Sunday, December 28, 2014

Facebook Faith #44: If That Isn't Relativism, I Don't Know What Is

I have been in a Facebook discussion for the past day with a religious friend. During the conversation, he put forth that religious folks have superior moral codes because they have an objective standard of right and wrong given to them in their holy texts. Atheism, he said, was relativistic - using the word in the pejorative sense.

I noted that holy texts are often pretty shoddy when it comes to morality, and in any case are not needed to develop a moral standard. Also, such outsourcing of moral engagement can lead to an atrophying of one's moral muscles.

I then addressed the concern of relativism. I am parking this here for cutting and pasting purposes since this argument comes up.... a lot:
Relativism is relative. If you are saying my moral code is still being refined... yes, guilty as charged. If you are saying I am wishy washy... no, not at all.
In fact, though I don't try to shove religionists noses in it... I submit that it is they that lack sufficient moral grounding. For them, wrong is not always wrong... go back to slavery. Is it wrong? Most religious folks would say yes. So then, the Judeo-Christian god was wrong when he sanctioned it??
Errrr... ummmm... well, ya see.....
Is rape wrong? Sure it is! So then, the Judeo-Christian god was wrong when he told the Israeli soldiers they could rape young captured girls, right??
Errrr... ummmm... well, ya see.....
How bout genocide? Stealing? Extortion? Infanticide? Killing new brides??.... we could spend all day generating the list... All wrong, right? These should all be fairly clear to even someone with an adolescent moral code.
But the believer will often get into an apologetic two-step because they have to come up with a way to keep the Deity innocent, instead of just calling wrong, wrong.
If that isn't relativism... I don't know what is. 
Actually though, I am glad when believers get uncomfortable and want to play a game of theological twister... it at least shows they have a problem with it. I talked with a believer last night who said he had NO PROBLEM with any of it... his god could do WHATEVER he wants.
Brrrrrrr.... I'll take the relativist over that dude any day.

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