The unwinnable battle: Combating devout cultural Relativists!


[quote=cpayne]"Islam teaches that some things have eternal souls, but not everything. Hindus believe that all things have eternal souls. Classical Buddhists believe that nothing has an eternal soul. Could you explain how all these could be equally correct?

And the true relativist will counter that each is correct for the person who believes it. Hey no one said it had to be logical, cp.

[quote=cpayne] Sometimes people say, Yes, I am God (I live a half-hour from the major Hindu center in the U.S.). So I usually ask them to do a miracle. :stuck_out_tongue:

Be careful what you ask for. :wink:


Yes - because when it comes to things we can’t see, we can make up anything we want. (Schrödinger’s cat is both dead and alive.)

Of course, as soon as someone opens up Schrodinger’s box, the game is up - someone is right, and someone is wrong. Either the cat is dead, or he is alive, but he is not both. He can only be both for as long as we keep the lid on the box.

Four blind men are walking along; the first says, “I believe the sky is pink,” and the second says, “I believe the sky is green.” The third one says, “You are both right,” and the fourth one says, “I don’t believe there is such a thing as the sky at all,” and the third one says, “You are also right.” He says these things because it makes no difference to him whether any of them are right; he is a blind man, and it has no effect whatsoever on his life - he just likes to be agreeable.

A sighted man tells them, “There is a sky, and it is blue,” and they argue with him all day, until the sky turns green, and then it turns pink, and then the stars come out, and he says, “Too bad for you that you cannot see the stars,” and the fourth man says, “If there is a sky, why does it not block the view of the stars?” and then the sighted man begins to doubt the existence of the sky …

The difference between the sighted man and the third blind man is that the sighted man cares and wants to know the real answer; he has discovered that the sky is not as simple a thing as he had first thought. The third blind man doesn’t care at all; he will agree with everyone, and consider himself broadminded for that, but he will never learn anything new, no matter how many wonderful things he is told - they will fall off the surface of his mind before ever penetrating his curiousity or engaging his thoughts.


One other argument to deploy is to hypothesize the most bigoted, hateful church imaginable.

Relativists are relativists because they are uncomfortable with judgment and hold tolerance as the highest virtue.

Posit a church filled with racist people who teach that everyone who is not [fill in your race here] is damned to hell and should not be the company of polite society for fear of contaminating it. Dust off the classic Nazi Aryan propaganda garbage. This is the doctrine of that hypothetical church. Children are raised from toddlers to adulthood to believe such hateful things in that example.

Is that church every bit as valid as the nice Presbyterian one down the road with that dear old pastor?

Knowing what a weak spot relativists have for such things should expose what they would not tolerate. They are then on the slippery slope to acknowledging that some religions have earned respect, and some have not.


for 7 years before I became Catholic I was a practicing witch. Not a Wiccan, a Strega. And all I can tell you is what ‘got’ me. The Real Presence. Witchcraft was empty, and passionless. Oh it was comfortable and made sense, but it was insipid and did not engage my heart for very long. I floated from one activist/human rights/ecological issue to the other, but it was contrived, it was not REAL. Show your friend YOUR Jesus. Tell him why you are Catholic and not just Christian. (Most modern pagans are pagan BECAUSE of the Relatvistic Christianity-pagainsm is new, fresh, different, exciting, and feels good for a while.) Start a conversation with him about Relativism, tell him what you see and what you feel about it. Make him want what you have.
It worked for me.


a former witch and a former JW?

Woah. Those are some very odd relgion switches.


Relativism is the new religion of today, and it is deadly in every way. Also, it makes no sense and is nothing more than wishful thinking. I once had someone tell me, in all seriousness, that ABSOLUTELY everything was relative. I was rather amused.

Acts 13:41
" ‘Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe, even if someone told you.’ "

2 Peter 3:3
First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.


LOL not really if you understand the complete demonism obsession of JWs, I was already considered apostate by them and I was totally disillusioned by what I thot was representative of Christianity–I went with what seemed natural. The only other thing I could have done to be more rebelllious was to become a …CATHOLIC…:eek:
JWs took me away from Christ, but if I am honest I have to say witchcraft brought me back. I just could not dismiss this Jesus character who was everywhere I went like a stalker; and I wanted what I saw that Catholics had that I never knew. I never had the Real Presence, only some dry aesthetic meaningless empty “Memorial” where only my father partook and we all just watched once a year and yet we were told it was the most important night of the year. I got a new dress every year, but I could not share in communion. It hurt me. I wanted it. In paganism I shared the cup and cake, but it was just wine and cake, it still left me unfilled.
(BTW I also spent one year as a Mormon–almost made it to the Temple. And I had one year of testing and backsliding after I became Catholic when we moved to a place with no parish. I was lonely.)


I am so glad you are finally home!


I am really serious about the Real Presence thing—to me it is THE reason to be Catholic. It is the cure for Relativism. I have had many friends who were Unitarian-Universalists, and while the people are lovable, the belief system is very destructive. Without the Trinity and the Real Presence your mind is so open your brain falls out. Jesus was murdered for being politically incorrect.
And pagans/Wiccans do reclaim the concepts of triune deities and consuming your gods (altho they usually believe this is not literal but psychic) and invoking and evoking, channeling the divine. I think the OP has a better chance to witness to the cowboy with the pentagram than the ones I call xtian fluff-ninnies.


This is a good analogy. I think that for the “blind man” it can be quite easy to shoot out questions to the sighted man, whether or not he knows the answer (or even cares). But because the sighted man might not know the answer, it can lead him to doubt and to be confused and can cause him to be ‘blind’.


I’m glad you called this thread “the unwinnable battle” because that’s exactly what’s wrong with your approach. Your victory conditions are unatainable. It is impossible for reason to win in the swamp of cultural relativism.

So, change your victory conditions!

A better goal is to keep them pinned in their own swamp of relativism. When they’re reduced to stuff like “Maybe we are in one big mass hallucination” they can’t make value judgements like good, bad or racist. They can’t make appeals to reason or science. They can’t acknowledge love, justice or duty. You haven’t exactly won, but the’re in a worse spot. They’re stuck in the philosophical stoneage! Let them languish in existential crisis while you sieze truth, beauty and love for our Lord or make fun of their sorry state.

In addition, there are a couple of techniques that will save you alot of grief.

  • Avoid the racism trap. The trap works like this. They bait you by talking about another race or culture. You respond. Then they claim you are a bigot since you were talking about race or culture. (It’s not fair, but that’s how it works.) Don’t take the bait unless you can say something unimpeachably non-racist. You can sometimes short-circuit this trap by accusing them of playing the race card instead of answering their question. Say something like “Don’t play the race card. Buddism is a religion, not a race.”

  • Hide objective statements in subjective statements. The trap works like this. You say something is true. They say someone else thinks differently and conclude that since there’s two opinions, it’s impossible to have only one answer. This one is easy to beat. Just frame everything as an opinion. So instead of saying “Jesus is Lord” say “The Church believes Jesus is Lord.” Sometimes this leads to really redundant phrases “The Catholic God” but it’s better than giving them a veto on facts. You should also sugar coat your insults this way. For example Marv from the hit comic and movie “Sin City” was trying to say “it’s wrong to eat people” (but that would be objective and subject to veto) so instead he said “I know it’s pretty darn weird to eat people.”

  • Whatever they say can and will be used against them
    If they say something true that gives you permission to use that fact later on.
    If they say something false, you can use it to contradict them later, or to make them look silly. I was talking to one gentleman who presented himself as Buddhist one moment and then a Free Mason the next. He thought he was being clever by hiding in whatever religion was the best suited to the topic at hand. But then I started calling his religion “Grand Architect Buddism” and he was stuck between admitting that the two were incompatable or having to accept a stupid name. In fact it upset him so much, he quit the discussion (which was good because I was outmatched!) :cool:

  • Don’t go for a ride. When they start covering a million subjects, don’t take the bait. Stay on topic and call them on their channel surfing.

  • Passive agressiveness. When they just “happen” to mention how evil the Church is, or “randomly” pick transubstantiation as a metaphor for credulity DON’T ARGUE THE POINT. Draw attention to their bigotry but don’t let your mood overshadow the truth of what you say.

  • Stick to the truth. Honest scientists, innocent defendants and Catholics have the advantage of being right. Don’t squander that for anything.


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