The Plight and Blight of Moral Relativism
I find that what is going on in our 21st century culture right now is incredibly interesting and revealing. Social media has completely redesigned the human landscape. I think that its development was predicated on the idea of bringing people closer together. While that may be true in some ways, it has also exacerbated division and estrangement.
Our nation has become divided. It is almost like we are living through a cold uncivil war. We are no longer a unified nation in many respects. While we can debate the accuracy of these beliefs, let’s pretend they are true. What is reason for the breakdown of unity?
In short, we no longer have a mutually agreed upon basis for our human behavior.
We as a nation do not mutually agree on much of anything. We have all developed a sense of moral relativism, a philosophy that says a “tribal” group sets its own standards and morals. The Internet has been the conduit through which like-minded people are able to come together regardless of living thousands of miles apart. These groups set their own moral standards, which often differ in important respects from the moral standards of the larger population. This means we don’t have any agreed-upon truths on which to base our community. This is what is tearing apart the fabric of our previously established moral foundation.
Let’s take this one step further…
It is my contention that every last one of us lives with a certain sense of moral relativism. In its simplest terms, there are times when we excuse our bad behavior while concurrently judging others’ bad behavior. We all have done this; I know for a fact I have. As it is seemingly part of human nature, hypocrisy is a common truth we all share at times whether we want to acknowledge it or not. So, if we personally believe that the rules apply to everybody else but don’t apply to us, we have created a quagmire that God himself would struggle to straighten out. Without a common set of basic rules, we have no commonality, and we all will, in some ways, provide fuel for the fires of discontent and contention.
I offer no answer to this conundrum. My beliefs may not actually be the truth. Maybe I have posited a flawed theory, which only appears to conform to my conception of reality. I am not arrogant enough to believe I have figured anything out. But I do know that without common bonds, we don’t bond with others very well.
If I had a prayer for us all, it would be that we all mutually agree that God is in control and it is incumbent upon us to live as He directs. I would further pray that we all agree that kindness, patience, tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness, hope, faith and gratitude drive our thoughts and our behavior. I would close my prayer with asking God to bestow upon us the power of love with specific instructions on how to use it properly. I guess if I’m going to live in my own version of moral relativism, I choose these things to be my guiding foundation. At a bare minimum, I pray that we can at least all agree that we need each other and now would be a great time to work on growing together.