Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H

A religious or political or ideological system can be relativist but a person cannot be.  It is just not possible.  The person who says morality is just what you want it to be ends up trying to force it on others as if it were an absolute truth just as much as non-relativists might do.  That is why pulling down the system by educating its members to come out of it is priority.


Cultural relativism is not a typical form of relativism.  It suffers the same disasters as the notion, "Your truth is your objective truth and my truth is my objective truth."  It quenches research and thinking for if all things are true who cares if the moon is not the sun.  The only difference is it is a more collective form of balderdash.  Cultural relativism bullies people in a culture who oppose the culture.  It enables the culture to oppress them.  Oddly enough most people want cultures to respect an objective real morality that is not just about what people want it to be.  That is more important than culture as such.  And why is that not respected?  As we will see Christianity and many religions are themselves just cultural relativist systems. 


Moral relativism is too dangerous in human hands for it is too fluid and cares too much about what people want to think. It is no surprise if some relativists try to make God the relativist and shift the responsibility to him.  The rigid person who follows a relativist God is still as much a relativist as the one who keeps changing morals like socks.  Relativism implies moral infallibility. You argue that your opinion is right for morality is just opinion anyway.  If there is no objective morality, then whatever moral judgment you make is acceptable, even if you cannot justify that judgment even to yourself.  Even the most devoted relativist when he or she thinks about this "morality" will find it repugnant.


Christianity says you cannot take morality seriously if you do not believe in God. It keeps saying this despite the fact that it has been refuted over and over. To say that you get your moral values from God's authority is to say you are judging God as moral. It is to lie for it is still you that is deciding what is morally valuable while you are pretending you are not. In fact, as bad as morality is without Christianity, Christianity is no real help. It adds new problems. Christianity is moral relativism which is why it can teach that it was okay to murder adulteresses, as God commanded, by stoning them until Jesus supposedly changed the rule. Now it is wrong. That makes no sense at all and any faith that requires you to approve of draconian laws even if they are now abrogated is still bad in principle. Remember how Paul wrote that if religion hates or seriously harms so much as one person its devotion and prayers and martyrdom are worthless! The tyranny and horrors of moral relativism are not solved by trying to limit the authority to make these relativist rules to God. Relativism is still relativism no matter how few or how many are involved in formulating its directives.
Moral relativism when enforced by man is one thing but when you say that an infallible God endorses it that is 100% devotion to moral relativism. It is giving it the biggest sanction possible. Relativism based on God is relativism on steroids even if it does not look that way. It won't look it anyway. Relativism takes the attitude, “Anything goes”. The God relativist says that limiting the decisions about morality to God is its way of doing the anything goes. A system can make rules because anything goes in its view. That could be its way of anything goes.
A relativist thinks that good and evil are not facts and she or he can make good good or evil evil. Believing supposedly makes it true. Something becomes right if you or somebody or a group of people approve of it. It virtually turns morality and culture into the same thing!
Those who complain that religious people are not living up to the standards set by their religion are assuming that those people believe in objective morality. What if they are relativists? Sometimes the person does not realise they are relativist but their actions show they must be. Religion is defined as something good but what if this definition is a failure to understand that religion is a mask for relativism?
Christianity is relativist.
Situation Ethics, the doctrine that moral rules need to be scrapped in favour of one rule: love, of Joseph Fletcher fame is said to claim just that. He wrote that his ethics is rooted "in the classic tradition of Western Christian morals." He did not specify if he meant Christian morals as in what the Bible teaches. If you think Situationism is relativist then he is saying Christianity is relativist. A quote, ""Situation ethics goes part of the way with natural law, by accepting reason as the instrument of moral judgment, while rejecting the notion that the good is 'given' in the nature of things, objectively - the situationist follows a moral law or violates it according to love's need" (Situation Ethics, page 26). But if you think Situationism is not relativism though close to it, you can still say that what looks like Christian situationism is equally likely to be relativism for the two can be hard to distinguish at times. Fletcher complained later in his book against Jewish and Christian legalism "which makes the "claim to have adduced universally agreed and therefore valid 'natural' moral laws". The answer is that relativism can be legalist for it is a mass of errors and confusion.
Fletcher said, "Principles, Yes, But Not Rules". The controversy is about whether there is a difference. There is. Helping a baby should be done for the betterment of the baby without even caring if it is a rule or not. In a sense, making the rule IS relativist for a rule should not matter. If Christianity is not relativist, it still has relativism in its DNA.
For Fletcher, trying to do the most loving thing is not about reaching a conclusion but about making a decision. Thus any religion that gives you moral conclusions is cheating you and turning you into a child.
One point that shows Fletcher has assessed Christianity correctly is in how his ethic of love lets murder be committed under grave circumstances. He is actually stricter than the Bible which just simply orders that people be murdered by stoning for praying to other gods or adultery etc.
Moral relativism is that morality is just whatever you decide it to be. The doctrine that doing wrong is really wrong is called moral objectivism.
A religion defining itself as good means nothing. Good is a vague term in a world of relativists. A religion has to be good instead of defining itself. If it is not good or good enough then it is a bad and false religion. A religion defining itself as good proves it is not good for it has no right to do that.
Religion says it believes in objective morality and objective spiritual or religious truth. In other words, not praying is a sin and there is a God no matter what we think or believe. Our beliefs, our opinions, our desires and even what we think we know have no bearing on facts. Facts are facts and it is our job to recognise them if we can and not their job to suit us. You must cherish facts for being the truth and not because it suits you to embrace them. But many people are moral and religious relativists - they think moral and spiritual and religious truth is whatever you want it to be. If you think murdering heretics is right then it really is right for you. If somebody else says its wrong they are right too. It is safe to assume that if you are a relativist there is nothing stopping you from pretending you are not one. You could argue that it is morally right for you to kid people that you believe in objective morality and objective religious/spiritual truth. Given how many people are relativists, it is plausible that you are in fact a relativist no matter what you say or how much you battle against something say late abortion on demand.
Another problem is that you could wrongly think you are not a relativist when you are. When you ask most believers in the morally objective, ask them to stand by it, they will not and they will show they are in fact relativists when push comes to shove.
And if truth is objective it does not follow that what we call truth really is the truth. Many things cited as facts and taken as facts are not facts. Also, there are good reasons from evidence and logic and practicality to argue that you know what is objectively true at least sufficiently. It is wise to emphasise not what people say about God but what their ideas about God say about them. Nobody can prove that they are not relativists. They cannot even prove it to themselves. Taking somebody as an objective morality believer is a matter of faith. To trust in man as the ambassador of God is really just to let that man pass off his ideas as God's.
Moral relativism says that what is condemned as bad should be seen as possibly or maybe bad. It says right and wrong are just opinions and guesses.
Relativism claims to know this. It claims to know that you are a liar if you say you know something is wrong. It claims to know that you are a bigot if you say you know something is wrong. Relativism says it is bigotry to claim to know what religious beliefs are true and what moral precepts are true. But it claims to know things itself! Relativism in fact thinks that truth is not truth but whatever you want it to be. That attitude only leads to bigotry and arrogance.
Moral relativism pretends to be about tolerance. But if it is true that a person believing in abortion is right and a person believing the opposite is right then there is intolerance of the right view. There is intolerance of the fact that only one of them is right. When you treat opinions as facts for the sake of tolerance you in fact end up intolerant of truth and facts and knowledge and those who know the truth. If A knows B murdered, the relativist is persecuting A by denying he knows. If opinions matter and facts do not then there is no point in worrying or caring about understanding truths or people. There can be no tolerance without understanding and moral relativism does nothing to help understanding. Those who believe morality is real are regarded as bigots.
When morality is seen as a matter of preference, it is easy to end up being called judgemental when you say to somebody that their behaviour is wrong or harmful.
Moral objectivists, people who say morality is real and not just mere opinion or what you want it to be, claim to have the right morality and that others who contradict them do not. That is said to be very arrogant. Relativists say that. But relativism is even worse. It says that a person who says abortion is wrong and another who says it is virtuous are both right. With relativism you are always right. That is even worse than the problems associated with moral objectivism. If moral objectivism is a problem it is the best of a bad lot and so we have no choice but to embrace it and if it is arrogant we cannot say it is deliberate nasty arrogance. It is the lesser evil.
Christianity claims to be about love. Love can be a very relativistic thing. It is a very general word and hard to know what it means or how to apply it which increases its tendency to be understood in a relativist way. The Christian notion that only they can do love right because God assists them will naturally lead to an "us versus them" and "them versus us" kind of poison.
Christianity claims to be embroiled in a war against relativism. Christianity is itself an example of a relativist system that will not admit that it is relativist.
Moral relativism leads to a culture where people think that doing what feels good or looks good at the time is good. Try telling that to the drug addict or the bank robber. Religion operates the same way. Believers pray and attend worship and a placebo effect kicks in. It may not last but nevertheless it results in religion getting power over lives and marriages and schools and politicians and the media. People keep going back for a refresher placebo and that upholds the structure of power. The people empower religion for it feels good at the time and don't seem to worry much about the devastating consequences for sanity and education and healthcare that ensue. The person starting on drugs or going to rob the bank or who worships feels powerful - this feeling acts like a placebo and the person no longer feels that the bad consequences will come.
The Christians condemn moral relativists which shows they are being hypocritical and unfair and vicious. Moral relativism is not nice. If it were true, it would be a pity. But as bad as it is, it is worse to go about thinking that that God sanctions it and just as bad to refuse to admit that your absolute or objective morals are relativistic.
Christians are clear that moral relativists and atheists who criticise the Bible God who opposes homosexuality and advocates execution of adulterers etc are making value judgements that they have no right to make. They say that as they are moral relativists, they forfeit the right to render that value judgment. But if they are moral relativists themselves and won't admit it then they are worse than the relativists whom they oppose.
A good way to promote moral relativism in the guise of opposing it is to teach stupid absurd doctrines or to urge people to sacrifice themselves for a faith there is no suitable evidence for. Roman Catholicism is famous for that approach.
If a religion is more harmful than good, members start to rationalise how they can have a clear conscience and still be involved in it. Just like lies lead to more lies so excuses and rationalisation lead to more excuses and rationalising. Even if moral relativism were true and made sense, there would be no doubt that some supporters are really rationalising.
A religion may be against moral relativism in principle but still guilty of practicing it and thriving on it. A la carte Catholicism being one obvious example. One example is how the Church says it is to hate sin no matter who commits it. The Church makes a distinction between objective sin and personal sin. A homosexual who has sex with a clear conscience is guilty of an objective sin but not of a personal sin. His outward actions are sinful but there is no sin in his heart. So the Church says it judges the act not the person. The Church says it is to hate objective sin and personal sin. Why bother hating a sinful heart if you can love or not care about what they do in terms of objective sin?
Christians often do not act aggressively against sin. They do nothing. If you have to save somebody from a burning house it is acceptable to be aggressive to them to get them to hurry up and go.
Christians believe that God founded the Jewish religion and Christianity is not a new religion but updated Judaism. Thus then Christians should say, "In Old Testament times, we encouraged the stoning to death of idolaters, condemned images of angels and God used in worship as idols, we ordered that priest's daughters who committed sexual sin to be burned to death. God now takes vengeance himself - the laws are still valid but he keeps them for us." That belief is pure moral relativism.
Religion and many other entities in society, claim to be rational and encourage people to take their rationality for granted. Actually that is very wrong and manipulative and anti-rational. Reason necessarily means you do not tell others you are rational - you show it to them. You lay out all the evidence by pen and paper if you have to. Reason belongs to everybody not just those who claim to be rational. Reason is about transparency in matters pertaining to evidence or proof and about avoiding contradiction and mistaking what is not proof as proof. Reason desires correction which is why it hides nothing from anybody.
If you have to have others taking your rationality for granted, that is only right if there is no time or no opportunity to let them judge you for themselves. But this will be seen as a necessary evil and hopefully provisional.
Religion by encouraging the world to trust that it is rational is encouraging relativism in practice even if not in theory.
Only the individual knows if he or she is a relativist. It is possible to promote an objective absolute morality and still not believe in it. You could be a moral relativist pretending to be a servant of objective morality. If relativism is correct, there is nothing wrong with this pretence!
Believers say that if there is no God then we decide what is moral and just not him. They add that this is saying that there is no absolute right or wrong just opinions.
That is nonsense. If we make mistakes in working out what is right, it does not follow that right is just a matter of opinion. Their argument proves that they are trying to control others and manipulate them through offering them faith in God.
Christians say their moral doctrines come from God. People who want you to obey their rules about God have to say God gave them. That is the only way to discourage you from rejecting them. They are acting in case you think, "Why should she tell me what to do? Am I not as good as her? Can I not decide for myself?" With all the disagreements about God's moral code, it is clear that there is a lot of humble men who are secretly arrogant and thinking they can judge what God has said. Their egos delight when their word is taken for God's. Those who say they heed only God are lying. They reason and judge for themselves if God has spoken. They believe because they have decided God has spoken - that is not the same thing as deciding because God has spoken.
The fact that Christians judge for themselves what is good shows they are practicing the essentials of moral relativism. The person who is a relativist in the name of God is a bigger relativist then the atheist relativist.
The teaching of some is: "We have free will. We are not obligated to do anything be it good or bad. There is nothing you have to do. But there will be consequences for the choices we make. If you are pleasant to nobody, you will be very lonely and bitter." That is actually a form of moral relativism. It does not care what you choose. It just concerns itself not with the morality of acts but their consequences. It is actually a very selfish doctrine. It would have you loving people not for their sake but because you want to avoid loneliness. It is yourself you love not the people you pretend to love.

Beliefs that impact on our behaviour are the most important. Their claim that you need God to validate morality then is the most important one they make in favour of belief in God.

But it is wrong and fundamentally wrong. It is a root error. It means they practice what looks like goodness but as far as motivation and honesty goes it is anything but. It means the good atheist is actually worse than ten Christian Hitlers.
Opponents of relativism say that nobody needs to learn that people have the right to try to be happy, to think for themselves, to live and be free. They say it does not take formation to establish those ideals in people. But it takes "formation" to remove those ideals from people. Relativism results from a de-formation of people and leads to further de-formation. Religion itself has already done the ground-work. If religion turns people into relativists, it should know that in time they will drift into a form of relativism that may even hate and be hostile to the religion.
If our morals are just based on opinions they are based on opinions about what is best. It is not our fault that we have to just have opinions. That we want to know what the best is means there really is a best even if we don't know how to go about it.
The Catholic God gives out an absolute morality for others but not himself. A relativist often does the same thing. God excludes those who do not pray from eternal salvation so not praying is always immoral. Another example is that he says we have to believe in him no matter what even if it gets us killed by enemies of God. Jesus said that prayers made without faith are no good so the teaching on prayer implies you have to believe in God. We are to try to love God more even though it will attract terrible temptations from Satan. Even if this is good for it means you will go to Heaven when you die you are still undergoing a lot of suffering over religious principles and doctrines that cannot be adequately proven. God and Jesus do not keep an absolute morality themselves when they allow bad things to happen for this supposedly justifiable purpose they ramble on about. Therefore it is undeniable that the God the Bible and Jesus claimed to show existed cannot exist for no excuse for him allowing evil is possible. If we could excuse God then the God we excuse is not their God. It is very wrong to teach that a kindly atheist has less hope of Heaven than a selfish Christian who repents on the deathbed. This relativist God is evil and those who worship him want to see others having to live with this horrendous God.
The Christian even if not acting like a relativist, does worship a relativist God. They justify the terrible things God makes and allows to happen and does. They even endorse the terrible commands. They do not shy away from saying they are God's laws.

If you feel good about agreeing with or doing something awful, you can excuse this by saying that morality is relative.
If you look at how Christians live, you see that they seem to be doing that very thing!
You can observe that a person is relativist when you learn of what they believe and see how they act. But there is no test which shows that a person is NOT a relativist.
American Journal of Jurisprudence, Volume 15 | Issue 1 Article 5, 1-1-1970, A Critical Evaluation of Fletcher's Situation Ethics, Francis J. Kovach