Why is the War on Relativism important ?
This entry is part of the War on Relativism.
Why a war ? This is not a violent physical war, but a war of persuasion. The War on Relativism is an ideological war. An ideological war is a strong expression of value - a desire to propagate a basic rational position against general ignorance or delusion. Waging an ideological war is a way for the individual to make society better by introducing this basic position into a corrupted debate. It is, therefore, the perfect expression of objective value, and the perfect medium to combat relativism.
Why should atheists reject relativism ? If modern atheism as a movement is to succeed at all, it must argue from morality. Morality rules the world. People still accept religion as justified, even if it is hopelessly outdated and anti-scientific, because they believe that religion is the only source of morality and only religious people are moral. Part of the purpose of this blog is to refute the various facets of this belief and demonstrate that only atheistic worldviews are conductive to morality.
Atheists have the moral high ground. But relativism completely defeats any moral high ground we have, as it posits that any morality constructed within certain parameters is equally valid. Furthermore, relativism makes atheism immoral in most cases. After all, atheism is not part of any constructed historical or cultural morality, at least certainly not in North America or Europe. Therefore a relativist atheist is a self-defeatign hypocrite.
How does relativism promote religion and immorality ? Relativism is the last and most successful bastion of religion and immoral traditions, especially "cultural" relativism. Even after a religion is disproven by a mountain of scientific and moral facts, it still gain legitimacy from being a cultural icon ("Christianity is part of who we are") or a personal belief ("I just have faith and you can't argue against that"). People still accept religiously-oriented laws as long as they are a support of a "religious culture". By embracing relativism, atheists are closing their eyes to religious immorality in ou society.
The same thing is true for immoral traditions, which are often defended by relativists on "cultural" grounds ("it's their culture !"). Some relativists seriously argue that even ritual murder can be moral on "cultural" grounds. One well-known atheist has even told me that slaughtering atheists may be moral on "cultural" grounds. If that's not deranged I don't know what is.
Relativism is the mode of operation of any oppressive belief system. Any degree of oppression can be justified on relativist grounds, in the name of a relative higher ideal (the "culture", the "common good", the "country", your "feelings", your "race" or "class") - anything but facts. Individual discovery of facts is a belief-killer.
How widespread is relativism ? Relativism is a sacred belief from all sides of the collectivist spectrum - left-wing culture isolationists and right-wing cultural supremacists equally. Left-wing relativists preach for the "preservation of culture" and the belief that all "cultures" are equally moral, and want to stop globalization in order to keep people enslaved in a "culture". Right-wing relativists reify their "country", their religion and their "culture" as supreme without any evidence, and justify war by the "spreading of culture". Both of these forms of relativism are horrible evils.