When someone says, “Truth should be decided by each individual,” are they deciding that truth for you?” Meet the Skeptic author Bill Foster shares how Christians can learn to disarm the false premises of moral skepticism, on this edition of Home School Heartbeat with host Mike Farris.
Conversations with skeptics can really become heated, and makes it hard to stay focused. What are some of the root ideas of moral skepticism that we should address?
Moral skepticism is prevalent in our culture because it relies heavily on emotions and preferences. Moral relativism, the worldview behind moral skepticism, is popular because it sounds so tolerant and inclusive. The root idea here is that people should decide for themselves what is right or wrong. Relativists say that they want to liberate the world of moral absolutes, yet they evaluate their own preferences to the level of absolutes and expect others to follow them.
Bill, it seems today that disagreeing with someone is considered intolerant. How do you deal with this?
Many moral objections are based on contradictory or self-defeating ideas. The skeptic’s charge of intolerance is a prime example. Disagreement is not the same as intolerance. In fact, disagreement is the foundation of true tolerance. If I already agree with someone, then I don’t need to tolerate his view. Disagreement is often a good thing because it requires both sides to examine their views. To bring the point home to the skeptic, we could ask, “Are you being intolerant of my alleged intolerance?” True tolerance means respecting a person’s right to express a view while also having the freedom to disagree with it.
Bill, thanks for reminding us that truth is never relative. I’m Mike Farris.