1) The sky is blue. 2 +2 = 4. Monday comes after Sunday.
2) The sky is green. 2+2 = 7. Monday comes after Thursday.
Both of the above lines are statements. One of them is correct. One of them is incorrect. It’s as simple as that.
What if I read the second set of statements and responded, “But, for me, 2+2=7. It’s what I feel is correct. Based on my levels of knowledge and cultural surroundings, that’s true for me.” You’d question my sanity, and rightly so.
I cannot say that 2+2=7 and be right as the person who says 2+2=4 is right. One of us is wrong. And that one person being wrong scares us in a society filled with relativism.
Moral relativism says, “You have your truth and I’ll have mine. What’s good and true for you may not be good and true for me. Ultimately, we’re more spiritual than religious.”
Call me crazy, but I believe that truth is objective, there is right and wrong in the world, and, as much as it stings, not everyone can be right.
We live in a society where people are afraid to have disagreements. Maybe the concept of political correctness has harnessed our thoughts, but it seems that no one desires to have a good, intellectual argument anymore. Moral relativism has made it so that no one is wrong…and this conversation is highly relevant to discussions about religion.
But who am I to judge? After Pope Francis said this, the world exploded concerning judgement of each other, and sunk into a world view where we can’t have opinions concerning people’s action anymore. Let’s look at the judgmental issue from another perspective. I can’t claim this, it came from a good friend of mine. Let’s say I don’t know your grandma, I’ve never met her and probably won’t. But I want to know about her, so I ask you to tell me all about her. And the things you say are awesome – she cooks for everyone when the holidays roll around, she calls you to ask you how you’re doing with school, and every time you come back home, she makes sure you have enough groceries.
So, based on what you said about your grandma, I’d say that she is a really good person. In fact, I’ll take the information you gave me, and based on her actions, I will even say that she’s fantastic. But wait – I just judged the heck out of your grandmother. Why aren’t you telling me to stop judging her?
All I did was objectively look at her actions and agreed with them. The difference of the judgement that Pope Francis implied was the judgement of a person versus the judgement of their actions. I can’t judge where a person’s soul is going. It’s above my pay grade (thank goodness – I wouldn’t trust myself with that job). However, I can judge a person’s actions and based on an absolute truth, I can disagree or agree with them.
“Relativism poses as humble by saying: “We are not smart enough to know what the truth is—or if there is any universal truth.” It sounds humble. But look carefully at what is happening. It’s like a servant saying: I am not smart enough to know which person here is my master—or if I even have a master. The result is that I don’t have a master and I can be my own master. That is in reality what happens to relativists: In claiming to be too lowly to know the truth, they exalt themselves as supreme arbiter of what they can think and do. This is not humility. This is the essence of pride.”
– John Piper, Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God
Relativism does not make us, as a societal whole, more accepting. It actually makes us more passive. It makes us argument-avoidant and boring. Yet it is considered trendy to be more in tune to relativism. And to have a set of moral codes and truths that are correct on an objective stance is just intolerant and unappreciative of the culture. Yes, our minds are meant to be open….but they are meant to close on the truth.
The Truth. Not your truth or my truth, but the truth.
“The modern habit of saying “This is my opinion, but I may be wrong” is entirely irrational. If I say that it may be wrong, I say that is not my opinion. The modern habit of saying “Every man has a different philosophy; this is my philosophy and it suits me” – the habit of saying this is mere weak-mindedness. A cosmic philosophy is not constructed to fit a man; a cosmic philosophy is constructed to fit a cosmos. A man can no more possess a private religion than he can possess a private sun and moon.”
– G. K. Chesterton
We have to stop being lazy – and prideful – and start digging deeper into the morality of situations.
“We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires.”
– Pope Benedict XVI
We can’t decide what is right for ourselves. I wish the world we lived in was perfect and everyone did the just thing. However, I still lock my car doors when I go into the store. And I carry a self-defense weapon when I leave my campus in the dark. I can’t trust that everyone’s personal moral code lines up with mine. As it turns out, the golden rule isn’t quite as universally practiced as we had hoped. So, darn it Adam and Eve, sin makes that impossible.
If your God lets you do anything, act any way or say anything you want, your God is you. And although I am aware that I am a child of God and made in His image, I also am well aware that I will never be God. So I’ll leave things like creating the world, loving everyone unconditionally and determining right and wrong up to him. Like I said….it’s above my pay grade.