“There are no absolutes!” The concept that there are no absolute rights or wrongs, everything is relative, is broadly advocated. This opens the door to relativism. The thesis of relativism is that whether a thing or thought is right or wrong is relative to who, what, when, where, and why a thing is done.
Ask persons who believeĀ  there are no absolutes if they are absolutely certain there aren’t and they might well respond, “Absolutely.”
Oops, there is one.
Those who insist there are absolutes of right and wrong are called judgmental, exclusive, and partisan by relativists. I am persuaded these terms are applicable to relativists.
Relativism says if you believe in absolute truth you are wrong. This makes relativism judgmental.
Relativism in saying there are no absolute truths excludes your belief in absolute truth and is exclusive.
Relativism excludes all persons who are non-relativists from their supposedly “right thinking” party. That makes them partisans.
If the statement “There are no absolute truths” is true that is an absolute and the statement is false.
In the 1950s and 60s relativism was marketed as “Situation Ethics.” The situation determined the ethic. Advocates believed in an evolving ethic. An illustration of the incorrectness of this concept has been suggested to be slavery. 200 years ago it was socially acceptable. Today it isn’t. Suppose 200 years from now it is once again socially acceptable. Isn’t slavery an absolute wrong?
Some relativists argue that you cannot know that anything is right. If you cannot know that anything is right you cannot know that statement is right and that statement is self-contradicting meaning you can know a thing is right.
The Ancient Greek Protagrores was an early writer who issued this summary statement: “Man is the measure of all things.” Not.
That philosophy was played out in ancient
Israel in a time described as when “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” That was relativism at its best. It was one of the most confusing and defeatist times in the history of the nation.
British scholar C.S. Lewis in his book, “The Abolition of Man” refers to maximums of truth as “Tau.” These “primeval moral platitudes” constitute our human moral inheritance. Some of them are justice, truthfulness, mercy, and magnanimity. If we try to operate outside the bounds of Tau under the pretension of neutrality we will learn it is impossible to develop any moral reasoning at all.
Absolutes are a bond for a society. There must be a set of standards for a culture to function harmoniously. Without absolutes there could be no moral code or judicial system.
William Penn made a statement that inflames relativists. He said, “Right is right though all men be against it and wrong is wrong though all men be for it.”
Acceptance of relativism is distorting our national vision.