Friday, August 13, 2010

What Would Jesus Say to a Relativist? MP3 Audio by Douglas Groothuis

In this lecture, philosopher Douglas Groothuis tackles the problem of relativism, answering it by pointing out its flaws and ultimate failure. Another good resource on relativism to add to the bunch. See also Groothuis' blog here, and recent interview here. Originally found here.

Full MP3 Audio here (45 min)


What was last year's post? See here.


Davitor said...

If you take note during this whole lecture Douglas Groothuis was judging others.
What would Jesus say to a relativist? Well he would say, do not judge for the judgment you give will be the measure you get. And how do I know this is true? Well the Barna research is pointing to this truth, whether you like it or not. The 2002 Barna reported 3 to 1 in adults that the moral truth is relative to the person and their situation, and with teenagers 83% and only 6% affirm it is not. That means that 94% back in 2002 of teenagers believed that moral truth is relative. I wonder what the statistic will show for 2010 ? Well this points to the fact that what Jesus said was true and that was to not Judge and I will follow this truth by saying good work Douglas Groothuis please continue in your beliefs in judging others and convert the 6% percent who are now adults to not judge.

Robert Kunda said...

I'm not clear what your point is, Davitor, but it sure sounds like you're making some judgements. Reading a few commentaries on Matthew 7 might be fruitful to you if you're really taking Jesus words to mean 'we ought not make judgements.' Or just read... all of the Apostles.

Seth said...

Understanding Matt 7 correctly, you'll know that Jesus was condemning hypocritical, self-righteous judgments of others.

In Matthew 7:2-5, Jesus warns against judging someone else for his sin when you yourself are sinning even worse. That is the kind of judging Jesus commanded us not to do. If a believer sees another believer sinning, it is his Christian duty to lovingly and respectfully confront the person with his sin (Matthew 18:15-17). This is not judging, but rather pointing out the truth in hope—and with the ultimate goal—of bringing repentance in the other person (James 5:20) and restoration to the fellowship. We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). We are to proclaim what God's Word says about sin. 2 Timothy 4:2 instructs us, "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction." We are to "judge" sin, but always with the goal of presenting the solution for sin and its consequences—the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6).

This was taken from

Relativists are walking contradictions, I don't mean that in an insulting way, but what I mean is: smack a relativist in the face and see if he/she doesn't say, "you should not have done that!" Should not have done that? Isn't that an objective statement? :)
Don't go out and smack one in the face, of course, but you can see that relativism only works when there isn't a disagreement between the two.

Davitor said...

Thanks Seth, and I would tell you to please smack the other cheek as well. For it is God who will judge your actions, not me.

Aja said...

So, Davitor— would you say Christians are wrong to make judgements?

Davitor said...

Aja does God need my decision to know wether Christian are right nor wrong in judging others? Why hallucinate? Any effort on my behalf shows i'm not relying on God's.

Robert Kunda said...

Pardon the name above. "Aja" was me—my wife was logged in on Google.

Anyway, this is going nowhere. Let's backup and try again. Davitor—would you tell someone they shouldn't commit rape? Or would you say "I cannot judge!"

Seth said...

Thanks Seth, and I would tell you to please smack the other cheek as well.

I wish I had that kind of self-control! :) I still think you would have thought or even said something like that wasn't nice, shouldn't have done that, etc. and then you have to ask why isn't it nice? It isn't nice because we all have a moral law stamped on our minds (figuratively speaking) that tells us it isn't nice. That doesn't mean we all follow that moral law placed inside us, but it's there.

Like Robert Kunda asked, would you tell someone they shouldn't commit rape? Or would you say, "I cannot judge!" Further, if you were in an auditorium full of people listening to a speaker and he (the speaker) took a puppy (work with me here) and proceeded to stomp it into oblivion; wouldn't you, along with most of the audience, try to stop him from stomping the puppy to death? Or would you just sit back, fold you arms, and say, "Hey, who am I to judge him for how he gets his jollies?"

Roger said...

This a another great lecture from Prof Grotthuis.

@ Davitor. If you take note of Prof Groothuis's correct definition of tolerance:

"All people are created equal, but all ideas are NOT created equal."

I believe Prof Grotthuis consistently followed this definition in this lecture. Calling him "judgmental" is just a defence mechanism - a smoke screen to allow you to escape the discussion.

Davitor said...

Hi Robert, sorry about the name "Aga" but to answer your question I need to follow as Prof Grotthuis explained in his lecture to treat other as I would have them treat myself. The moment I treat the rapist with condemnation I cannot separate him or her from the act then I have cast the first stone.
Thank you Seth for your explanation of the puppy in an auditorium, but I would like to give you a much more common scenario. Imagine you just arrived at you home late from work. As you entered your home you note that your family members were frantically trying to stomp into oblivion a moth that had wondered into your home due to its attraction to the light. Finally before you can stop them they manage to splat the moth into oblivion. Would you treat this member of the family with the same remorse as you would treat the speaker who manage to stomped the puppy. If you see a difference with respect to objective standard of life itself then you are judging.
And finally Roger as you noted in the lecture of Prof Grotthuis he give an example of the female genital mutilation that takes place in an African tribal practices. Are you as concern with this type of mutilation as that of the female population that undergo breast augmentation? Over 300,000 thousand woman have this have this procedure done every year. Are you not concern that these billion of dollars are spent by woman who are encourage with an idea that larger is better. Are they not following an idea that they are not equal.
If Jesus had followed the idea that Prof Groothuis proclaims in his lecture that we should all look for the best physician, that we should all look for the best dentist, that we should never settled for a student dentist just to save money but that only the best dentist will do. Then I'm afraid that when Jesus said "Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me". He did not really mean that?
Come to think of it Jesus basically committed a philosophical hary karry for how can you treat someone who is not Jesus be the same as treating Jesus?

Robert Kunda said...

Thank you for your response, Davitor. I think the point is made well enough that anyone reading this thread can discern the right position.

Seth said...

I believe I'll let you have the last word Davitor. I don't enjoy arguing for the sake of agruing. I agree with Robert Kundra in that the point has been made.

pds said...

I'll just let Davitor's own words speak for themselves:

"The moment I treat the rapist with condemnation I cannot separate him or her from the act then I have cast the first stone"

Hoops said...

I have yet to listen to this treatment, but I have read these posts. Either we believe in absolute truth or we don't. Davitor, either rape is wrong according to Scripture, which we hold infallible, or it isn't.

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