Observations of Moral Relativism
Ever since Adam and Eve there have always been liberals and conservatives, which generally can be described as people who want change in society (liberals) and people who want to preserve the current culture as it is (conservatives). In each culture and generation throughout history, what is defined as liberal and conservative has changed and been redefined over and over. Sometimes new ideas in a culture have actually spared societies of immorality and suffering, though at other times the preservation of old ideas have saved societies from much evil and suffering.
The modern Western culture, and in some ways other cultures of the world, are currently undergoing social revolutions which can be identified as part of an overall ideology. Due to these changes, the Christian religion in Europe is literally a shadow of its former self. Almost no one goes to church regularly, and conversations about Jesus Christ's Gospel are usually persecuted in a very subtle way in the media and in personal relations. The love of the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, personal and economic freedom, and Christianity in the United States are also under massive assaults every day by the media, Hollywood, leftist interest groups, some schools, and other social forces. Despite such major changes, some people deny that there is an ideology or belief-system seeking to radically alter God and society. Nevertheless, these changes can be isolated and categorized under a certain philosophy, which is called "Moral Relativism".
Modern moral relativism, as a form of relativism, teaches that morality, right and wrong, good and evil, do not exist and therefore should not be a factor in judging people's behavior and beliefs. According to this spirituality, right and wrong are perceived differently by each person, therefore no one has the right to judge another person's actions and beliefs.....unless of course they disagree with this theory! Hence, every moral judgement, criminal judgement, social judgement, and even conclusions about certain moral and social facts, must be either dismissed as unfair or be declared "too complicated to understand". According to this mentality, anyone who does make moral judgements about the actions of people, events, cultures, politics, etc. are judged as being immoral, unintelligent, unfair, insensitive, racist, uneducated, and so on. The moral relativist who does not believe that morality exists, nor accepts the idea of judging anyone's beliefs, is the one who judges other people himself, thereby proving this belief-system to be self-contradictory and false.
Moral relativism can be traced back thousands of years in paganism, and its doctrines have not really changed much at all. It has revived beginning in the early 1800's with the Romanticist Movement in Europe, whose basic ideals became popularized by Karl Marx, the founder of Communism, and Friedrich Nietzsche, the founder of Nihilism, both from the 1800's. It is not an official religion because its beliefs are not organized with a creed and group of leaders. But the Romanticists developed from the Age of Reason, which produced the ideals of political, economic, and religious freedom, individual human rights under God, and intellectual scientific endeavors. From this, the Romanticists reacted with their own versions of social justice, basically teaching that the poor are morally superior to the rich and that the criminal is somehow spiritually superior to the law-abiding citizens. This was done to force monarchies of the 1800's to change their political and elite structures. Thus evil concepts, like hell and Satan, were glamorized into glorious figures of goodness under this ideology. Good was evil and evil was good, all in order to protest moral, social, and political injustices, if imaginary or real. Even Christianity was attacked as unholy and Islam was idealized as some kind of righteous cause for social progress.
The average person in the 1800's didn't always follow the Romanticist Movement, for it was basically an ideology led by a bunch of elites who felt guilty for their high social status. However, church attendances throughout west Europe began to decline. Building on the Romanticists' ideals, Karl Marx taught that capitalism and religion were morally inferior and that the working class was morally superior. He wanted a world where everyone was provided for by the government, so that the rich could be eventually eliminated. This included Christianity, for he was convinced that all churches were a cause of poverty and human suffering. At the same time, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote that "God is dead", meaning that Christianity is evil and should be eliminated. He popularized the concept of moral relativism, the belief that right and wrong, good and evil are not absolute truths, but are determined by each person's own imaginary opinions of what morality is. He did this because he wanted to change the perception that morality is an unchanging reality of Jesus Christ, in order to convince people that it is a personal preference, like choosing different brands of ice cream.
How does all this apply to modern times? Throughout the 20th century, more and more people became educated and exposed to this spirituality, basically because the elitists of the 1800's who were taught these doctrines gave birth to more elitists who became professors, teachers, judges, and journalists, jobs that were once hightly respectable and honest professions. Classic examples of moral relativity occurred with Bonnie and Clyde in the 1930's, who were glorified by the media and some people of their day because they seemed to be getting back at the rich. Al Capone was also a beloved figure in the 1930's by some people in Chicago because he gave to the poor and seemed to defend them against the rich. Criminals in Hollywood movies were often glorified as heroes starting in the 1950's. Leftist interest groups, such as unions and black leaders, insist on forcing the belief that criminals are innocent victims of poverty and police brutality. Hollywood movies and its directors, writers, and actors have almost unanimously promoted gross bigotry against anything Christian, while glamorizing pornography, violence, adultery, anti-intellectualism, and other forms of immorality. Some schools are now trying to erase the spiritual and physical memory of the Founding Fathers of the U.S. Constitution, while glorifying Islam and other dictatorships. And the main media has given relentless support to all of these liberal ideals. All levels of moral relativism are still expanding into the 21st century, though it is far more entrenched in Europe than in the United States, where the exposure to this ideology has begun somewhat later.
One of the more recent problems developing because of moral relativity is the belief that all poor countries are innocent victims of poverty, which is supposedly caused by all the rich countries (The fact that most of the world's poverty is actually caused or inflamed by dictatorships, internal crime, and government corruption and waste is often a secondary feature to the devotees of this belief). As a result, all genocidal actions of poor countries are tolerated and ignored, while mere accusations of social injustice among rich countries is a reason for harsh and relentless criticism. Leaders of poor countries, especially if they are not Christian, are blindly tolerated no matter how much genocide they commit, while immediate and harsh justice is demanded of richer countries who may or may not have caused a given social injustice. A classic example of this occurred in the 1990's, when Milosevic in Serbia was committing genocide in Kosovo. The United Nations verbally gave reserved support for the sudden American attack against him without any resolution from the U.S. Congress or from the United Nations. Yet support for the invasion against Saddam Hussein in Iraq, who has been committing genocide for many years, seemed difficult to achieve, especially among the major countries of the world, and with all the liberals demanding peace talks after peace talks, providing countless 2nd chances, United Nations' resolutions, Congressional resolutions, and other obstructionist measures. In a similar way, Israel is condemned for defending itself against unjust attacks by the Palestinians, while Yassar Arafat and other genocidal Palestinians are defended by the United Nations and the Europeans. Moral relativists have made everything a political issue, even sex (i.e. gay rights), for justice to them is determined by social causes, not by a belief in traditional religious morality. Ironically, these same tactics have been used by the Soviets and other Communists for decades to bend society to their will.
The seemingly best argument that moral relativism uses is the fact that every culture has different kinds of morality. In some countries it's okay to forcefully mutilate children and adults; other countries see this as immoral. In some cultures it's regarded as good to chop off heads and shrink them; other cultures consider it immoral. Islam teaches that all non-Muslims must be persecuted; other religions despise this as evil. All of these contradictory examples of morality are used in moral relativity to prove that morality is not determined by God but by personal opinions and prefences, like preferring one brand of corn flakes over another, so that it can be said that no culture or religion possesses the true standard of morality. But such thinking about the fact that morality is applied differently from culture to culture does not prove anything at all. All it proves is that there are differences about morality, rather than proving that there is no morality or that all kinds of morality are valid. Some religions and individuals over the years have believed that the world is flat, even in knowing opposition to people who believe that the world is round. But this conflict does not cause a "gray issue" or eliminate the fact that the earth is round. Thus, conflicting systems of morality do not prove that a true standard of morality doesn't exist; all it proves is that morality can be applied differently, if more lenient or more demanding, without disproving a true standard of morality. Similarly, other moral relativists use this argument another way, not by saying that there is no true standard of morality, by saying that since all different kinds of morality exist in the world, then they are all valid. But such reasoning is again very flawed, for if every type of morality is valid, then what is wrong with Nazi Germany's beliefs? Or what is wrong with a mass murderer's inclinations? Such thinking is not only anti-Christian, it is anti-human. There must be a standard of morality, for, despite its claims, even moral relativism also applies its own version of morality.
Moral relativism is self-contradictory. Its followers do not believe in making moral judgements, yet when anyone disagrees with their way of thinking, he is automatically condemned as immoral. Thus, their hatred of immorality is actually a hatred of traditional morality, which includes the legal and moral heritage of the Founding Fathers and the morality of Christianity and Judaism. Where a conservative sees right and wrong in a situation and demands violent punishment against criminals or terrorists, the liberal sees gray areas, allowing for leniency, since such people may be victims of social injustice, rather than of truly immoral behavior. Thus, the relativist oversimplifies social problems by calling them "too complicated to understand". Race problems in the United States and race problems between Jews and Muslims are perceived to be incapable of being morally judged, so anyone who recognizes blacks rioting in the streets as being evidence of evil people is branded as unfair, insensitive, and incapable of understanding how complicated the problem really is. Anyone who recognizes Islam as a totalitarian evil religion is branded as unfair, insensitive, and totally incapable of understanding complicated issues. It doesn't matter that the head-hunting religion is considered evil or that other religions in history have been branded evil by all societies, proving that evil religions do exist. Hence, moral relativism misses important information and forms conclusions based on theories.
Since modern liberals, who have more and more in recent times adopted in varying degrees moral relativism, have difficulty in making moral judgements, or do not wish to, they often escape the moral question completely by diverting attention away from it by saying that it is "too complicated to understand" or that "it is another gray area". They often do this when certain facts confronting their pet beliefs force them to make some kind of definite moral assessment of a social issue or of persons represented by a social issue. This obfuscation of morality is often abused by liberals so that they can advance their own social morality or agendas without making moral determinations. It is also an excuse to not fully investigate or research both sides of the issues. They can simply glance at both sides of an argument, while at the same time making themselves feel objective and well-informed, when they are actually avoiding honest, moral judgements. These methods of moral obfuscations are quite popularly promoted in the main media, which thrives on quick glances at issues, initially one-sided, without completely analyzing all the facts in detail. In this way, a liberal can become a devotee of the new social morality and appear to be more informed and righteous, thereby justifying his contempt for traditional conservative or Christian social morality for making too many moral assessments of societies, people, behavior, and social issues. Such thinking is also an escape for the less extreme liberals who realize or sense some of the logical flaws of moral relativism.
In addition to the claim of so many gray areas in certain social issues, moral relativism often denies that moral relativity and liberals actually exist. A classic example of this occurs in the main media of the United States, which is primarily liberal. American newspapers and TV news shows consistently create the impression that moral relativity and liberals do not exist or that they represent "middle-of-the-road" people and beliefs. This biased agenda is quite deceptive because the people creating this impression truly believe that they are not deceiving anyone; they actually believe that any person who is not a conserative cannot be labelled a liberal, for to label something means to identify it as socially unhealthy in some way. Thus they presume that anyone who is not a conservative must be logical, fair, objective, and intellectually honest, so that no label is deemed necessary. For this reason, public figures who are conserative, such as politicians, Christian leaders, and talk radio show hosts, are quickly labelled as "hard-core conservatives", "right-wing talk show hosts", "conservative Christian", etc. However, no liberal public figures and news sources are ever labelled as extreme, hard-core, left-wing, or even liberal; they are simply identified by their names with no labels attached, no matter how radically leftist they may be. This has contributed to the impression that people and institutions following Christian morality are socially unhealthy and should not be tolerated.
Moral relativism is actually a spirituality, or religion, by which modern liberals can impose a new morality on people so as to oppose the traditional conservative or Christian morality. Hence, liberals and conservatives today are simply two different sets of morality at odds with each other. While in certain ways they agree on morality, in other ways they do not. While the conservative morality seeks to preserve well-attested and ancient assessments of human souls, the liberal morality denies the existence of the soul and applies moral relativity in order to advance social agendas and hedonistic interpretations of morality. They do not want to be pressured by a Christian society to act and think according to the Bible's morality. Liberals want to be free not to feel guilty about certain sinful acts and thoughts, and they blame and attack followers and institutions promoting conservative morality whenever their consciences bother them. Since sin is not a social issue, but a result of morality being absolute and universal, rather than an opinion, their consciences will always bother them because their morality is false. So they will always attack biblical morality in order to justify their beliefs and to make their consciences seemingly feel better.
Sadly, some good Christians have also been totally or partially influenced by moral relativism, but most Christians have remained true to traditional or conservative morality. Hopefully, churches may continue to be a factor in the future, for the United States never had the Communist, Fascist, and Nihilist doctrines for as long a time and as dramatically as Europe has. Europe had Marx, Nietzsche, Stalin, and Hitler teaching and training people to undermine biblical morality. Yet their influence cannot be forgotten, for as Hitler once said when he was at Auschwitz, "I freed Germany from the stupid and degrading fallacies of conscience and morality....We will train young people before whom the world will tremble." (Quoted in "Relativism- Feet Planted Firmly in Mid-Air" by Beckwith and Koukl, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998, p. 155). These young people were trained quite well in Hitler's socialist morality, for since Hitler's time, Europeans have almost destroyed the Christian religion and its morality, much like Islam and Communism have done. Now the seeds of this radical spirituality have come to the United States, and the people may soon tremble if they are not unified, politically active, and in vigilant prayer.