What exactly does the church mean when it is against relativism? Some things are to me just relative.

What exactly does the church mean when it is against relativism? Some things are to me just relative.

Back in the sixties ( remember them? :smiley: )
a popular saying was, “Everything is relative”
What this meant was that there was no absolute dogma. Everything was a matter of opinion. If I say there is no God, no objective morality, no truth, my opinion is as good as anybody’s. So I don’t have to have a conscience, a sense of moral responsibility, or anything along that line.

Yeah, well, the sixties generation wanted to do its “own thing”. But over the years they learned through hard experience that there are absolutes.
Many of the rock stars at Woodstock screamed songs about “freedom”, “do your own thing” etc. Twenty-five years later, there was talk about having a revival of Woodstock, but it didn’t get anywhere. It was realized that half the entertainers at the original were dead from drug overdoses. So much for “do your own thing”.

It’s like Theresa says in Empress Theresa: “We enter new eras, but the old laws still rule.”

I see. It has been argued to me that beauty is not relative. I know the old greek philosophers believed that. If you look at aesthetics. But I have recently discovered that being in a state of grace beautifies the soul now that is beauty. If one has love they do not want to “do their own thing”. IMO.

My opinion is different.

Who’s right if we’re all right? :wink:

Beauty and God’s truth are apples and oranges.

It depends on what you mean by beauty. Because there is subjective and objective beauty.

We are all objectively beautiful because we are made in the image and likeness of our Creator, with each person having a beautiful soul and magnificent body, and in a more secular sense, about how amazing our bodies are at what they do.

There is also subjective beauty (dealing more with attractiveness), some of which seems to transcend cultures, such as people finding a symmetrical face more attractive. Other aspects depend on a collection of culture, experience, and personal taste, which are relative to each person.

:eek: :ouch:

Of course some things are relative! Relativism does not mean all is relative, and the Church does not teach nothing is relative!

According to Catholic Encyclopedia:

Relativism refers to any doctrine which denies, universally or in regard to some restricted sphere of being, the existence of absolute values.

One form of Relativism asserts that we are conscious only of difference or change.

Another asserts that truth is relative, either
(a) because judgments are held

  • (i) to have no meaning in isolation and
  • (ii) to be subject to indefinite modification before they can become embodied in the one coherent system of ideal truth (Joachim and Hegelians generally),
    or else
    (b) because truth is conceived as a peculiar property of ideas whereby they enable us to deal with our environment more or less successfully (Pragmatists).

A third affirms moral worth to be essentially relative and to emerge only when motives are in conflict (Martineau).

Whatever may be the real and primary significance of Protagoras’s famous dictum, “Man is the measure of all things”, it has ordinarily been understood in an epistemological sense, and a statement of the relativity of all human knowledge, of the impossibility of penetrating beyond the appearances of things. Philosophers begun to distrust more and more the deliverances of their senses and rely solely upon reason or intelligence. Reflection, however, soon made it clear that rational theories were no more consistent than the data of perceptional experience.

Relativism usually refers to moral relativism, and is the idea that moral principles are based on a given culture at a given time and therefore subject to individual choice. A pure moral relativist professes that in fact there are no rules governing right and wrong.

Of course the Church opposes such nonsense!

I invite you to read “A Refutation of Moral Relativism” by Peter Kreeft (author of Handbook of Christian Apologetics and H. of Catholic Apologetics).

Another short but fascinating essay is “Whose Rights? The Paradox of Moral Relativism” by Edward P. Sri.

Finally, this seems a good Catholic essay (but I couldn’t determine the author).

What do you mean? Is there not beauty in truth?


**Is there not beauty in truth? **

Beauty is truth, truth beauty." John Keats, English poet

Unfortunately, American values are saturated with relativism. Several generations of Catholic school children have been fed such a steady diet of it in the media and in academia that their loyalty to the concept has eclipsed their loyalty to Catholic teachings. Today it is not uncommon to hear young Catholics assert typically relativist views on many topics, from contraception to abortion to homosexuality.

After I read it, I thought it came our wrong.

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