Jason E. Fort
MY take on Absolutes and Authority
So here's some heady stuff to talk about...our current society's aversion to both moral absolutes - and giving in to authority.
First of all, we can all go ahead and acknowledge that there are physical absolutes; absolute zero; the freezing point of water; known laws of physics; proven chemical properties; all sorts of stuff too advanced for my abstract way of thinking, yet at the same time, absolutely true. There are physical laws in reality that control and effect everything that physically happens around us, and the real intellectuals are able to observe this handy data and through actual science somehow make it practical for us all. This is something we all know; therefore we can all acknowledge these physical laws as fact.
But society would have us believe that there are no absolutes when it comes to morality or authority. 'They' would have us all believe that TRUTH is relative; truth is what you interpret it to be. Right and Wrong can be interpreted different ways. They call this progressive thinking. REALLY?
Now I know what some of you are already thinking - is he really going to go there?
Yep...so if you're sensitive about religion and have a problem with belief in any higher authority besides mankind, you can click out of here if you like. But I am not trying to 'offend'; I emphasized in the title that this is MY take on truth. You by no means have to feel obligated to accept it. But the beauty of freedom of speech, while I have some degree of it left, is - this is MY blog :)
Anyway, let's suppose for just a second that moral truth is relative...available for interpretation by any single individual. Let's say my neighbor believes it is morally acceptable to kill any dog he sees, regardless of where he is or where the dog is when he sees it.
I have four dogs.
I go out to walk my biggest dog one day, and said neighbor sees my dog. He then commences to run out from his front door, pounces on my dog, and bludgeons its head with a hammer (graphic, I know - stay with me).
Now according to his interpretation, he was within his right to kill my dog, because his moral truth was that he is to kill dogs wherever he sees them. And this is just a brief, though absurd, example. But the absurdity is in the idea of the truth being relative. We won't even go into what I would do to a guy that hits my dog with a hammer.
Can anyone see yet where there is a danger in the whole 'truth is relative' claim?
This line of thinking, even if it starts with someone just not wanting their line of thinking to be offensive to someone else, can be very dangerous. And yet we have some people out there who have been swayed to think it's a good idea. Some of those same people think it's a good idea not to have police. I mean what do we have laws for anyway?
Do you see any problems with this yet?
Yes, there are going to be disagreements. But without rules or laws, there will be nothing but anarchy. Conflicting views is much better than anarchy, where anything goes for anybody. So if you can at least see the need for some kind of rules, and not just totally free, or 'relative' thinking, relative truth...we have to ask ourselves...who gets to make those rules? Who determines the truth, and makes the laws we all live by?
Whoa - now we have philosophy and religion rolled right into politics...what is Jason thinking? I know, right?
So if you think any one man or group of people can come up with these rules without their own agenda, I think you'd find out pretty quick that can't be the case. We are selfish by nature; I can't even tell you how many science experiments have been done to show kids at a very early age instinctively saying harshly the word, "Mine!" It stands to reason that a group of people wouldn't be much different. If you look at the way the world is going, doesn't it sometimes seem like there is someone else's agenda going on? Guess that may be a topic for another day...but I digress.
So if not a group of people, what about one really wise man or woman? All you have to know for this answer is a few famous names to know that is a bad idea: Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Nero, etc.
What about a higher authority than man? If so, which 'higher' authority?
Is it safer to leave interpretation of this question up in the air than it is for the simple question of what is moral truth?
In short, as long as the belief in the answer is not in a higher power that condones the beheading or other violence against the followers of another 'higher' authority, then yes, it is safer. So how in the world do you determine what is absolute in life? Who is right?
Oddly enough, I cannot tell you exactly how to do it. I can just tell you who I see as my 'higher' authority. But I can tell you that the old cliche, "To thine own self be true," can be extremely dangerous, if it really is the one rule we decide to live by.