Specific Work I can recommend to Relativist friend?


I have a friend of mine that has fallen away from the Catholic Church and has admitted that he is a moral relativist. I am having trouble convincing him from a Catholic perspective; he went to 12 years of Catholic grade school and to a Jesuit college. He thinks the Christian viewpoint is passé. As a starting point to get him back to an absolute way of thinking, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to appeal to him through non-Catholic means, such as a work by Aristotle? I think he would be intrigued by a non-Christian moral absolutist. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


I was actually a moral relativist, and oddly enough, a series of New Age books completely turned me around, even got me turned from a very liberal person to a much more conservative one.

I’m trying to think what helped me “see the light”. Now, I don’t believe in that series any more, but there was something it said which reached me, got me transformed, almost overnight, when I wonder what else could have. There was a kind of reasoning. When I understood that rationale, my philosophy changed, automatically.

The best way I can describe it is that I was not reasoning properly, and when I understood that, I was not too proud to admit that and change.

Being this is a Catholic forum, I am hesitant to mention the name of the series. However, I can only tell you that if someone had, at that time, offered me a Catholic book speaking against moral relativism, I doubt I would have read it. You are probably correct that it has to be more neutral.


The thing that solidified my Catholicism was realizing that moral relativism is really just an irrational fig leaf on top of nihilism that pretends to justify being warm and fuzzy and feeling good about things when we want to. And then thinking about nihilism.

So perhaps Nietzsche, not because Nietzsche ends up in the right place, but because this would demonstrate what exactly it would mean for there to be no absolutes (i.e. a very bleak outlook indeed). If he is unwilling to accept nihilism and looks at things honestly, he should be unwilling to accept relativism as well.


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