True for You, but Not for Me: The Case Against Relativism- Part 3

I’ve written two blogs on this topic before, and this one will make more sense if you read those first. Here’s  part 1 and part part 2. I’ve also listed some more sources in those two blogs. 

I’m back with the third and final part of the relativism series! This is the part of the show where I give you some examples of relativistic thought, and you can see if you can pick out what makes it relativistic. Let’s get to it!

“Personally, I think abortion is wrong. It’s the murder of an innocent child, and I don’t think women shouldn’t abort their children. That’s just my opinion though. Even though I believe abortion is wrong, I don’t have the right to push that viewpoint on someone who believes abortion is okay. Ultimately, it’s up to the woman to make that choice with her body.”

In case you were wondering, this isn’t an actual quote, but it’s an argument I’ve heard a lot, and a great example of relativism. Look at it for a minute and see if you can pick out why, and then we’ll look through it again below.

“Personally, I think abortion is wrong. It’s the murder of an innocent child, and I don’t think women shouldn’t abort their children. That’s just my opinion though. Even though I believe abortion is wrong, I don’t have the right to push that viewpoint on someone who believes abortion is okay. Ultimately, it’s up to the woman to make that choice with her body.”

Let’s look at the claims in that paragraph. The person says that “abortion is wrong.” The person is making an objective claim by saying that abortion is murder all the time. It’s always wrong. Then, however, you see the person go back on that. All of a sudden, the person treats this claim about what he believes to be objectively wrong as something that is just a matter of opinion. In other words, the person goes from “abortion is wrong all the time” to “it’s wrong to me, but right to you.” Again, when he says that he doesn’t have the “right to push that viewpoint” and that “it’s up to the woman,” the person speaking makes the abortion issue sound like it could be right or wrong, depending on your perspective, rather than right across the board or wrong across the board. The person is confusing opinion and fact. We’ll talk about this more in future blogs on objective and subjective truth.

Another example of relativism can be found in the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Listen to the song here or read the lyrics here. This song was wildly popular, and while there was probably no ill intention behind this song, the application of the relativism can be scary.

If you’ve listened to the song now, let’s look at the chorus:

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

Did you catch that? “Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth.” Is happiness the truth? If doing whatever makes you happy leads you to truth, that’s a good thing, right? Makes sense? It sounds good at first. If helping people makes you happy, then that’s truth. If being healthy makes you happy, then that’s truth. What if we find happiness in the wrong things, though? What if stealing something that doesn’t belong to you makes you happy? What if taking advantage of people who care about you makes you happy? What if abuse makes you feel better, or makes you happier? Are those things right? Are those things true? No. Like I said, I’m sure this wasn’t the intention behind the song, and we all like to be happy, so it sounds good (until it just doesn’t anymore).

Well, squad, this has been fun, but that’s the end of the relativism series. Or at least, it’s the end for me, but not for you. See what I did there? But seriously, I might be done writing, but hopefully this isn’t the last time you think about relativism. Relativism affects tons of different areas in our culture, from our personal actions, to Facebook posts, to legislation, to entertainment. You can see the influence of relativism almost everywhere.

 

 

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Author: Unboxing Faith

I'm a college student who loves Pinterest, Netflix, macaroni & cheese, doodling, and studying and writing about religion, philosophy, and Christian apologetics. I know, I usually lose people at that last little bit. My hobbies are a little different, and I'm a little weird, but I'm cool with it. Enough about me, though. Let's talk about Jesus.

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