After the September 11th terrorist attacks, New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani addressed the United Nations General Assembly where he said, “We’re right and they’re wrong to have attacked innocent people. It’s as simple as that. This era of moral relativism must come to an end. There’s no moral way to sympathize with grossly immoral actions.”
Moral Relativism is not a widely known issue, yet it is one that affects our everyday lives. Some of our world’s biggest issues – terrorism, school shootings, bullying, drug abuse – are the result of a morally relativistic mindset.
What exactly is moral relativism? Moral relativism is defined as the idea that there is no universal, absolute truth, but that truth differs from person to person and culture to culture. Moral relativism suggests that there is no clear line between right and wrong. Instead, that everything is rather relative. It essentially says, “It is absolutely true for everyone that nothing is absolutely true for anyone.” Sounds pretty contradictory, right?
Throughout the past couple decades, moral relativism has been in full swing. It has left a fully visible effect within our society. Tune into the news and it is obvious that our society lacks a strict line between right and wrong. We consistently witness children being sold into sex slavery, terrorists murdering innocent people, mass shootings, and bullying leading teenagers to suicide. All of the heartbreaking issues that grip the lives of citizens all throughout the world are caused, in part, by moral relativism. When an evil person is taught and truly believes that there is no difference between morally right and morally wrong, what is to stop him or her from pursuing evil actions? Nothing will. We have witnessed this time and time again.
Moral relativism also makes it easy for those in authority to manipulate others. When citizens fail to view their rights as something in their own hands, they come to see them as something granted to them from those in power. Such “grants” can be taken away at any moment by those in authority, the government, or a majority vote. There is only one reason why our nation was so successful at the start. It is because our Founding Fathers were not relativists and were not manipulated by those in power. Those brilliant men saw their rights – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – as “inalienable.” They were willing to die for them. In today’s generation, moral relativism has completely reversed that philosophy. It has created a nation where a large amount of our leaders are simply in power for selfish reasons. Not only that, but due to relativism, they are not in Washington to fight for our country and stand against moral evils. Instead, they don’t resist unjust laws because, why resist it if there are no real rights but just preferences and opinions?
Moral relativism teaches our world that “What is right for you, isn’t necessarily right for me.” It suggests that there is no truth – no right answer – instead, only opinions in a sea of confusion. In order to draw away from the evil acts that grip our world, we must get rid of moral relativism. Right and wrong DO exist. They must be taught and addressed within our world.