I recently came across this debate and have a few comments. I am going to just address Relativism and Determinism in general. I hope that I have not misrepresented the views of the Relativist or Determinist.
Here are some definitions whereby I draw my critique of a person holding such views.
Relativism – a : a theory that knowledge is relative to the limited nature of the mind and the conditions of knowing.
b : a view that ethical truths depend on the people and groups holding them.
Determinism – (philosophy) : the belief that all events are caused by things that happened before them and that people have no real ability to make choices or control what happens.
I contend that it is both illogical and impossible to apply these philosophies to one’s life. I have written a small, concise critique in prose form. It is my passion to write apologetic arguments via the medium of poetry and prose.
My inspiration for this prose essay comes from the comments that the Relativistic Deterministic Atheist Dr. Bernard Leikind says regarding God’s treatment of Job, in the book of Job, as immoral. I was bewildered by his assertion and judgement against God. Where does he get his authority to make the assertion and that he made it means what exactly?…It has no meaning. He muted the truth and moral weight of his argument by the very fact that he invoked the disciplines of a doctrine that allows any and every person the ability and responsibility to be their own moral authority and moral reformer.
Determined to Fail
The Relativistic Determinist condemns himself to suffer his inconvenient existence in silence, having relinquished his authority and volition. His words and actions are of no useful consequence. He has rendered himself both moot and mute. Any thoughts or utterances are mere reflexive actions with no purpose other than satisfying the indifference of the dying universe. He speaks because he must, but his words are hollow and without weight, as they lack conviction and Truth.
His existence is necessarily unnecessary. There is no behavior that cannot and will not be performed by other humans. Life is illusory and fleeting. Does he actually exist? If he has no will, no thoughts, or volition, then he has no consciousness, perceived or otherwise. The Descartes’s phrase, “I think, therefore I am” cannot be construed to an absurdity such as this, “I have thoughts, therefore I am.” A person having thoughts and a person thinking are not congruent, especially when the thoughts do not belong to the person. A human having thoughts may verify the existence of the universe and human life, but not the seity of the individual.
Why do men and women amputate their epistemological roots and anesthetize their human experience to exclude transcendence and absolutes? It is done in arrogance and pride, despite our desire for ultimate transcendent knowledge and absolutes truths. We voluntarily severe the cord that anchors us to Rock rather than continue to climb to the summit, because we become contemptuous and disenfranchised with our current view. We allow personal rejection and suffering to create insulated, artificial atmospheres that sheath us like bubble wrap. It suffices as protection against the rushing wind, but will utter fail when ground becomes an absolute, brute fact. To us who have life, death will come to extricate payment for that life; breath from our lungs, beating from our hearts, and existence from our existence. It comes to extract us from us, and we become nothing, again. (If we were any thing to begin with.)
Will you go quietly in to the dark, cold of oblivion*? You, an obedient mass of expired atoms involuntarily being extinguished for absolutely no reason at all, it will have been an inconvenient life of hopelessness. If you hadn’t begun to exist, then you would have never had to suffer the whimsy of a capricious cosmos. I say that you did not live at all, but merely existed as an perchance afterthought of random nothingness. On the bright side, entropy will erase every memory or syllable ever you uttered, regardless of how noble, just, or morally perfect it seemed. In a 100 million years nothing will matter, not even matter itself. If nothing will matter then, does the behavior of matter from nothing matter now?
I challenge you to honestly lock arms with determinism and relativism. We must follow each of these and fulfill them quintessentially in order to see the result or perfection of a person following that belief.
In Relativism, the end result is a sociopath; a person devoid and resilient of empathy, sympathy, and socially acceptable (moral) restraint.
In Determinism, the end result is a clinically depressed humanoid or randomly programmed machine; a person who acts/reacts only because they must, they no longer have will or desire to pursue passion or individual thought.
Both of these are the antithesis of the outcome they claim will be the result of applying said doctrines. In each of these, the follower will be free from Religion and absolute restraints. He/she will have taken on almighty God and will have won, but at what cost. Allow me surmise this conundrum with an anecdotal quote from the Avengers movie.
Steve Rogers: When I went under, the world was at war. I wake up, they say we won. They didn’t say what we lost.
All atheist theories and doctrine restrict, isolate, and remove aspects of human life, our human experience, and/or knowledge of our human condition. I feel it is an intellectually dishonest approach to science or life. One has to presupposed there isn’t a God in order to create philosophies, ideologies, and doctrines that are explicitly devoid of God or Intelligent creation. The physical, non-physical, and logical evidence and order of our universe’s complex existence can never lead to the understanding of random meaninglessness…unless one is determined to develop/create such an understanding by his/her own volition.
Consider this quote from C. S. Lewis,
“If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”
It is the most probable, logical conclusion that, there is a God, there is Hope, and we were created with intrinsic value and purpose.
If you quintessentially fulfill the Christian worldview, then what you have is the God-man Jesus Christ; perfect, holy, and absolute Truth. It is the goal of the Christian faith to do (act) justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God**. Jesus said that all of the Commandments and law hung on two commandments: 1. Love God with all your heart 2. Love your neighbor (others) as yourself.***
Christians are to live their lives unto Jesus, by His example and with His guidance. There is no logical way that Christianity leads to prejudice, racism, violence or hate. Those are attributes of our human condition and they are the cancer and corruption of any ideology or belief. If there are Christians behaving in a non-Christ-like manner, it is not Christ that compels them but their own volition and will. Believing in a transcendent God, absolute Truth, and objective morality does not lead to religious elitism, violence, and hate, but I can guarantee that belief in our random, meaningless existence will. When everyone believes in nothingness, there will be nothing left to believe in, or that will be believable. Only Christianity offers redemption and salvation, no other religion or worldview offers the most desired status in our existence. The very reason for religions and worldviews is to try to redeem man from his behavior, yet they all fail to do so. The blind cannot lead the blind.**** It requires a transcendent insight and absolute Truth to understand, undo, and redeem what we have done.*****
Think about it…
* “Do Not Go Gentle Into the Night”, a Poem by Dylan Thomas
**Mic 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
***Matthew 22 36-40. “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
****Luk_6:39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
*****Isa_42:16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.