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February 22, 2024

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Moral relativism breeds apathy, tolerance for some

Imagine a world where progressive thinking is shunned. Religion is forced down your throat. If you don’t share the same political views as everyone else, you’re wrong. And if you don’t live in a suburban neighborhood with your nuclear family, there is something wrong with you.

Doesn’t sound like a great place to live, does it?

Fearful of a world like this, the idea of relativism was developed to ensure everyone’s ability to celebrate their own beliefs and cultures.

In regards to relativism, here are some assertions:

“I can’t tell someone else what to do with their lives.”

“If a culture believes ‘x’ is permissible, we should respect that belief.”

Relativism is hypocritical because everyone’s views are supposed to be respected, but ironically, everyone’s beliefs are dismissed. Instead of a diverse culture, we’ve become an ugly grey mix of apathy.

Relativism is detrimental because it creates a culture of amorality. If we don’t think “right” and “wrong” exist, there is no way to regulate laws and behaviors. Our actions are justified on the basis of “Well, he’s just doing what’s best for him,” or, “I would never commit this heinous crime against humanity, but it’s her life, so it’s her decision.”

We see relativism taking two routes: either apathy toward other cultures, or “tolerance” only for those who share the same beliefs. The past showcases its destructive nature.

This wonderful idea of relativism didn’t stop Hitler from slaughtering six million Jews and five million more Nazi opponents, like Christians and homosexuals.

Relativism doesn’t prevent the death of 30 million AIDS victims, nor does it rescue any of the 100 million (and rising) young women globally who are victims of genital mutilation.

Relativism just makes us dislike each other for ridiculous reasons. If we don’t agree or don’t care, it automatically isn’t our issue anymore. And if you disagree with me, you must be wrong.

Relativism knows no historical bounds. If you want to see the failures of relativism on a more relatable level, consider the hatred stewing between people of different religious and political backgrounds.

I know this hatred firsthand. I’m perpetually scrutinized for being “different,” and I’m erroneously categorized as racist and classist because I am a Conservative Republican, an intolerant and self-righteous because I’m a practicing Roman Catholic and sexist because I’m pro-life, I’m a warmonger because I support my brother, a USAF airman, and I am a bigot for supporting marriage between one man and one woman.

Your newly developed dislike for me is proof that we don’t live in a relativistic society.

This is the problem with our world. We care too much about politics and religious beliefs, and we’re so quick to attack people who are different. We can’t fix many of the world’s problems because we exert so much effort trying to smear reputations.

Congress is a perfect example. When was the last time we had a budget approved?

If we don’t learn to stand up together and fight injustice, things aren’t going to get better. Look beyond superficial labels and get to know people on a real level.

My intention is not to win you to my faith or political party. I just want you to think before you verbally fight someone over an election button or Facebook post.

Unity can’t be achieved with hatred. You’re not going to win me over by name-calling, and there is more to a person than religious and political affiliation. Treat people with dignity because they’re human beings, not because they’re Republican or Democrat.

Rick Warren, a pastor and author, has a really cool quote I’d like to leave you with: “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”

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