Oh, so you think you’re tolerant?!?!
Moral Relativism, the belief that right and wrong are up to our society is not neutral. it is a view of right and wrong that is every bit as much a claim to know something as those who say right and wrong are real.
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 Hello friends. Welcome to the Case for Life podcast. We aim to help you effectively convey your pro life views. Special thanks again to Life Training Institute who sponsors this podcast. And a reminder to all of you watching, if you would like to be a sponsor of this podcast, we’d love to hear from you.

Please contact us at our social media sites and we’ll work something out with you today. I want to talk about this objection, which seems to be coming up more and more in the press, more and more on our comment thread. And it seems that we need to go back and revisit it. The objection goes like this, quit trying to change people’s minds.

How dare you impose your beliefs on others. Now, I find this objection on one hand almost laughable. The person who says to you, quit trying to change people’s minds, is trying to do what? Change my mind. In other words, it’s like they’re saying, oh, don’t ever correct anybody, but allow me to correct you for saying you believe you’re right.

Now, of course, the person correcting me believe he, believes he is right. Otherwise, why is he correcting me? But I want to take a little bit deeper dive into the worldview idling behind this particular objection that says we shouldn’t force our views. We shouldn’t correct anybody. How dare we claim to be right?

That is not a neutral worldview. Often critics who espouse that way of thinking, think they’re riding above the fray. They think that somehow they have avoided taking a position that they are trying to push through as much as I am. Rather though, what’s happening is they are espousing a view of ethics, a worldview known as relativism.

And let me define what relativism is. Relativism is the belief that right and wrong are either up to you, the individual, or perhaps your society. But there are no overarching rules that we’re supposed to line up with and align our ethics with. Rather, it’s all constructed either by our individual view, or by society that acts as a consensus in a social contract.

But one way or the other, there are no essential or what we call objective moral truths that we’re supposed to line up with. That’s the view of relativism. Now relativism generally is expressed one of three ways, and there’s a great book on this subject that I’ll mention right now, written by Francis J Beckwith and Gregory Kokel called Relativism.

feet firmly planted in midair. And in that book, isn’t that a great title? In that book, they have got three main ways that relativism is expressed, that they’ve identified. And here they are. The first is what we call society does relativism. And it goes like this. It, it looks at the Christian pro lifer and says, How can you claim your view is true when other people disagree?

For example, in some cultures, you’re allowed one wife. In other cultures, you can have ten. How can you claim marriage, for example, should be between one man and one woman? When cultures disagree on that question, or they might say with respect to abortion, how can you say your pro life view is true when lots of other people disagree with it?

In other words, disagreement means there’s no truth. But wait a minute. How does it follow that because people don’t agree, nobody’s right? And this has always struck me as a very odd objection. I mean, people once disagreed on whether slavery was right or wrong. Does that mean there was no right answer?

They once disagreed on whether the earth was flat or round. Did that mean there wasn’t a right way to think about it? I mean, people once disagreed, that women should have the right to vote. Does that mean there wasn’t a right way to think about it? But the objection itself is actually self refuting.

Here’s why. A lot of people disagree with relativists, so that would mean their view is falsified because people disagree with it. So even on the face of it, this particular view of relativism is self defeating because there are people who disagree with it. If that’s the standard, then their own view is falsified.

The next view, which is very common, is what we call society says relativism, and it goes like this. It says, look. There are no objective standards that we’re supposed to get in line with. Rather, right and wrong are constructed socially by consensus. We all get together and we decide what’s right, what’s wrong.

We don’t have any standards we need to line up with. We just decide for ourselves what we ought to do and not do. That’s society says relativism. And really this has its roots in the French Revolution, the idea of the emergence of social contract thinking. But I think this view is also problematic. Say we have a Nazi culture that decides it’s okay to kill Jews, and we have a British culture that says we ought to love them.

Who is right on Society Says Relativism? Well, the answer is there can be no such thing as true evil. only constructed evil. This culture here says you can kill Jews. This one here says you cannot. We can’t really adjudicate between the two because there’s no objective standard to evaluate them by. Very problematic view on what makes right and what makes wrong.

That’s the view though of society says Relativism. You end up with no true evil culture and no true virtuous one. Only social contracts. Thirdly, you have what we call I Say Relativism. And that is the belief that, hey, morality isn’t with some objective standard. It resides solely with the individual. Each individual constructs his own reality.

when it comes to morality, and there’s nothing beyond that we shouldn’t judge, and that’s the view that basically espouses how dare you impose your morals on me. Now, each of these three versions of relativism have very problematic aspects to them, which I want to talk about now. First, Relativism is self defeating, and here’s what I mean by that.

It can’t fulfill its own rule. It falsifies itself. For example, when somebody says to you,

What did they do? They just forced a moral rule on you. It’s like they’re saying, there are no moral rules. Oh, but here’s one. Don’t you dare judge me. And don’t you dare claim to be right. And don’t you dare try to impose what you believe on anyone else. Well, where did that moral rule come from? Is it an objective moral rule we all ought to get in line with?

Or is it one you’ve just made up, which means it’s your morality, but not mine? That’s the problem with that. It’s self defeating. Secondly, relativism can’t tell us why anything is right or wrong. I remember a couple of years ago being on the University of Georgia campus and asking students What is the basis of morality?

And they could not answer the question. So I decided to try to make it simple for them. I said, is it okay to torture toddlers for fun? And the most typical answer to this is, well, I would never do that, but I can’t judge what other groups do. It might be wrong for my group, but who am I to judge this other group?

So I decided to try to even push the envelope a little further. Is it okay to to lynch homosexuals just because you don’t like gay people. And even then, they didn’t want to say it would be wrong, because they knew the minute they admitted that, their relativism was out the door. That’s the big problem with this book.

idea that right and wrong are up to us. You can’t say anything is objectively right or wrong. Mother Teresa loved people and sought to care for them. Hitler, well, he liked to kill them. Who are we to judge on relativism? But thirdly, relativism is an unlivable view of ethics, and let me explain why. As C. S.

Lewis points out in Mere Christianity, the very guy who tells you there are no objective standards will complain one moment later if you steal his orange or cut him off in line. He’ll say, that’s not the way Fair. And Lewis then asks the million dollar question, where did this standard of fairness come from that the objector appeals to, that he expects everybody in the room to recognize?

And the answer is, he can’t even complain without borrowing from the very worldview he denies, namely, that morals are real, objective, and they’re knowable. That’s the problem with relativism. It can’t fulfill its own worldview. standard. It can’t say why anything is right or wrong, and it also is an unlivable worldview.

Nobody truly lives as a relativist. After all, do relativists tolerate non relativists? And the answer is no. They call them all kinds of names. You’re a bigot. You’re just a religious extremist imposing your view. You’re narrow minded. You’re on the wrong side of history, and the list goes on and on.

Relativists judge non relativists. as being not merely mistaken, but bad for society, and really, if we want to get down to it, evil. But wait a minute, what does evil mean on a relativistic worldview? Is that just your construct of evil, or are you saying that people who believe right and wrong are real?

are truly evil in that they fail to live up to some objective standard somewhere. This is the problem with making claims like, well, morality is individual and don’t force your views on me. The person who says you shouldn’t judge just judged you. This is The problem a lot of people don’t get, they don’t see, and yet it’s an epidemic problem with people who run around pretending they’re tolerant.

Tolerance used to mean this. Tolerance used to mean, I think your view is mistaken, however you have just as much right to come to the public square and make your case as I do mine. I tolerate you being different than me. The new tolerance throws that idea out the window. The new tolerance is this. Don’t you say anything I disagree with that might offend me individually.

We will not tolerate that. That’s the new view of tolerance, which of course is not tolerance, it’s tyranny. All right, that’s enough for today. Look forward to seeing you next time. Please visit our social media sites. And remember, when you claim your view is true, you are not being any less tolerant than the guy who says there is no truth.

Both views are making a judgment.