“Everything Is Relative”
No, its not!
Well in physics some things are relative. Motions in a “non inertial frame” are indeed relative. For instance motion of two bodies moving uniformly in a straight line. Our senses will fudge this a bit even when the motion is not uniform. For instance sitting in one train next to another train at a station. The other train moves off and for an instant you think your train is the one moving.
But in physics, for an “inertial frame” that is where there is change of velocity – which of course includes moving in a circle - motion is not relative it is absolute. The moon is in orbit around the earth and the earth is in orbit around the sun, not the other way round.
In an “inertial frame of reference” motion is absolute! … That really is “Physics 1.01 – I am recalling what I learned in High school 50 years ago!
However in second-hand philosophy these lessons have not been applied – or possibly not even known. We have been told that morals are relative, even that truth is relative. Once again the old adage that if you tell a lie often enough people will believe it has been fulfilled. Mantras such as “everything is relative”, “truth is relative”, “there are no absolutes” have been repeated so often that people have adopted them as “true” without critical examination.
Today I will just illustrate the falsity of “truth is relative” by a simple story.
Fred has a gambling problem. He is now deeply in debt to Mack the Shark.
Fred comes to your church for help with his problem. After the service as everyone is standing around having coffee and chatting, a man comes in to pick up his wife and kids. He recognises the two heavy set gentlemen waiting just outside the front door as two of Mack the Shark's enforcers. He tells you this and you go over to Fred.
“Fred” you say, “You said you owe money to Mack the Shark, well there are two of his thugs waiting outside the door.”
How should Fred respond?
According to the pervasive mantra, Fred should act as many people do when Christians tell them about God. He should say, “Ah well, that may be true for you, but its just your truth. Its not true for me. And walk out the door. (In which case Fred is likely facing a very painful future. Just as are the people who reject the truth about God and redemption in Christ.)
Funnily enough, in matters of this world people tend to be more realistic. What will Fred really do? Well he'll get straight on the 'phone to Mack and try to make some deal to get him to call off his thugs.
So deep down, in the practical things of life we all act as though truth is absolute! The mantra has penetrated out psyches just far enough to be dredged up as an evasion. So I think we should just call it out for what it is.
Mantra: “Truth is relative”
Reply: No its not! You live you daily life as though truth is absolute, so you are just trying to evade some issue when you say its only relative.”