I had to go back and find my place, but after rereading the posts I referred to and looking at Fiona’s comment, I still have to ask: how would we find ourselves capable of “judging by the highest standards” (Sean Gonsalves ) if we don’t have an unmoving measuring stick… called an Absolute to do that by?
Somewhere we have that Absolute Truth, what I call Big T Truth, that gives us an idea that “a murderer comparing himself to a serial killer. “Hey, I only killed one person but this guy is sick.”” is a wrong sort of ethical comparision. Somewhere it is simply wrong to murder. Now why is that an important distinction? It is higher moral ground.
We shift along in our applications, as we make “allowances” for humanity. And the very idea of making this allowance comes from the Absolute… God’s idea on mercy and on achieving balance by right application of law is the very basis of how we take circumstance into our consideration. You can call that being relative, but its base is within the idea that there is an absolute standard of truth – even if we are faulty in ever attaining it.
So we must become dependent. Dependent on a higher view. That is what the entire Reformation of the Christian Church predicated itself upon. Faultily, t’is sure, but that was the goal. To hold oneself against the highest standard of revelation of what is right and wrong, what is of God and what is not. What is Truth and what is not.
We still fail, but we recognize that there is something that is firm and true without being rigid and misleading. And that is what Higher Moral Ground is going to be founded upon. And why it is so hard for us to stay on that platform as human beings.
Even though we find we fail, it does not mean we may never resume tthe quest.
Not only may we, but we must. And that is something that answers the question of Sean Gonsalves Whatever happened to the conservative disdain for arguments that smack of moral relativism?
Nothing happened to that, it remains, there was just a failure in realizing it.
Moral relativism has its place under the Standard, but it will always have to give place to something higher, even if it helps in understanding and in applications in its own place. There is such a thing as “what is right for you”. Even the Bible teaches on that ( although I haven’t heard a sermon on it of late -ever)
Cultural matters are matters of moral relativism, but matters of murder are not. It is not ok to murder even if your culture tells you it is. Or if you personally think it is better to err on the side of tolerant flexibility rather moral rigidiness and give acquiescence to it in that way. The actual murder itself is wrong and remains wrong. That is what sets it apart as a standard of Truth. Big T Truth. An Absolute.
If you cannot know anything for sure, not with the idea that you are faulty in your reasoning and ability to fully reason, but because it does not exist. Then nothing is true. Ever. An absolute, in itself, which rules out the initial idea. Can’t do that logically.
I still haven’t approached the other idea “it is far more spiritual to leave room to change one’s mind.”
That takes another post because it has some truth, but not all of it. And if there is a possibility of truth we should seek to discover it, filling in our places of insufficiency.
It is something we will all do, all of our lives, to some degree or another.