Thursday, April 12, 2007

Who Relativizes, Loses

Disclaimer: I am not a philosopher, nor did I take any philosophy classes in school. This is a critique of relativism from a Christian viewpoint.

Recently I've been thinking about people who follow their own moral code and believe that everyone makes their own way in life. I guess specifically I am talking about atheists or people who subscribe to no specific religion. Or maybe people who describe themselves as either "spiritual but not religious" or "opposed to organized religion." I picture these people as wearing berets, seated in a coffee shop, with eyes half closed, and nose turned up condescendingly at you.

If each person makes his own way in life and sets his own morals, don't you think this would be a chaotic society? Supposedly in contemporary relativism, there still exist some universal truths. For example, it's probably widely agreed that one is free to do as he wishes, as long as he doesn't hurt his fellow man. But who says? Without God, what moral law is there that says I can't hurt someone? What if my own moral code says that it's not wrong to hurt others? If I want something, then I should just take it. Especially if there is no heaven and hell, a.k.a. eternal accountability. If this life is all there is, then I better do whatever I can (lie/cheat/steal/harm) to have all the stuff I want.

If indeed some say that truth lies in the heart of the individual, then you should not object if someone steals your stuff or harms you. For who are you, O man, to impress/impose your stuffy property ownership values on "the less fortunate?" Impression and imposition; that is what is being done here, isn't it? It makes no difference if many other people agree that stealing and killing is wrong; if MY truth and MY heart feel that it's okay, then for me, it is. I'm just making my own way, and who are you to tell me I can't do X, Y, or Z? BTW, "I am out of my mind to talk like this." You know I don't actually believe all this relativism, right? These are all just suppositions I made assuming I was a rather crass relativist. I submit myself to God, the one true higher power. I know that there is more to this existence than can be perceived with photons, photoreceptors, and oscilloscopes.

Related Posts:

4 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Harmony

    People often talk of a "natural law" that defines good and bad -- that is, nature dictates that people should not hurt other people ("we have evolved to be herd animals, therefore we must live in such a way that does not upset the herd").

    The only problem with this is that we see a very different "natural law" at work in nature. Animals very frequently kill other animals. Even sometimes in their own species. They fight over territory, they steal food from each other. And they have babies with their siblings. Some animals will eat their own kind. Even among the animals (mostly birds) who are considered to mate for life, there is rampant "adultery" (if one can call it that for animals...), with numbers as high as 30% of babies being raised by not their natural father.

    So what is so "universal" and "natural" about this "natural law" that guides humans?

  • Harmony

    Oh, I almost forgot... animals also kill their babies. We had a hamster who actually *ate* her own babies. Among pack animals (like lions and wolves), a new alpha male will very frequently kill all the babies that were born under the previous leader.

    Now show me a moral relativist who thinks that humans should be participating in that kind of behavior?

  • JunkMale

    "...animals also kill their own babies...Now show me a moral relativist who thinks that humans should be participating in that kind of behavior? "

    Pro-abortion people kill their own babies. Perhaps humanity is not as "evolved" as we thought.

  • Alan

    This reminds me of a famous movie speech. In the movie Wall Street (which I have not seen), Michael Douglas made a speech in which he argued that greed is good. See the Wikipedia article... The basic point is that when everyone pursues their own self interests, it actually benefits society. I guess there might be a germ of truth in that idea, if you buy into the notion that "survival of the fittest" (and the corollary, "death of the unfit") is in the public interest. But of course the Bible teaches something very different.