The Corner

Yesterday’s Battles

Interesting email from a reader:

The reader who wrote in to say:

“It’s important to understand that people did not go out of their way to

“make this stuff [relativism] up” — all they were doing was following the

logical consequences of secularism, which disenthralled the traditional

absolutes derived from religion… “

is quite wrong, and making a mistake very common on the Right. Rejecting

ethical absolutism (or objectivism, with a small ‘o’) may be a *practical*

consequence of secularism (certainly many of the atheists and other

secularists I know are also relativists, although when I did an informal

survey, I was surprised that it wasn’t closer to all of them). But it is

very far from a *logical* consequence. I won’t bore you with the details

but let’s just say that when pressed on this point, it’s very rare for

theists to come up with an actual argument showing how relativism

*logically* follows from secularism. The best most of them do is something

along the lines of “Moral rules require a rulemaker”, but this is merely

asserted, not defended, and in the even rarer instances when it is

defended, they run into the Euthyphro fallacy and go poof.

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