Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The problem with relativism

"relativism cuts the ground form under conviction and precipitates a crisis of authoirty. It sidesteps the basic question "is it true?" and replaces it with "does it work?" and "how does it feel?" The effect has been to reduce truth to timelines, morality to usefulness, and personal faith to what feels good--for me". Os Guiness, Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt.

I think this quote sums up my internal problems with relativism. The end result of believing that truth is relative is nothing more than a truncated, egocentric utilitarianism. In fact, such a worldview is self-defeating because in its purest sense utilitarianism can never be egocentric. Instead of asking the question "what is best for the community", relativism asks "what is best for me?" We isolate ourselves to the point that many of our relationships are only bits of information floating on the worldwide web. Bits that can be erased at any instant if we decide that is best for us. We do not deal with other humans, we deal with the ghosts of those we pretend to interact with online. But nothing matters. Nothing can matter.

Community is the key which the church must use to open the hearts of a broken world.

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