I’d really like you to ponder this question. I asked a similar question to a friend of mine yesterday in relation to beauty. I know we all come with our biases at times to this topic, but I’d really like you to really think about this before you argue it.
The simple question. Is anything good?
You see, I believe moral relativism is one of the most dangerous doctrines that is facing us and I believe it is also the natural result of an atheistic worldview. If there is no God, then there is ultimately no basis for morality. Now we can say that some things are good or evil, but we are not saying that about the things themselves. We are simply throwing our opinion onto them.
This was asked to my friend yesterday in response to beauty. When I meet relativists, they seem to tell me usually that when we say something is beautiful, we mean that it is beautiful to us. Well, of course if we say it’s beautiful, it is beautiful to us, but it seems the people that I talk to don’t mean that. They always mean that it is beautiful in itself.
Conversely, if we say life is good, do we mean it’s good to us or good in itself?
You see, if we are going to choose to do any action, we must choose to do so for a reason. I choose to go to bed at an earlier time tonight than normally because I think it is good to be awake when I go to work in the morning and I have to get up early. Granted, that is not moral goodness, but it is also a goodness that cannot be measured in any physical way.
We must then ask, why do we value what we value? Why do I value going to work awake? Because I value having a paycheck. Why? Because I value surviving. Why? Because I want to grow and learn all I can. Why? Because I believe knowledge is important. Why? Because knowledge gets me to the mind of God. Why is that good? Because that brings happiness.
Why do I not go on? Because for most ethical systems, happiness has been seen as something good in itself. Happiness is not a feeling either, though it can produce feelings, but it is being in conformity and well-being with the world around you. Now I showed one path I can take. You might take a different one.
But what if there is nothing that is truly good? Happiness is not good. God is not good. Life is not good. Etc. If this is the case, we’ll also say there is nothing truly evil, for what is evil but simply the absence of that which is good?
If this is the case, there’s no difference morally between saving the drowing child and pushing him under all the way. The results are different, but we cannot even say any result is better or worse than another. We cannot say moral relativism is better or worse than moral absolutism. They just are.
Now I find this completely nonsensical really. The way for moral relativism to be true would be to completely jettison the words “good” and “evil” from our mindset since they do not say anything about reality at all. We might even ask what we mean by good and evil and why we should think anything is even subjectively good or evil to us.
Friends. I don’t know what you see as good, but I’d really like you to think about it for awhile. Ask yourself about it. “Do I live in a world where good is a reality or not?”