Absolutely Inconsistent

Our society has been duped into believing that there are no absolute values, that all morality is relative, that whatever is right for that person is right.  Yes, I said duped.

The belief system that there are no absolute values/morals is indefensible.  Even the statement that there are no absolute values is an absolute statement, and yet (perplexingly) most people hold to this conviction.  The rationale behind this world view is that we should be tolerant of everyone because their morals are no less valid than our morals.  This sounds good on the surface, and for many people it is motivated by good intentions, but just scratch the surface slightly, and it completely falls apart.  What about the person who is not being tolerant of others?  Are their morals valid, or invalid?  What about the person who wants to murder or torture others?  Is that acceptable?  If there really are no absolute morals, wouldn’t it have to be?

So then, what I think the person who says there are no absolute morals really believes is this:  the only absolute morals are that you shouldn’t hurt others, and you shouldn’t try to convince others they are wrong, and there is no god or deity that dictates what is right and wrong.  That sounds like several absolutes to me.  What they are actually saying is they think you should hold to their minimal list of absolute morals, because it is superior to your list of absolute morals.  So this logic comes full circle, and is self-contradicting.

I understand that this whole mindset was motivated, at least partially, because many religious people are judgemental of others (or they at least appear that way). Christians are called to discern between good and evil, are called to look at their own lives and by God’s Spirit repent of their sin, and are even called to help other Christians see the error of their ways (when necessary ) because they have entered into a covenant not only with God but with His fellow children. But Christians are not called to point out every sin of non-Christians, each of us has enough work to do to curtail our own sin. Christians are called only to let them know that their sin, just like our sin, can be taken away by the sacrifice of Jesus. Maybe if Christians hadn’t spent so much time pointing out others’ sin, non-Christians wouldn’t be so eager to come up with a life philosophy whose major tenant is to not judge others.

In Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians, he addresses an issue in which some of the members of the church were flaunting their “freedom” and openly disobeying some of God’s commands.  Part of what Paul said to the church was “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. In no way did I mean the immoral people of this world, or the greedy and swindlers and idolaters, since you would then have to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person. For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Are you not to judge those inside? But God will judge those outside.”  (I Cor 5:9-13)  God’s Word is pretty clear that Christians should leave the judging of non-Christians to God.  (He’ll do a much better job of it anyway.)  The Christian’s focus should be to communicate to them the saving grace of Jesus.

While we are on this topic, let’s talk about being offended.  Decades ago, people could express different opinions and it wasn’t considered offensive.  Free speech is a basic tenant of our rights (in the 1st amendment to the constitution), and spirited debate of varying ideas a pillar of our form of government.  It used to be that most people were sure enough about their own convictions, that it didn’t bother them when someone expressed a different opinion.

How did we get away from that?  Today, when someone expresses an opinion different from ours, even if their opinion implies that we are wrong, why don’t we just consider that person ill-informed and ignore them, or (gasp) consider what they are saying and re-evaluate our own position?  Why are we offended instead?  Could it be we are so unsure about our own convictions that any dissension threatens our own world view?  Or is it that we have so much conviction in our no-absolutes belief, that we view it as absolutely unacceptable to express an absolute opinion?  Think about it.

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