Relativism is letting oneself be “carried adrift by any wind of doctrine”
Relativism is a philosophical current that dates back to the times of ancient Greece, with the sophists, their most prominent figure being Protagoras of Abdera.
Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle considered the relativistic point of view inadmissible.
Many years later this philosophical current was developed by Descartes and Kant and in the 20th century by Nietzsche, James, and Dewey among others.
Much has been written about this philosophical theory, but since I do not intend to write a doctoral thesis on the subject, I am going to define relativism in a very simple way.
It is a philosophical position that denies the existence of objective truth, in the same way that it affirms that there is no such thing as good and evil. There are as many truths as there are opinions, and there are as many goods and evils as there are subjective opinions. That is, each one has the truth about him. I build my morality.
This idea of relativism is currently rooted in society and is accepted by the majority. If you talk to someone questioning this theory, they will surely throw up their hands and tell you, how dare you question an idea that is universally accepted. What he is doing is imposing his relativism on you and restricting your freedom to think differently. It is imposing on you that the truth does not exist. Relativism is intolerance, single thinking. It nullifies freedom of thought and religious freedom.
Of course, a person who considers relativism to be a valid thought has every right to think and express it. What you do not have the right to do is prevent others from thinking differently and from expressing it peacefully.
If truth and good and evil do not exist and everyone has their own truth and their conception of what is good and what is evil, it becomes impossible to declare what is true and what is good and what is evil. Despite relativism, there is a universally accepted truth and that is that killing a person is wrong. Let’s look at the attack on the Twin Towers in New York where almost 3,000 people were killed, we agree that it was an atrocity and that that is wrong. However, those who crashed the planes into the Towers thought that what they were going to do was right. According to the theory of relativism, they did no wrong because they had THEIR truth. There is not much to discuss, killing people is wrong, no matter who does it. That is the truth, the only truth, consequently, objective truth exists.
Relativism has penetrated deeply into society and has imposed its traps on us so that, without realizing it, we enter its sphere of influence. I am referring to the expression that we use very often when we have a conversation with other people: “for me.” If we are talking, for example, about the communist holocaust, and we say “for me, it was barbaric,” we are entering into relativism and, therefore, leaving the door open for that to not be an atrocity because there are others who think so. We cannot abandon objective truth, we have to defend the truth.
Not infrequently, many people use relativism as a mask to justify their actions and behavior. This happens, for example, with some women who abort, even knowing that aborting is bad, and they justify what they have done, hiding behind relativism with phrases like “my body is mine and only I decide what I do with it.”
Relativism has also forced a concept of freedom that has nothing to do with the true meaning of the word. The defenders of this philosophical current have coined a phrase with which they can justify any action they take: “I have the right to do what I want with MY LIFE.” Freedom is not doing what I want, freedom is having the ability to choose and decide what is good for me and for others. Freedom is not being a slave to vices, passions and evil.
Pope Benedict XVI, one of the best theologians of the Church, has warned us on many occasions of the danger of relativism. I transcribe a paragraph of his:
“To those who have a clear faith, according to the Church Creed, the label of fundamentalism is often applied. While relativism, that is, allowing oneself to be “carried adrift by any wind of doctrine”, seems to be the only appropriate attitude in current times. A dictatorship of relativism is being established that does not recognize anything as definitive, and that leaves only the self and its whims as the last measure.
José Ignacio Echegaray, collaborator of the Enraizados Foundation