One of the reasons that radical relativism (the idea that all "truth" is always relative) is false is that it is self refuting. All truth is relative … except, of course, the truth statement that all truth is relative! If all truth were relative, the sentence "There is no truth." could equally mean "I like cabbage." or "Excuse me sir, do you know the way to Timbuktu?" The comic above is humorous because the boy blatantly changes the rules of the game after the fact. But if radical relativism is true, concepts like fairness, guilt, tolerance, altruism, and shame become meaningless.

Although Greg Koukl and others do a fine job of refuting radical relativism, I don't see this as being a popular philosophy. It's just so ridiculous (on both philosophical and intuitive levels) that it seems unlikely that anyone would seriously hold this view (outside of insane asylums and graduate philosophy departments) and even if they did, that after careful scrutiny they would be forced to admit that they do not live consistently with their view.

Am I wrong? Is this a serious view of truth?

It seems to me the real problem is not relativism, or even postmodernism per se, but instead a particular type of intellectual laziness that can sometimes masquerade as "postmodernism". IMHO people don't gravitate towards relativism because they honestly think it's a valid way of looking at the world; they gravitate toward it because it absolves them of the responsibility to have to think about difficult issues. It's the equivalent of clasping your hands over your ears and going "lah-lah-lah-lah-lah". Of course, Christians can sometimes be guilty of the very same thing, but at least one thing that the atheist and Christian worldviews share is that one or the other, not both, of these worldviews is true, really true.

Jesus once said "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27) Jesus does not give us peace "as the world gives" because he asks us not to trust in our worldly possessions or accomplishments, but instead to put the trust in the one who is ultimately trustworthy and true.

I was 22 years old before I thought about God seriously. I had what most people would consider a "good life", but never knew real peace until I started a relationship with God. That's something important that I value about God: Even though God is all-powerful, he still "made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness" (Philippians 2:7) in order to take our punishment for sin on our behalf. He had no obligation to do so, but did it out of his love for us.

Not only that, but he yearns to establish the kind of personal relationship that gives us peace. Jesus said "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) This doesn't mean we won't experience hardship, but we can have faith based on his promise of ultimate peace. His promise has proven true in my life, and his promise extends to, and will prove true to you as well.

Related reading:

Today's comic comes to us from the hilarious Savage Chickens webcomic, authored by Doug Savage:


We really should spend more time thinking about this. If there is "more" … wouldn't you want to find it? Y'know, before it's too late.

Related links:

Sinfest - Angels
Sinfest, Dec 12 2001

Well, since I wrote about demons last week, I guess I'll talk briefly about angels today. The popular images of angels with wings and halos began sometime in the 4th century, whereas angels are (biblically speaking) essentially spiritual in nature, not physical. They have no particular physical characteristics, although they may take on human form to better communicate with us. Angels are also not 'good people who died', like Clarence in It's a Wonderful Life; instead, they are a seperate class of created, spiritual beings. Recently there seems to be a resurgence in interest in angels in the media and popular consciousness, although usually they are depicted in a caricatured way, like in the cartoon above. Like demons, I think (this part is my opinion) it's good to recognize angels exist, but foolish to dwell upon their existence or put too much emphasis on them.

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