Moral relativism is the theory that denies that humans can possess any objective, universally meaningful knowledge, that there are any 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 can teach you about that. But what’s the problem with moral relativism? Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason (who along with Francis Beckwith wrote the book on Relativism) wrote a great article in Salvo Magazine on that topic. Here are 7 Things You Can’t Do as a Moral Relativist:
- Relativists Can’t Accuse Others of Wrong-Doing
- Relativists Can’t Complain About the Problem of Evil
- Relativists Can’t Place Blame or Accept Praise
- Relativists Can’t Claim Anything Is Unfair or Unjust
- Relativists Can’t Improve Their Morality
- Relativists Can’t Hold Meaningful Moral Discussions
- Relativists Can’t Promote the Obligation of Tolerance
Bonus #8: Stephen Meyer, in the TrueU video series (which is excellent for group study), lists a couple more. Edit: Meyer’s number 8 is: Relativists can’t complain about the problem of evil. But his number 2 is: The relativist can’t complain about being mistreated.
If you want to know the detailed reasons that Koukl gives for each, read the article in its entirety over at Salvomag.
Would you add any more to the list?