Moral relativism is the theory that denies that humans can posses any objective, universally meaningful knowledge, that there are ultimate and unchanging metaphysical realities or that there are any moral absolutes. Philosopher Peter Kreeft said that “No culture in history has ever embraced moral relativism and survived.”
If you don’t think objective moral values exist, Kreeft is an expert on that (see his website link on this blog). But what’s the problem with moral relativism? Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason (who along with Francis Beckwith wrote Relativism) wrote an excellent article in Salvo Magazine on that topic (he gives detailed reasons for each of these seven points in that article).
Here are the 7 things you can’t do as a moral relativist:
(1) Relativists Can’t Accuse Others of Wrong-Doing
(2) Relativists Can’t Complain About the Problem of Evil
(3) Relativists Can’t Place Blame or Accept Praise
(4) Relativists Can’t Claim Anything Is Unfair or Unjust
(5) Relativists Can’t Improve Their Morality
(6) Relativists Can’t Hold Meaningful Moral Discussions
(7) Relativists Can’t Promote the Obligation of Tolerance
*Greg Koukl is the founder and president of Stand to Reason (www.str.org). Greg started out thinking he was too smart to become a Christian and ended up giving his life for the defense of the Christian faith. A central theme of Greg’s speaking and writing is that Christianity can compete in the marketplace of ideas when it’s properly understood and properly articulated.
Greg’s teaching has been featured on Focus on the Family radio, he’s been interviewed for the BBC, and did a one-hour national television debate with Deepak Chopra on Lee Strobel’s “Faith Under Fire.” Greg has been quoted in U.S. News & World Report, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the L.A. Times. An award-winning writer, Greg is the author of Tactics: A Gameplan to Discuss Your Christian Convictions, Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air with Francis J. Beckwith, and Precious Unborn Human Persons. Greg has spoken on more than 50 university and college campuses both in the U.S. and abroad.
Greg received his Masters in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at Talbot School of Theology, graduating with high honors, and his Masters in Christian Apologetics from Simon Greenleaf University. He is an adjunct professor in Christian apologetics at Biola University.