It Is Possible To Be TOO "Open-Minded!"
The idea that truth/reality is somehow only true for the individual who believes it (or when it comes to "religious" matters that all faiths are valid and lead to 'God') is utter nonsense and easily refuted...(ironically though, these same people who claim to be 'open minded' are usually the most closed and inconsistant when it comes to accepting absolute truths and the most intolerant when it comes to tolerating those they deem to be intolerant!!!)
Relativism, whether it be factual or moral is a growing popular error in these last days.
For those that are not familiar with the word, it is the world-view that truth and morals are relative to the individual, so that what is true for you may not be true for me and what is moral for you may not be moral for me so 'one should be 'tolerent' and not 'push your values/beliefs unto others'
Such fruits of this notion are political correctness (aka cultural marxism), multi-culturalism and syncretism (all religions are equally valid).
This sounds very nice and "fuzzy"- after all this way we can just get along with each other.......right?
However, the very idea that we should be 'tolerent' as truth/morals aren't absolute is self-defeating and when it comes to morals, quite hypocritical and even dangerous as I shall attempt to summarise:
'What is true for you is not true for me'
If what is true for me is that relativism is false, then is it true that relativism is false?
If you say no, then what is true for me is not true and relativism is false.
If you say yes, then relativism is false.
If you say that it is true only for me that relativism is false, then I am believing something other than relativism; namely, that relativism is false. If that is true, then how can relativism be true?
Am I believing a premise that is true or false or neither? If I am believing in something other than relativism that is true, then there is something other than relativism that is true - even if it is only for me.
If it is true for me that relativism is false, then relativism (within me) holds the position that relativism is false. This is self-contradictory.
If it is false for me that relativism is false, then relativism isn't true because what is true for me is not said to be true for me.
If you say it is neither true or false, then relativism isn't true since it states that all views are equally valid and by not being, at least true, relativism is shown to be wrong.
If I believe that relativism is false, and if it is true only for me that it is false, then you must admit that it is absolutely true that I am believing that relativism false.
If you admit that it is absolutely true that I am believing relativism is false, then relativism is defeated since you admit there is something absolutely true.
If there is something other than relativism that is true, then relativism is false. (See how absurd the whole mindset is?)
'No one can know anything for sure'
If that is true, then we can know that we cannot know anything for sure... which is self defeating!
'That is your reality, not mine'
Is my reality really real?
If my reality is different than yours, how can my reality contradict your reality? If yours and mine are equally real, how can two opposite realities that exclude each other really exist at the same time?
'We all perceive what we want'
How do you know that statement is true?
If we all perceive what we want, then what are you wanting to perceive?
If you say you want to perceive truth, how do you know if you are not deceived?
Simply desiring truth is no proof you have it.
The fact of the matter that some (deliberately?) don't seem to grasp is that truth/reality- by definition- IS 'narrow' and absolute.
I actually had someone once tell me in all seriousness that the moon only exists when she can see it!
Personal perception isn't necessarily truth because reality doesn't change if we don't like or understand or are wrong about what we see:
Truth is true, even if no one knows it.
Truth is true, even if no one admits it.
Truth is true, even if no one believes it.
Truth is true, even if no one follows it.
Truth is true, even if it isn't popular.
Truth is true, even when others attempt to distort it.
Truth is true, even if no one but God understands it fully.
This applies to moral relativism also: If one believes that morals are relative and tells you that you should be more "tolerent" and not to impose your values on anyone- what they fail to realise is that what they have imposed their own moral values on you by trying to stop you from 'imposing your values' which contradicts their whole mind-set.
Furthermore, "tolerence' -by definition- entails that in order to be 'tolerent' of something, that something you are being tolerent of must be in conflict with a value or belief that you hold to be absolutely true which means that they cannot both be correct -whether it be Christianity vs Hinduism or the basic idea that torturing babies is wrong.
(Incidentally, under moral relativism there is no difference between the arsonist and the fireman who put out the fire, the paedophile and the policeman who arrested him or between the act of giving you a flower or a knife through your neck! - Think about that!)
Here is an illustration that may help:
"Homosexuality is a sin / we all have sinned and falled short of the glory of God /Jesus said in John 14:6 that He is the only way to salvation (fill in the blank)"
"You shouldn't push your morality on me"
"Are you saying I have no right to an opinion?"
"You have a right, but don't force it on anyone"
"Is that your opinion?"
"Then why are you forcing it on me?"
"Because you are saying that only your view is right"
"Am I wrong?"
"Is that your view?"
"Then you are saying only your moral world-view is right to the exclusion of mine which is the very thing you objected to me saying."
1. If morality is relative to culture, then there is no independant basis for criticizing action.
2. If there is no independant basis for criticizing action, then we must be tolerant.
3. Morality is in fact relative to culture the relativist will say.
4. Therefore, we must be tolerant.
5. To say that we must be tolerant is a moral stipulation.
6. Therefore, #3 cannot be true.
So logically, if truth and morals can only be absolute, then no one can honestly say that there are any real grey areas in life (except for the lukewarm undecided people who would rather be politically correct and avoid offending anyone by making a factually correct choice. See Revelation 3: 15-22) Most who claim something to be a "grey area" are simply too lazy to look closer at the issue to differentiate between the "black" and the "white".
Ergo, there IS only good or bad- right and wrong- truth or lie...
The following is a discussion I had which typifies the fallicious nature of relativism. The relativist is in red and my refutation is in blue:
|I walked into my living room yesterday and looked at the thermostat. I had set it to 62 degrees F. to save a bit on my energy bill. Just then there was a knock on the front door. Opening it I was amused to see an Inuit dressed in full arctic gear and a Yanomami warrior from the Amazon wearing...well…you know…not much of anything at all. |
Not wishing to see them standing on my porch with nothing to do, I invited them into my living room for refreshments and some conversation. They were both sitting on my sofa and not much time had passed when at the exact same moment the strangest of things happened.
"It's cold in this room," said the Yanomami.
"It's hot in this room," said the Inuit.
People can be wrong even though they sincerely believe they are right, because/and personal preference isn't the same thing as objective truth or conversely, proof of relativism. (eg some people like blue, and some yellow, but that is not to say that both are aren't good since God made them both)
Another example is Michaelangelo's David. I can appreciate the skill and mastery gone into the creation of the statue, but personally wouldn't like to have it in my living room due to personal tastes. But my personal preferences have absolutely no bearing whatsoever on whether the statue is an example of fine art.
Objective truth (ie reality) is independent of personal feelings. 2+2=4 no matter how I may believe or want it to be '5', or '42' or 'porkchop'.
The Yanonmami may have found your livingroom cold, and the Inuit hot but those are their subjective feelings based on comparisons to the climate they are accustomed to. Given a few months both would find your livingroom to be comfortable as their bodies would have climatised to adapt to the objective 62 degree temperature of the livingroom.
They both felt differently, but reality dictates that the temperature was absolutely 62 degrees
I can guarantee that both the Yanomami and the Inuit would find -460 degrees temperatures cold, just as both would find the saharah desert hot.
So what you have done is make a catagory error with your glib illustration.
If one believes that 'truth (and morals) is relative' then to them it is a truth- and in being so, would have to be relative. Therefore, in being relative, it can't always be true that 'truth is relative.'
So, if some truths are not relative then they must be ABSOLUTE.
..Therefore the mind-set "truth is relative" is false because it is self-contradictory. Q.E.D.
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