or objectivism. Relativism seems to be the most popular in the western world as of now, while objective views are seen as “intolerant” (which of course is untrue). But before I begin spewing out words about how relativism is wrong, let us first define it for those of you scratching your head and frantically googling it for answers.
Moral Relativism in a nutshell is the belief that there is no absolute universal truth and “truth” differs from culture to culture or person to person. The truth is relative to what each person thinks. This philosophy is held by a large number of the people today. Both morally and religiously. This relativism not only leads to spiritual emptiness and a endless search for purpose but it also creates a moral rumble pit of opinions and views. Relativism is so accepted however because like many false philosophies it comes off as tolerant and accepting, when in reality it is a false tolerance. Lets break it down.
Relativism as a philosophical worldview.
Let us think about what relativism holds as its only precept, “The only truth is that their is no absolute truth.” That sound pretty cool right? At least until you realize it makes absolutely no sense. If there is no absolute truth how can you claim that the only truth is that there is none?
When applied in the real world relativism runs into a few walls. Relativism, in its own teaching, tells us that wrong and right are determined based off personal sentiments, emotions and cultural environment. If this is true, then 9/11 was just the difference between cultural worldviews. What is wrong for us, may be right to those who attacked the Twin Towers. Now most people would disagree with this because the loss of life on 9/11 was so appalling that any reasonable person would see the evil in it. Because of objectivley evil acts such as 9/11, the Holocaust, and a multitude of other things, many people are selective relativists when it comes to morality. All this means is people pick their moral beliefs like they’re at cafeteria. They may think that murder is wrong but have no opinion on things such as sexual ethics. They choose their morality. Those relativists who preach that anything goes, as long as you don’t hurt others, subvert the very principle of relativism.
One of the most destructive things moral relativism brings is a loss of purpose. When everyone is trying to discern the meaning of life and truth for themselves it leads to one of three things. That there is no truth, that we cannot know that truth or the truth is whatever you wish it to be. The issue that comes into play is that when the relativist “discovers” a purpose in life that he has found worthy then he must admit that he has not discovered any meaning but has just invented his own. This lack of truth and purpose ultimately leads to despair for those who cannot cope and for those who try it leads to a frantic attempt to avoid the big questions through endless occupation of time.
So as we see relativism as a philosophy and applied in the real world has many pitfalls that people don’t give thought to. In my next post we will go deeper into relativism’s flaws, compare it to objective views and how relativism hides behind a false tolerance.
To be continued…