Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New Evangelizers Post: Why Moral Relativism is Impossible

I have a new article up at

Pope Benedict XVI often spoke about the dictatorship of relativism.  It is a horribly destructive moral theory that has done more damage to modern society than almost any other philosophy.  You have probably encountered this in one form or another in your life.

Moral relativism is the belief that there is no absolute standard of morality and that moral rules vary from society to society.  

Take, for example, polygamy.  A moral objectivist, as all Christians are, would say that God created us with certain natural ends and thus we must follow the natural law for all people.  Human beings, therefore, should not engage in polygamy regardless of societal traditions.

A relativist would say that if one society objects to polygamy and another accepts it, neither is wrong.  Morality is whatever the culture says that it is and bends to no universal standard.  The common way to say this would be, “Different strokes for different folks.”  But before you can say “Whatchoo talkin’ about, Grayson?”  moral relativism runs into some severe logical problems (forgive the 80′s sitcom joke, I couldn’t help myself).

It should be noted first that moral relativism is a frequent sanctuary for atheists who wish to adhere to some kind of morality.  There are some, like Sartre, who embrace the black void of nihilism, which is the belief that there is no morality; there is no right or wrong.  But most atheists I have met still express a desire to do good.  But since they are materialists (which means that there exists nothing beyond the material world), they rarely make an appeal to a universal, transcendent standard.

You can read the whole thing here.

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