Skip to main content

a brief critique of relativism

Here's an excellent and succinct critique of postmodernism's philosophy of relativism.

It is an update on Dostoevsky's, "If there is no God, then all things are permissible." But more: If there is no God, then we as humans are not even knowable. Some excerpts (actually, most of the article...)

Nietzsche was right. None of the existing philosophies explains anything. We are on our own. We are our own projects with no models that come from elsewhere to guide us.

Modern philosophical relativism is a perfect alternative to a world of meaning. It now usually goes under the name of post-modernity. It is presented under the idea of freedom. This freedom in turn is based on the idea that no stable nature can be found. No question of a cause of nature’s order thus arises. Human beings are not intended to be human beings, as if that were an intelligible idea. Indeed, the human condition is that there is no human condition. Since human beings are not any particular kind of being, they are free to make themselves into any sort of being they wish themselves to be, provided, I suppose, that it is not the kind of being described by Aristotle or Scripture...

The only kind of being he is not free to become is the one that used to be called the virtuous or complete human being. Everyone is free to make himself over into whatever kind of being he chooses. This making-over includes both his body insofar as science can reconstruct it and his soul insofar as he guides himself as he wills. The public order is really a freeway interchange to facilitate these constantly changing selves. No one can really criticize anyone else for being what he decides to be. Equality means that no standard of what is human exists...

The virtue that supports this world of nature-less freedom to be whatever we choose is generally defined as tolerance. This tolerance is really a skepticism. It is not based on freedom to do something, but on the lack of any knowledge of what ought to be done. Generally, we are also assured us that we are free to do what we want provided that we do not “harm” others. The logic of this restriction escapes me. Why cannot I be free to harm others if that is what I choose?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

bible reading nov 1-2

  Bible reading for weekend Nov 1 -- 2 Nov 1 -- Hosea 7 and Psalms 120-122 Nov 2 -- Hosea 8 and Psalms 123-125 ================   "Were I to write for him my laws by the ten thousands, they would be regarded as a strange thing." (Hosea 8:12) THE RESULTS OF SIN (ch 7-8). Notice the words and metaphors to describe Israel's sinful condition: they are surrounded with, and proud of, their evil (7:1-3); like adulterers in the heat of passion (7:4-5); their anger is like a hot oven (7:6-7); they are like a half-cooked (one side only) cake (7:8); their strength is gone (7:9); they are like silly doves easily trapped (7:11-12); they are undependable like a warped bow (7:16). In spite of all of this they are so proud of themselves! (We might say they have a strong self-esteem.) They have spurned what is good (8:3); they sow to the wind and have no real fruit (8:7); they are a useless vessel (8:8) and a wild donkey wandering alone (8:9); they regard God's law as a strange thing

bible reading dec 3-5

  Bible reading for weekend December 3 -- 5  Dec 3 -- Nahum 1 and Luke 17 Dec 4 -- Nahum 2 and Luke 18 Dec 5 -- Nahum 3 and Luke 19 ================ "The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. But with an overflowing flood he will make a complete end of the adversaries, and will pursue his enemies into darkness." (Nahum 1:7-8)  TIME'S UP FOR NINEVEH (Nah 1-3). The prophecy of Nahum is God's word to the people of Nineveh, part two. Jonah was part one, chronicling a city-wide repentance of Assyrians in the capital about a hundred years earlier. The closing bookend is Nahum, and the Assyrian empire is big, powerful, and aggressive. Notice the references to chariots (2:3-4, 13; 3:2). The Assyrians were a militarily advanced culture, and cruel in their warfare. Whatever spiritual receptivity they had at the time of Jonah was gone by the time of Nahum. Nahum may not have actually visited Nineveh, for it seems the book was w

Howard Hendricks on OT books chronology

When I was in seminary, Howard Hendricks (aka "Prof") gave us a little card with the books of the OT chronologically arranged. The scanned copy I have was a bit blurry and I wanted to make something like this available for our church class in OT theology ("Story of Redemption"). A few minor edits and here it is...