June 30th, 2006

Moral Relativism

Looking for the quickest way to destroy a society? Want to bring back Sodom and Gomorrah? Try moral relativism!

Looking for the quickest way to destroy a society? Want to bring back Sodom and Gomorrah? Try moral relativism!

Moral relativity is antithetical to God’s plan for His children. God, in his love as our Father, has given us certain commandments. Ten of them are quite famous and oft-repeated. There are several others. These commandments are not given as suggestions, guidelines, or as an imposition on our “personal freedom and choice”. Instead, they are given to us by an all-knowing Master who knows what is best for us, and gives us certain rules to follow, just as our earthly parents did for us as children.

There is no moral relativity in the gospel. There is a fine line, a two-edged sword, and a straight and narrow path. God draws the line, and we either obey or disobey. Contrary to what the kooky scientologists would have you believe, “what’s right is what’s right for you” is preposterous and utterly stupid. Can we say Lord of the Flies?

Moral relativism is also, contrary to what liberals might like to believe in their fantasy land, antithetical to the intent of our nation’s Founders. “We hold these truths to be self-evident”, the (almost) genesis of the Declaration of Independence, succinctly states that there are certained recognized truths, derived from common sense, that are to be instituted as law in a republic (not a democracy).

Moral relativism (or in other words, letting the laws, standards, and permissible acts of society change with the whims and desires of the populace) leads to anarchy, chaos, and ultimately, nihilism.

It is time that we recognize the importance of adhering to the founding principles of our nation. It is time we prevent activist judges from shaping our law to their desires. It is time that the government truly derive its power from “the consent of the governed”. It is time we speak up, time we become politically active and aware, informed and involved. It is time to stand for what is right and true, just as Captain Moroni of old.

9 Responses to “Moral Relativism”

  1. the narrator
    July 7, 2006 at 12:02 pm #

    There is no moral relativity in the gospel.

    There is actually quite a bit of moral relativism going on in the Gospel. Despite the rhetoric of many general authorities who go on and on about the Church being an unchanging entity, the fact remains that the Church is changing all the time… even with moral issues. Moral stances on birth control, abortion, homosexuality, dress, lying, wealth, marriage, sex, the environment, the word of wisdom, slavery, war, and so on have been in a constance flow of change since Joseph Smith (Biblically, they vary even more). One could argue (as I often do) that such particularities are merely appendages to the Gospel and the essential moral aspects are those articulated and exemplified by Jesus in his mortal ministry. However, is such is the case, then the crying about moral relativism is hardly justified because there are very few moral relativists who disagree with the moral principles taught by Christ during his ministry.

    Moral relativism (or in other words, letting the laws, standards, and permissible acts of society change with the whims and desires of the populace) leads to anarchy, chaos, and ultimately, nihilism.

    This is a blatantly false slippery slope. There are few if any moral nihilists out there.

  2. Connor
    July 7, 2006 at 12:24 pm #

    There is actually quite a bit of moral relativism going on in the Gospel. Despite the rhetoric of many general authorities…

    I disagree. The fundamental moral foundations of the Gospel have not changed with time. Society’s standard of what is accepted might change, and members might change with it, but the basic moral compass that Christ asks us to follow has remained consistent and on course.

    There is an interesting distinction here to make. When God commands a higher law, or a different law (for example, revoking polygamy), we have to follow suit to be in accordance with His will. That does not constitute moral relativity. Granted, the change is apparent and dramatic, but there is no moral relativity, relative to God’s command. We do what He commands, when He commands, and changing to follow course is quite different than instituting our own moral relativity based on society, shifting standards, and personal preference.

    There are few if any moral nihilists out there.

    Of course not, for this would be a paradox, since nihilism is defined as “the rejection of all religious and moral principles”. I never claimed that this is the case. My point was that moral relativity in one’s life will ultimately lead to nihilism, because the person will more than likely come to reject all moral absolutes as commanded by God.

  3. the narrator
    July 7, 2006 at 2:07 pm #

    The fundamental moral foundations of the Gospel have not changed with time.

    I agree if ‘moral foundations’ are limited to the broad aspect of charity.

    Your arguements are flawed by your misconception that morality exists only within the context of a particular view of God’s relation to humankind. An atheist can be a very moral person, despite her rejection of God.

    Furthermore, moral stances of the church have drastically changed. For example, contraceptions used to be highly frowned upon by the Church. That is not the case anymore. The standard by which the church considers clothing to be modest has drastically changed over the last century and a half. The same goes with all the other things I mentioned – including polygamy.

    nihilism is defined as “the rejection of all religious and moral principles”.

    That is a very narrow defintion.

    My point was that moral relativity in one’s life will ultimately lead to nihilism, because the person will more than likely come to reject all moral absolutes as commanded by God.

    That is a slipper slope fallacy. It is also fallacious because of your aforementioned misconception that morality is grounded in God’s commandments.

  4. Connor
    July 7, 2006 at 2:24 pm #

    Your arguements (sic) are flawed by your misconception that morality exists only within the context of a particular view of God’s relation to humankind.

    Morality, as defined in the Oxford Dictionary, is “principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior”.

    I attribute the propensity to follow these principles to the light of Christ. The principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong (read: morality) are given to us by God.

    Regarding your allegation that an atheist can be moral, I’d like to include a quote from George Washington, as quoted in the November 1975 Ensign by Elder Vandenberg:

    “And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

    Morality only exists because of God’s commandments, the opposition in all things, and the Light of Christ given to us to differentiate between “right and wrong or good and bad behavior.”

    That is a very narrow defintion [of Nihilism]

    Blame the Oxford Dictionary. I copied it verbatim.

  5. the narrator
    July 7, 2006 at 2:55 pm #

    Are you saying that an athiest cannot be moral? I know plenty of athiests who are much more moral and Christlike than plenty of Christians and Mormons that I know (including myself).

    Regarding your allegation that an atheist can be moral, I’d like to include a quote from George Washington,

    I’d like to now quote my athiest friend John: “Killing another human is wrong.” He has plenty of reasons of why he makes this moral claim. None of them however appeal to God’s commandments. The whole notion that something is wrong or right solely because of God’s will is especially problematic for a Mormon cosmology where morality arguably pre-exists God, and where such a master-slave relationship goes against the importance of free-will, charity, and relationships as expressed by J. Smith and LDS scriptures.

    Also, you should be careful when appealing to the founding fathers for religious purposes. The founding fathers were mostly deists.

    Blame the Oxford Dictionary. I copied it verbatim.

    You copied only part of the definition. Hence, it is a narrow definition.

    Oh, and thanks for pointing out that i hastily misspelled ‘argument’ as I often do. I can see now that you are a fan of FARMS.

  6. Connor
    July 7, 2006 at 3:19 pm #

    Of course an atheist can be moral. But his inclination to live morally is ultimately due to the light of Christ given him. Whether he chooses to recognize that or not is his choice, but just because he doesn’t believe in God doesn’t mean that the Spirit cannot have an effect on him.

    Upon discussing this further with a friend, I will concede the point that morality pre-exists God’s will and commandments. Morality, or the distinction between right and wrong, good and evil, is an eternal principle. So, I believe that morality is derived from the effects of the light of Christ, as stated earlier, and not from God’s specific commandments.

    However, the two are often intertwined, and so pretending to follow the light of Christ while blatantly disregarding the commandments is futile.

    Regarding copying the definition out of the dictionary, the part I left out, “…often in the belief that life is meaningless” is a descriptive statement, and does not broaden the scope of the definition, and so I left it out. It does not make what I wrote a narrow definition of the term.

  7. John
    July 7, 2006 at 3:21 pm #

    There is a difference between moral relativity and accomodating an unruly child because of his current maturity.

    The church-god relationship is really very familial – and as such I think he adjusts his teaching methods as we progress.

    Right now I forbid my 2 and 4 year old sons from driving and having sex. In 20 years, that opinion will likely reverse. That’s not moral relativism.

    You might also try to apply “relativism” towards cultural shifts, etc. Same goes here – I think God is pretty sensitive and respectful to our cultural upbringing. Its probably not productive nor effective to try to reprogram people’s childhoods, so he modifies his messages to those he meets.

    You can see examples of this when Jesus interacts with people in the New Testament. He interacts with people at their level and tries to bring them up, rather than demanding perfection from the get go.

    Just my thoughts.

  8. the narrator
    July 7, 2006 at 4:50 pm #

    Of course an atheist can be moral. But his inclination to live morally is ultimately due to the light of Christ given him.

    To be honest, the phrase “light of Christ” is too often thrown around as a wonderful saying that feels all warm and fuzzy, but is pretty meaningless in the end. This above use is one of those.

    Concerning the definition of nihilism, because of philosophy background, I was thinking of a broader definition of nihilism and not just moral nihilism. Though I still say my argument holds. There just aren’t any real moral nihilists.

  9. August 2, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    Thats really, really strange. The god of the bible laid down 613 commandments which followers were asked to know and abide by. This are found in what is now known as the torah. The chrisitan movement amended that and now nothing is required, except for faith that jesus is the messiah and provides salvation for free.

    There are some movements within the christian faith that have gone back and added works as a requirement for salvation, and they then detail what is required. But that is not what the NT states.

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