It’s not quite all relative

Have you ever shared an idea or offered advice to someone, only to be told, “Well, that may be right for you, but it’s just not right for me.”

If you’re suggesting the type of car that’s best to drive or the genre of books you like to read, this may not be the most controversial response. But what about choosing which religion to follow? Or whether it’s okay to have sex before marriage? The questions go on…

Well, what’s right for me may not be right for everyone, right? …Or are there choices that are legitimately bad no matter the circumstances?

I believe the answer my generation has chosen for this question has ripped our principles of morality to shreds and sewn back together a deformed & diluted version of what’s good.

“Morality today is a fog of feelings” – Peter Kreeft

This “fog” of moral relativism is an ideology that could have no more befitting a motto than, “What’s right for me may not be right for you.”

Peter Kreeft, a well known philosopher & professor at Boston College explains that relativists believe morality is first of all changeable; secondly, subjective; and third, individual. Many believe – wrongly – that traditional morals ought to catch up to modern realities, that nothing is naturally good or bad unless we think it so, and simply that there are “different strokes for different folks.”

So why does absolute morality – with principles that are objective, unchanging & universal – leave such a bad taste in everyone’s mouth? Why are we letting friends & family hurt themselves under the mantra that it’s their life to lead? Why are we objecting to being held accountable because we think ourselves the masters of our own lives?

I’ll give you 3 reasons why:

  • It’s scary – to think that absolute truths exist which apply to everyone, everywhere, including you & me
  • We feel bad – that we won’t be able to be as nice or as tolerant to those who struggle with issues that would be easier to affirm than to challenge
  • We don’t want to judge – because that seems arrogant and rude and “it’s not our place”

And my response is this: those are unintelligent, weak, and selfish excuses. 

  • If you cannot believe in something that has a greater power of authority over you than you have over yourself, then you hold the very arrogance towards God which you fear in avoiding being judgmental of others.
  • If you fear being mean or rude by laying down your flags of tolerance & niceness, how cowardly will you be when you aren’t brave enough to speak up when someone you love is hurting themselves, or worse, when lives are at stake because of your silence?
  • Finally, if you are no one to judge, then you must have a superb ability to avoid gossip (the worst form of judgment of all, since it has no purpose but to defame) and you certainly must not mind any choice of another person, organization, or political party, even if it hurts you or someone else.

The problem with letting everyone be, to make the “best” decisions for themselves, to “discern” whatever truths their version of a deity affirms, is that failure is inevitable. No society has survived with the “live and let live” mentality and no individual can truly thrive without acknowledging objective truth, or more specifically by serving one, true, unchanging God.

I challenge you to consider how your feelings should not be that which molds your morality, but that objective, unchanging, universal principles do exist, created long before your young mind began fabricating truths that would accommodate your “personal” & “modern-day” life choices, and if you choose to follow these timeless guides, your life will not only be made easier but truly happier.

(As my husband iterated, “Moral relativism is a deep, dark hole,” and since I’ve only skimmed the surface here, I highly recommend reading or listening to Peter Kreeft’s Refutation of Moral Relativism.)


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