During this treasured time of Sabbatical, I have been reading, reading, and reading, along with some traveling. Some reading has been heavy, but tonight it was quite light: “Calvin and Hobbes.” Tonight, I came across this humorous yet poignant comic offering. This brilliant cartoon speaks to the danger of relativism.
Relativism is a philosophy conveying that all points of view are equally valid and that all truth is determined by the individual. Matt Slick, President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry. His paper “Refuting Relativism” summarizes three tangents of relativism in the following three categories:
- cognitive relativism(truth)–Cognitive relativism affirms that all truth is relative. This would mean that no system of truth is more valid than another one and that there is no objective standard of truth. It would, naturally, deny that there is a God of absolute truth.
- moral/ethical relativism–All morals are relative to the social group within which they are constructed.
- situational relativism–Ethics (right and wrong) are dependent upon the situation.
I encourage you to read this brief explanation on relativism by Mr. Slick here.
We are living in the dredges of multifaceted relativism. Our legal system has difficulty punishing criminals, entertainment continues to push the envelope of indecency, and schools educate students in such a manner that logical reasoning is taboo. Disagreements are seen as bigotry rather than the opportunity to challenge and improve ideas.
Typical expressions of this dangerous dogma are thrown about as truth:
“That is your truth, not mine,”
“It is true for you, but not for me,” and
“There are no absolute truths.”
Pope Benedict XVI recognized this logical debacle in saying, “We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires.”
If all moral views carry the same weight, then how do we determine punishment? If the mark of right and wrong is based on every and any individual, then the only logical outcome is chaos and degeneration.
The call of Christ followers is to speak truth, to speak in love and to speak the truth in love. (Eph 4:31-32)