Tag Archives: Relativism

Relativism and Abortion

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The coup of relativism in the abortion holocaust is that it convinced societies that abortion does not end a human life but stop it from being. It created a false distinction between biological potentiality and actualization of that potential. The argument often goes like this:

Something is not truly alive until x or y or personhood is not achieved until z or w.

The biological fact that a unique human being is created at the moment of conception is irrelevant because biological potentiality does not equate with personhood only the fulfillment of some arbitrary or subjective developmental landmark. In other words life that is afforded rights only begins after some subjective conditions have been fulfilled. One extreme example, is clearly articulated by Joyce Arthur in an article titled the Fetus Focus Fallacy:

“We all have our own opinions about what the moral status of the fetus might be. Some people believe a fertilized egg is a full human being with an absolute right to life that supersedes any right of the woman. Others believe that a fetus attains moral value only after it becomes viable, or upon birth. But that’s all these beliefs are – opinions. There’s no way to decide between them, because they’re entirely subjective and emotional. Therefore, the only opinion that counts is that of the pregnant woman. The status of her fetus and any moral value accorded to it is entirely her call. A fetus becomes a human being when the woman carrying it decides it does.”

Joyce Arthur
The Fetus Focus Fallacy

The beginning of life, according to Joyce Arthur, is a matter of opinion, an arbitrary delineation that can only be bestowed by an “act of the will” of the biological mother. This absurdity states that being human is not an intrinsic property of humanity, but rather an acquired trait that is only bestowed by an intellectual accent of another human being: “A fetus becomes a human being when the woman carrying it decides it does”. This is perfectly consistent with relativism. In that it presupposes that A) objective truth cannot be known and therefore B) truth is only relative to the opinion of the individual. In the case of abortion the only opinion that matters is that of the mother. The explicit outcome of such argumentation is the denigration of the dignity of human life to a subjective opinion. The consequence is about 730,000 abortions in the US alone in 2011, according to the CDC. That is almost a million lives quenched before they were born.

The problem with such a framework is that it removes the intrinsic value of human life by imposing conditions on it. It ignores the biological fact that at the moment of conception a unique and different human being is created. That its value is not dependent on achieving some developmental stage, but that is intrinsic to its creation. In the words of Dr. Zeus: “A person, is a person no matter how small.”

This post was a continuation of Relativism and Natural Law.

For a detail and frankly better explication of the issue of Abortion read Trent Horn book, from which I draw guidance in writing this post:

Persuasive Pro Life: How to Talk about Our Culture’s Toughest Issue

 

Relativism and Natural Law

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“What is true for you may not be true for me”.

Is an axiom of today’s culture. It plays as a subliminal call for civility, tolerance and understanding. It is also the hallmark of a confused and decaying society, for civility, tolerance and understanding are meaningless in a worldview that forswears objective truth and embraces relativism.

Relativism is the idea that moral truth has no objective or absolute value. Relativism reduces moral truth to a subjective opinion that is variable and contingent on experiences and perspectives. This equivocation makes relativism an existential threat to any civilization that embraces its abnegation of objective truth because it undermines its moral foundation. The absence of objective moral truth subjugates morality to a consensus of opinion at best and at worst to the rule of the mob. In such framework rights are not indelible or universal. They are subjugated to the disposition of a society and subject to change. Thus, under relativism there is no ethical or moral framework upon which to condemn the slave trade or a legal justification to adjudicate crimes against humanity. For relativism disparage the notion that as rational beings, we can discern what is right, proper and just and condemn what is wrong, improper and unjust.

As Professor Peter Kreeft aptly puts it:

“But in fact it is only the believer in the old-fashioned natural moral law who could be a social radical and a progressive. He alone can say to a Hitler, or a Saddam Hussein, “You and your whole social order are wrong and wicked and deserve to be destroyed.” The relativist could only say, “Different strokes for different folks, and I happen to hate your strokes and prefer mine, that’s all.”

Peter Kreeft
A Refutation of Moral Relativism—Transcription

It was precisely the “old-fashioned natural moral law” that afforded the Dominican Friar Bartolomé de las Casas an intellectual framework upon which to argue against the slave trade of the 16-century and for the universality of human rights. He argued that every human being has an intrinsic and objective dignity and thereby should be universally respected. His arguments were not only based on his Christian faith but also on Natural Law. A fundamental principle in classical philosophy that states that there are objective and universal ethical principles that are inherent in all human beings and that these principles can be known through reason.

DefendantsHLSL

Moreover, the intellectual and judicial arguments against Nazi war criminals during the Nuremberg Trials were firmly grounded on Natural Law:

“When I say that we do not ask for convictions unless we prove crime, I do not mean mere technical or incidental transgression of international conventions. We charge guilt on planned and intended conduct that involves moral as well as legal wrong…It is not because they yielded to the normal frailties of human beings that we accuse them. It is their abnormal and inhuman conduct which brings them to this bar.”

Robert H. Jackson
Opening Statement Nuremberg Trials, 1945

Relativism begs the question whether the outcome of the Nuremberg trial was justifiable if the moral values of the tribunal were conditioned by the experiences and perspective of the Nazis. For under a relativistic intellectual regime, the slave trade and crimes against humanity are just a matter of opinion. The only logical conclusion under relativism is that such atrocities are only atrocity because we view them as atrocities. Not because they are intrinsically evil. They are just a value opinion. This is a devastating thought.

Yet the appeal of relativism is inescapable to a self-centered culture. That is obsessed with denying the nature of sin or wrongdoing. It is no wonder that Relativism is today’s most profitable currency in the economy of progressivism. It gives an effective, albeit intellectually unsustainable, framework upon which to justify anything. Its effectiveness in today’s culture is self-evident in its successful devaluation of human life to a commodity through its rationalization of abortion and euthanasia. The former led to an ongoing holocaust of countless generations of human beings whose life are ended by abortion and the latter provided the means to justify the cleansing of those that society considered to be undesirable, i.e. a burden. Its inhumanity is hidden behind the doors of abortion clinics and exposed behind the gates of Auschwitz.

To be continue…

Still a Small Voice

You yearned for fulfillment

but there is no meaning
in the light of your eyes

just thoughts whispered in the sand.

For you ripped apart the law written in your heart
and made for yourself an idol

out of your own desires.

You grew weary and pretended
that everything is alright

closing your mind ever so deeply
to the storm stirring in your heart.

A feeling you can’t loose.
A yearning you can’t ignore.

For you never felt at home in the muck.

Still a small voice that whispers
into your heart:

You were made for more.

A small voice that trembles
through your bones

Tear down all you got.

For you are not the sums
of your failures…

but the sum the Father’ love for you*.

Caleb
GTG

*Authors note: The last two verses are straight from Saint John Paul II 17th World Youth Day homily. A moving exhortation to today’s youth facing what Pope Benedict XVI called the dictatorship of relativism embedded in today’s culture.