Planted in Mid-Air

19 05 2007

“There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative,” writes Allan Bloom in The Closing of the American Mind. He adds, “If this belief is put to the test, one can count on the students’ reaction: they will be uncomprehending. That anyone should regard the proposition as not self-evident astonishes them, as though he were calling into question 2 + 2 = 4.”

In other words, most people consider truth to mean “true for me” and nothing more. Asserting that there are universal, objective truths that apply equally to all people at all times in all places is simply sneered at and considered unsophisticated.  

If truth is nothing more than a relative perception then it is mere opinion and truth is dead.

“When truth dies, all of its subspecies, such as ethics, perish with it. If truth can’t be known, then the concept of moral truth becomes incoherent. Ethics become relative, right and wrong matters of individual opinion. This may seem a moral liberty, but it ultimately rings hollow. ‘The freedom of our day,’ lamented a graduate in a Harvard commencement address, ‘is the freedom to devote ourselves to any values we please, on the mere condition that we do not believe them to be true.’”

I highly recommend the book from which all the above quotes come: Relativism, Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air by Francis J. Beckwith and Gregory Koukl.




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