Is it possible to know what Truth is? Is it true that we exist? How can you know something is true?What is Moral Relativity?
Discussion 2/9: Truth & Morality: Absolute or Relative
What is Truth?
Is it possible to know what Truth is? Is it true that we exist? To think about the answer proves we exist. Existence proves the state of reality. And to think about yourself, proves reason. These are two axioms or undeniable facts; I exist, and I reason.
Truth : is an expression, symbol or statement that matches or corresponds to its object or referent. Truth must correspond to reality in order to be true.
Absolute Truth : true for all, at all times and places
Relative Truth : subject to the holder of truth.
Problems with Subjective Truth:
- Relativism is self-defeating:
The relativist believes that subjective truth is true for everyone, not just from them. Therefore, if a relativist thinks it is true for everyone, then he believes it is an absolute truth. Therefore, he is no longer a relativist.
- Relativism is full of contradictions.
If Billy Graham believed God exists and an Atheist believes God did not exist both would be right.
- Relativism means no has ever been wrong.
No one could ever be wrong since there is no standard for right and wrong.
Objections to Absolute Truth:
- Some things are relative to others
- No new truths or progress is possible.
- Truth changes with our growth in knowledge.
- Absolute truth is too narrow.
Any Truth claim is narrow because truth by it nature means the other option is non-truth (LNC).
- Absolute truth is dogmatic
The claim of truth excludes non-truth.
- How can you know something is true?
Absolute Truth is true regardless of what we believe and think. Absolute truth is absolutely true no matter what evidence there is for it. Truth does not change just because we learn something about it.
Total agnosticism assumes some knowledge about reality in order to deny any knowledge of reality.
What was the First Cause? How did the Universe begin? Is God a logical concept? Without God where did matter come from?
What is Moral Relativity?
The view that when it comes to questions of morality, there are no absolutes and no objective right or wrong; moral rules are merely personal preferences and/or the result of one’s cultural, sexual or ethnic orientation
Arguments for Moral Relativism:
- Disagreement: The moral relativist feels since cultures and individuals disagree on moral issues therefore there can be no moral norms that are right and wrong.
- Tolerance: The Moral relativist embraces the view that one should not judge other cultures or individuals, for to do so would be intolerant.
The words; wrong, sin and good imply there exists an objective moral standard. Relativism denies any such standard.
- Disagreement does not prove relativism:
- Disagreement disproves relativism:
- Disagreement itself invalidates Relativism because disagreement requires someone to “be right”
Moral Relativism rejects all moral judgments:
killing people for fun is wrong; Stealing from people is a sin; Feeding the homeless is good
- Tolerance supports objective morality.
If everybody ought to be tolerant, then tolerance becomes an objective. Tolerance presupposes that there is something good about being tolerant.
- Relativism is a closed-minded intolerant position
Relativism dogmatically asserts there is no moral truth. Tolerance is position that we should be open-minded to the positions of others. Relativism becomes a closed-minded system intolerant of those who claim to have “Truth”
- Relativism is judgmental, exclusivist and partisan.
The relativist claims that if you believe in objective moral truth you are wrong.
Relativism excludes those who claim to have objective moral truth, therefore exclusive.
Because relativism is exclusive, all non-relativists are automatically not members of the “Correct thinking” party, and therefore partisan.
- Tolerance is either barbaric or self-refuting.
Is Morality Relative?
Is Truth Objective or Subjective?