Absolute relativism and missing marriage champions

by Nick Eicher

Posted on Friday, April 17, 2015, at 2:38 pm

This week, I talked with John Stonestreet of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview about a recent article in The New York Times about college students who don’t believe in moral truth. Professor Justin McBrayer of Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., noticed his students showed up for class already having strong beliefs in moral relativism. 

He found public schools are teaching children that facts are only those things that can be scientifically proven, while moral judgments are opinions, and all opinions are equally valid.

“If we were to say, who was a better leader, Adolf Hitler or Abraham Lincoln? And then say, that’s a value judgment, and it’s completely up to your opinion. … You can’t build a society if you don’t have at least basically agreed upon things about what is the good life,” Stonestreet said. He also pointed out how vehemently moral relativists insist their philosophy is correct.

“There’s an awful lot of absolutism masquerading as relativism once it gets out in the open,” Stonestreet said. 

That absolute insistence on moral relativism might be why the pro-marriage argument is having a difficult time finding champions. The New York Times also has reported that not a single elite law firm has expressed support for traditional marriage in the run-up to the April 28 arguments on the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court.Stonestreet said lawyers can see how overwhelmingly the courts have supported same-sex marriage, and they want to be on the winning side.

“Certainly there are wonderful Christian lawyers. … But I think, overall, that’s a tough arena of culture to be in and to try to defend a traditional, natural view of marriage and the family,” Stonestreet said. 

We also talked about incremental strategies for limiting abortion. Listen to our conversation in “Culture Friday” on The World and Everything in It.

Nick Eicher

Nick lives in St. Louis, loves the Blues (as in the NHL), is executive producer of WORLD Radio, and co-hosts WORLD's radio news magazine The World and Everything in It. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickEicher.

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