How does relativism ruin your mind and soul? Well, meet the student at Johns Hopkins University who thought he was a cow…
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Moral relativism is the view that truth and error, right and wrong, depend on your personal opinion or preference. Moral relativism denies the existence of objective truth by claiming that each person decides what his or her morality will be.
Take abortion, for example. Radical feminists insist that pre-born children are blobs of tissue. That’s how relativism works: If a pro-abortion woman says a pre-born baby is not a human being but a little “nut,” then her “truth” trumps scientific fact.
Relativism hides behind a façade of catch-phrases and lies. But when we examine them, the façade of lies comes crashing down.
Let’s dismantle seven of the most common catch-phrases.
1. “There is no absolute truth”
This cliché is self-defeating because it fails to pass the logic test. To claim that there is no absolute truth, turns the denial of the existence of truth into an absolute statement. In other words, if you believe there is no absolute truth, then the statement that there is no absolute truth must be false.
So, how do you answer someone who says, “there is not absolute truth”?
It’s easy. Just ask them: “Are you absolutely sure?” or “Do you absolutely believe that to be true?”
2. “What’s true for you is not true for me.”
When you corner a relativist in a debate, the escape route is usually a variation of “what’s true for you and is not true for me.”
But 2 + 2 = 4, right? It never equals 5. Therefore, to say that 2 + 2 can equal 4 for you and 5 for me is false because it violates the Principle of Non-Contradiction.
This principle is easy to understand. It states that “a thing cannot be and not be at the same time.” Without the principle of non-contradiction, we wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a man and a moose, between fantasy and reality.
So, there’s no “your truth” or “my truth.” We only have THE truth.
3. “Since moral values differ from culture to culture, it’s relative.”
This is the multi-culturalism argument, which claims that different cultures have different morals. But it’s not true.
In every society, values such as the right to life, justice, compassion, courage, loyalty, and honesty have always been praised. Yet murder, theft, greed and lying have always been condemned. Some cultures might disagree on how to interpret these values, but all of them agree on the same fundamental principles.
These principles stem from Natural Law, which are summarized in the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule: “Treat others as you wish to be treated.”
Rooted in the rational nature of man, Natural Law is universal -- binding all peoples regardless of time, race, ethics, or customs. Without these shared values, societies would ultimately crumble because civil law would lack a rational foundation.
Without moral principles, there is no objective moral order. And without an objective moral order, there is no basis for civilization: We fall into the law of the jungle.
4. “Perception is reality.”
After banishing the idea of an objective moral order, relativists even try to change reality to justify the most irrational fancies.
For example, when TFP Student Action volunteers went to Bloomsburg University to oppose gender theory, we met a pro-transgender student who said it would be legitimate for a person to identify as a monkey.
However, a man is a human being and a monkey is an irrational animal. Your intelligence captures that distinction and we don’t have the power to change that reality. There is a verifiable reality, and our perception can only be true if it lines up with what is real. A man is not a monkey. And a monkey is not a man. Period.
5. “If the majority believes it, it has to be true.”
Again, a thing is what it is by its own nature. What the majority or minority of people think does not define truth. Just as an individual can be wrong, a group of people can also be wrong.
For example, at one time, some people thought the world was flat. Did their opinion make the world flat? No.
As St. Augustine said: “Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.”
6. “Morality is determined by situations and motives.”
There are three criteria that make an act good or bad: the act itself, the situation, and the motive. This presupposes objective moral standards by which every action is judged.
Situations, circumstances, or motives can influence or modify the nature of an act and therefore change the morality of it. For instance, to commit murder is always evil: but to take someone’s life in self-defense is legitimate.
Nevertheless, certain actions -- such as abortion and blasphemy – can never be justified no matter what the situation or motive is because they are intrinsically evil.
7. “Don’t impose your morality on me!”
People who say “don’t impose your morality on me” really mean “don’t impose ANY morality on me!”
When disorderly passions become the goal of life, every moral barrier that hinders the fulfillment of those passions becomes a burden. That’s why the Sexual Revolution hates any kind of restraint -- including the Ten Commandments, Natural Law, and civil law.
Moral values are like traffic laws. Without them, you have chaos and anarchy.
Without objective moral law, social harmony breaks down. In fact, there has never been a civilization of moral relativists and there never will be.
We Must Defend What is True
More than ever, we need to defend what is true, good, and beautiful. Either we accept God’s wisdom or we sink into the muddy quicksand of relativism. Our Lord said: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" (John 14:7).
To win the fight for America’s future, we must hold firm to our noble convictions and continue the peaceful Crusade for moral values.
Please join the good fight by subscribing to TFP Student Action.