Resources / Is Truth Insulin or Ice Cream?
Is Truth Insulin or Ice Cream?
by Lee Han Meng
What is Moral Relativism?
"Every man did what was right in his own eyes."
A) Why we need to know about relativism?
1. To equip us to be an ambassador for Christ.
- Christianity rests upon moral ideas:-
- Sin: we need forgiveness for our moral wrongs
- Righteousness: Christianity teaches we ought to live in a morally upright way.
2. Relativism is almost completely unexamined, even by Christians.
3. Related with issues such as "all religions lead to God", tolerance and interfaith dialogues.
B) Is Truth Insulin or Ice-cream?
1. Ice-cream (flavours) – you choose what you like-what's true for you.
2. Insulin (medicine) – you choose not what you like, but what heals - what's true.
3. Moral relativism is the view that morality is like ice-cream, not insulin.
4. There is no true, objective, universal, ethical obligations or moral principles.
(C) Relativism's Fatal Flaws
1. Relativists can't accuse others of wrong-doing.
2. Relativists can't complain about the problem of evil.
3. Relativists can't demand justice and fairness.
4. Relativists can't promote the obligation of tolerance.
(D) Tactics in Refuting Relativism
1. "Who could live this way? How could anyone believe this?"
- You'll find out what a person believes about morality more by his reactions than by his actions.
2. Show how relativism commits suicide.
- "You shouldn't force your morality on me."
- always ask, "Why not?"
- usually the response is going to be an example of his/her forcing his/her morality on you.
(E) Morality, Guilt and Forgiveness
1. There are objective moral rules
2. Each of us is privately aware there is something wrong with us.
3. Maybe we feel guilty because we are guilty.
4. What Christianity teaches resonates with our deepest intuitions about the world.
- the universe is a moral universe with moral laws that apply to human beings.
- each of us has violated those laws many times and is guilty of moral crimes against our sovereign, the moral law giver, the Judge.
5. The Christian message makes sense in this world.
- Justice: Those who commit moral crimes ought to be punished.
- Love: Amnesty and mercy are offered to anyone who abandons the rebellion and seeks forgiveness on God's term.
On Christ the solid rock we stand. All other ground is sinking sand.
Materials are based on Greg Koukl's training material in www.str.org