Truth, Morality, Logic, and the Lack Thereof
by Bill Muehlenberg
The importance of truth and morality cannot be overestimated. This is especially true in a culture which has rejected both. The black and whites of truth and falsehood, right and wrong, have been replaced with 99 shades of grey. It is getting more and more difficult to even consider the reality of absolute truth and universal, objective morality.
The West has so steeped itself in epistemological and moral relativism that most folks today greatly bristle with anger if you dare to proclaim truth, or point out that some things are always morally binding. The idea that there is such a thing as objective truth which applies to all people in all places at all times is rejected out of hand by many.
And to proclaim the idea that there are certain things which are always wrong and can never be accepted will result in a tirade of accusations that you are being intolerant, bigoted, narrow-minded and judgmental. Such is the upside down culture we now live in.
When the ideas of truth and morality are rejected then of course anything goes. Our own personal preferences rule the day, and no one can say anyone is wrong or anything is false. It leaves us in a world of complete mental and moral anarchy.
As Cal Thomas put it recently, “There is no longer any cultural corrective because we have abandoned the concept of objective truth. Nothing is right or wrong, because that suggests a standard by which right and wrong might be defined. Personal choice is the new ‘standard,’ which is no standard at all. One might as well develop individual weights and measures.”
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Quite right, and that is effectively what people are doing in today’s relativistic age: they are creating their own standards and their own measurements. Their own finite and fallen life becomes the rule of thumb. Their personal preferences become the standard for deciding if something is right or true.
But of course all that leaves us with is billions of differing and conflicting reference points. It is as if every person on the planet declared himself or herself to be due north, no matter where they are on the planet. So our compasses will then be pointing everywhere, which is the same as having them point nowhere.
If right and wrong, truth and falsehood, are only matters of personal taste and preference, like one’s favourite type of ice cream, then we are left adrift in a sea of personal preferences with no objective and transcendent arbiter. Any and every taste and like becomes its own justifying standard.
You like chocolate ice cream? Fine, I like vanilla. You like ascribing personhood and the right to life to the unborn? Fine, I don’t. You think Hitler and the Holocaust was a no-no? Fine, I can’t be so sure. You think racism or pollution or rape are always wrong? Fine, but I can’t say for sure, and I certainly can’t push my personal views on other people…
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