Ethical relativism in relation to Christianity
Relativism is the belief that truth is not always and generally valid, but can be judged only in relation to other thoughts such as your personal situation. And this belief was emphasized by Dr.Arthur E. Gravatt who postulated that moral behaviors may differ from situation to situation. Morality of conduct might be seen differently by various individuals or behaviors might be moral at one time and not another. Others like Joseph Fletcher who believes that rights and wrongs are determined by objective facts or circumstances. Also Herbet W. Schneider calls morality "an experimental art" while Kurtz say, "moral principles should be treated as hypothesis. And that's why he defines them as naturalistic and empirical phenomena.
Problems of Ethical RelativismEthical relativism is based on individual thought of morality. It creates the indulgence for general misconduct resulting to a society without norms or rules and corresponding penalties to any breech of such rules.
In such an environment, the common man suffers abject effects from the affluent or from those in power or with any other advantage they have over him.
Secondly, individuals may have different ideas, thoughts or beliefs for a particular situation which may result to disagreements and conflicts, no matter how insignificant the situation might be.
Lastly, Lamont for the humanists expects intelligent people to be moral guides for the society. This has created the forum for dogma which others must follow. And this exactly is what Humanists have been trying to avoid all along by ignoring religious codes of ethics.
From Theory to Practice Based on Kurtz's conviction that supernatural ethics are immoral because;• They encourage false ideas or beliefs about Human destiny, and• Suppress vital inclination which includes homosexuality, bisexuality, pre and extra-marital sexual relations, "genital association", incest, pedophilia and planned parenthood. They are claimed to be scientifically proven to be biologically determined lifestyles from birth and this should be legitimate practices.
In addition, following Lamont thought, lack of effective birth control mechanism is a strong factor of genital faithfulness and unfaithfulness which has promoted the practice of Abortion.
In conclusion, Ethical relativists and other theories, no matter how manipulated and coined are clear principles against God's Moral Order.
Critical EvaluationFrom the movie "The Devil's Advocate", the character who portrays the aforementioned subject (Alpacino) said something very interesting. "God is so selfish, He gives man everything he needs but yet never allows him enjoy them. He says look but don't touch, touch but don't taste, taste but don't swallow". (Though it is just a script, I suppose).
This is a very wrong and harsh perspective so many have about God. God who created us in His own Image and likeness knows what is best for us and even if he says "look but don't touch", He knows that looking is our boundary and anything outside that can become of negative effect to us. Therefore, what ever He says to us is for our own good.
"Would anyone of you give your angry child a stone, if the child asked for some bread? Would you give your child a snake if he asked for a fish? As bad as you are, you still know how to give food gifts to your children. But your heavenly father is even more ready to give good things to people who ask" (Matthew7:9-11) Can such a father be harsh or wicked by unnecessarily restricting His own? It is only when we see the commandments as restrictions that the Holy Scriptures would look frustrating to us. But if we see them as guidelines, or as "brochure" of good living, we will enjoy it and comfortable long for God's presence. In essence, you wouldn't want anyone to steal your property, so don't steal theirs too. It's as simple as that. It doesn't make sense to put us under great subjectivity after creating us in His own Image and Likeness. Also remember, God gave us dominion over everything on Earth except for two things. OURSELVES (HUMANS) AND HIM (GOD). So, do not use that as a yardstick to try to be at liberty to do anything which pleases you. If we are all left to follow our individual moralities, then the competition for survival would be severe and brutal and the prejudices, discriminations, wars, crimes that we face presently will be quadrupled and even more.
In conclusion whether in the secular sense, or in the logical sense or even in the Biblical sense, Ethics of relativism is still incomplete to solve the need of man and guide man on the true path of his comfortable existence. If you consider this true, which would you rather choose? Relativism or the Christian Ethics?