Relativistic Concerns

by Carol Iannone

Referring to an article that appeared at her site, Arianna Huffington expressed concern on one of the morning shows this week that young women are seeking to sleep with older men who agree to help them with their large college loans. There is even a website matching these desperate, cash-strapped girls with their aging lotharios, and hundreds of coeds are busy paying down their debts in this fashion. One of those ever-present female psychological experts sat next to Huffington in order to deplore this and to predict that guilt would one day catch up with these so-called “sugar babies.” On another matter, concern and wonderment have also arisen about widespread cheating by high-school students.

But let’s review. Haven’t we for years been telling young people that there is no objective truth or standard by which to live, and that each person is entitled to make up his or her own rules? Haven’t teachers even been discouraged from explaining right from wrong to their charges, and instead prompted to allow each student to decide for himself or herself what to believe? So why the surprise and concern? Of course many conservatives would agree with Mr. Sammler of the Saul Bellow novel that morality is rooted in our nature, and that “we know that we know that we know,” no matter how many people keep prating that everything is relative. But how do liberals who insist that there is no objective truth explain the concerns?