Post Author: Darrell
Re-post from Aug. 4, 2010
According to Beckwith and Koukl, the second fatal flaw of Moral Relativism is as follows: Relativists are incapable of complaining about the problem of evil. The problem of evil is commonly used by atheists to argue against the existence of God. The argument is often structured as follows:
1) An all powerful God would be capable of stopping evil.
2) An all good God would want to stop evil.
3) However, evil still exists.
4) Therefore, an all powerful and all good God does not exist.
The problem for the relativist is that this entire argument rests upon the third premise: the fact that true evil exists. The worldview of the moral relativist makes the existence of true evil impossible. The existence of true objective evil is wholly contingent upon the existence of true objective morality. If morality is dependent upon what an individual and/or community believes, then that which is evil is also wholly dependent upon what an individual and/or community believes. In other words, there is no true objective evil for God to stop, for evil only exists in the minds of the individuals or community!
Flaw Number Three: Relativists cannot place blame or accept praise. To the moral relativist, there are no external standards by which actions can be measured. However, both blame and praise necessarily require an external standard. Praising or blaming someone for something implies that their actions are either right or wrong as compared to an objective external standard of right or wrong. For example, placing blame upon an individual for stealing your car implies that stealing is an objectively immoral action. However, if the morality of theft is dependent upon what an individual believes to be appropriate, then we have no external standard by which to judge the thief’s actions. Perhaps they believe stealing is acceptable, and as such, we are in no position to place blame upon them for doing something that is morally appropriate to them. The same thing can be said for praising someone. Giving someone praise for something implies that they did well when compared to an objective external standard of right or good. The moral relativist is unable to do this because to them no such standard exists.
Stay tuned! Flaws four and five will be coming in the next post.