So there is no absolute truth, right? Ask kids today and you’ll get a resounding “RIGHT!” They would be wrong, but it remains that the majority of our youth believe that relativism is truth (which only proves the point there is truth, but I digress). So how, in the name of all that is Holy, did we get here with our kids? Public school education, that’s how.
I am by no means a “homeschooling nut” or a parent who sent my kids to private schools. Quite the contrary. I am a product of a public education, as are my children. I would have loved to send my kids to parochial schools, but we are blessed to live in a district with incredibly good public schools, so the immediacy of giving them a quality education (and our living by modest means) meant private schools weren’t necessary. I also spent considerable time teaching my children what is true and moral. But unfortunately even for parents like me who did so, by and large our kids live by a moral relativity that is very ingrained in our educational system, and very hard to counter.
While this relativism started effecting public education a decade or more ago, it is deeply embedded in Common Core. Want an example? Fact versus opinion. Our children are taught this: a FACT is something that is true about a subject and can be tested or proven. An OPINION is what someone thinks, feels, or believes. Common Core standards used by a majority of K-12 programs require that students be able to “distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.” And that definition above sounds correct, right? No so fast.
There is much that is “fact” that can’t be proven. There are also “facts” that have previously been accepted and later disproven. Flat earth vs. round sound familiar? How about scientific “fact” that is actually a theory that can’t be proven. The Big Bang, the existence of air, gravity, most (if not all) physics theories… we can posit their existence due to the things each cause, but we can’t actually prove them. Fact or belief?
How about this: if proof is required for facts, then facts become relative. How? Well, some people can prove things that others cannot: E=MC2 is a fact a physicist or mathematician can prove, but I certainly can’t. Does it make it any less a fact because I don’t have mathematical ability to prove it? Try this one on for size: the statement “George Washington was the first President” is a fact, right? How do we know? Were you there to witness it firsthand? So you have to believe it. Belief, according to the definitions above it is an opinion, not fact.
Here are a few other things that we believe are facts: Cheating is wrong. All men are created equal. Sacrificing your life for a friend is noble. Murder is wrong. Judging someone based on their skin color is wrong. Child abuse is wrong.
So, facts or opinions? Actually what some say are they are “value claims” and not facts, therefore neither good nor bad and certainly not fact. Therefore they are not true and up for interpretation. To review the relativists, no moral facts mean no moral truths. That means whatever is moral for you goes.
Cheating? No problem. Murder? Nope, nothing wrong there. Beating your child? Have at it, nothing immoral (therefore wrong) about it. As Frank Turek and Norman Geisler said in their book I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist: “Without an objective standard of meaning and morality, then life is meaningless and there’s nothing absolutely right or wrong. Everything is merely a matter of opinion.”
Are you now seeing why we are seeing the terrible consequence of relativism in our society today?
But there is moral right and wrong. How do we know there is a moral law? Quite a few ways, actually. Not necessarily by our actions, because we all know people can and do terrible things to each other, but by our reactions to wrong actions when they are done to us. The loudest relativist will shout “UNFAIR” when they are treated with what they perceive as injustice, even though they profess that injustice is relative.
For instance, let’s say a relativist has their belongings stolen. Now the moral person knows that theft is wrong no matter what, and despite any excuses or justifications. In theory the relativist will make excuses for their behavior, say that there may be times it is less wrong than others. I’ve even been told by a relativist friend that if someone else needed something enough to steal it then it isn’t wrong for them to do so. I’m quite sure if someone stole their brand new car they’d be loudly singing another tune.
Turek/Geisler put it this way: there is no knowledge of evil
…unless you know what is good. And you can’t know what is good unless there is an unchanging standard of good outside yourself. Without that objective standard, any objection to evil is nothing but your personal opinion.
Or even better, and more to the point, Turek/Geisler continued:
If the Moral Law doesn’t exist, then there’s no moral difference between the behavior of Mother Teresa and that of Hitler. Likewise, statements like “Murder is evil”, “Racism is wrong”, or “You shouldn’t abuse children” have no objective meaning. They’re just someone’s opinion, on a par with “chocolate tastes better than vanilla.”
But, but, but TOLERANCE! Being moral means, to the relativist, being intolerant. Why? Because it imposes standards. Except as you can see from above, there ARE standards. So, the requirement for tolerance is an admission by those who say that behavior and morals are relative that the behavior they are demanding you tolerate (how very tolerant of them, right?) is wrong. Why? Because why would anyone have to be told to tolerate or make excuses for GOOD behavior? You and I know they wouldn’t.
Right and wrong exist, moral law is true and fact, and if we don’t start seriously countering the relativist untruth our children are being indoctrinated into, the world will go to hell in a handbasket.