Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason wrote an article for Salvo Magazine entitled, “Seven Things You Can't Do As A Moral Relativist”, in which he (obviously) lists these seven things. They are:
1. Relativists can’t accuse others of wrongdoing.
2. Relativists can’t complain about the problem of evil.
3. Relativists can’t place blame or accept praise.
4. Relativists can’t make charges of unfairness or injustice.
5. Relativists can’t improve their morality.
6. Relativists can’t hold meaningful moral discussions.
7. Relativists can’t promote the obligation of tolerance.
“Fred” went on to explain that at his church he was a music minister and had always had gay men in key positions. He was aware of it, and even the pastor was aware of this, however, he said, “we don't meddle in parishioners private lives. Being gay is not a sin, Having sex outside wedlock is.”
As I went to explain that morality is not relative and, in fact, cannot be relative without disastrous results, is pointed to a recent news article as what happens when morality is considered relative, the gang rape of a young woman on a public beach, surrounded by hundreds of onlookers who did absolutely nothing other than video record the rape and then post it online. [Panama City Gang Rape: A Kitty Genovese for the YouTube Era, by Charlotte Lytton 04.16.15]
“Fred” tried to explain that what was different in the example of the Panama City gang rape is that in that incident there was a victim, therefore it was morally wrong because rape is a criminal action. However, that only addresses who is criminally responsible for that act, not who is morally wrong. I responded by asking “Fred” who he thought was morally wrong then? Was it the rapists? Was it the hundreds of onlookers who stood by and did nothing other than video record the rape? How about those who allowed the video to be posted to their website? How about the people who watched or downloaded the video? Are any of these people morally wrong? I asked “Fred” if he thought, as he apparently did, that an act is only immoral if there is a victim, then who decides if there actually is a victim? If a court of law allows a child molester to go free and makes the determination that the three year old that the molester actually raped, wasn't legally raped because there wasn't enough evidence to convict him, then no crime actually occurred and therefore there is no actual victim. Then, according to “Fred's” moral relativist belief, that rape of a three year old would not be immoral since the court determined that no rape took place.
Of course, “Fred” had no answer, and in fact, he told me that he could not argue with that. He did not, however, reject his moral relativism belief. “Fred's” responses, his arguments in our conversation perfectly illustrate Mr. Koukl's list of seven things a moral relativist cannot do. “Fred” could not accuse those involved in the Panama City gang rape of wrongdoing. He could not call what they did wrong or evil, he could not place any blame upon them for the rape or the video recording of it and he could not say that what the rapists or video recorders did was unfair or unjust; and clearly, “Fred” was unable to hold a meaningful moral discussion.
This is the problem, the failure of moral relativism. Since nothing is really immoral or moral, other than what the individual “believes” is moral or immoral in a given situation or at a particular moment in time, the moral relativist cannot, as Mr, Koukl states, improve their morality because they have no objective or absolute moral standard.
As Christian's – and I will even go so far as to make the distinction of “True Christian's,” we have an absolute, unchanging moral standard, and that standard is God. In fact, every person has that standard of God's absolute morality written on their heart, their DNA so to speak. The problem arises when the individual chooses to ignore that absolute moral standard in favor of their own personal wants and desires which they rationalize and justify by waving the banner of moral relativism, and that brings us back to the issue “Fred” and I started our conversation with. Homosexual marriage. It is morally wrong, and the only thing that an approval of homosexual marriage will do, is to lend a governmental approval of the immoral sexual wants and desires of a select group of individuals. And if that approval is lent by the government, then how can they disapprove of any other immoral sexual wants or desires of any other group?
Moral relativism is the key to a Pandora's Box that once opened, cannot legislatively be closed. Ever.
The seven fatal flaws of moral relativism
Seven Things You Can’t Do as a Moral Relativist
What is moral relativism?
What is moral relativism?