Moral relativism doesn’t merely maintain that our moral judgments are relative to many factors – the people involved, the motivations, and the society. Moral relativism denies that there are any moral principles or laws that exist apart from us. Therefore, morality is simply something we make up.
However, when we reject objective morality (moral law) in favor of moral relativism we pay a great price:
- We no longer can make any
substantive moral judgments on anything, since we cannot say that there is
any moral truth that judges rape, genocide, kidnapping… We cannot even say
that ISIS’ conduct is wrong!
- Psychologically, we
condemn ourselves to a schizoid existence. In our heart, we know that rape
is wrong, but in our mind, we believe that morality is just something that
is made up.
- We have deprived ourselves of our common moral language. There is no adequate way to determine who or what is right. We cannot blame our husband for beating us up, since, for him, the assault felt right. This will alienate people and undermine society.
- Without objective morals, there can be no objective purpose to life. Therefore, purpose and meaning is something that is just subjective and will change as our feelings change. Our lives therefore are without stability and definition. Life then is reduced to the sensuous and the immediate where virtue can have little role to play.
- We no longer have an adequate rationale to stand against our anti-social impulses. Why resist selfishness and why deprive ourselves if selfishness is just an idea we made up? Why resist hate and revenge if we think we can get away with it?
Are we able to appreciate its long-term costs? Are we even able to see the dungeon into which we have thrusts ourselves?