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If not for God, how would we know good from bad?

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Posted: Saturday, February 2, 2013 12:00 am

David Diskin, in his rebuttal to my guest column on the Newtown massacre, seems to take particular offense at my belief in moral absolute truth.

He said: "... Because everyone is already using their own moral compasses. That's right. Every individual person is making up their own minds as to what is good and bad ... You claim that a system of morality based on individuality has no foundation to stand on, but I beg to differ. The foundation of such a system is empathy, love and mutual respect."

This is moral relativism — the belief that there is no absolute standard of moral truth and that truth is developed by each personal based on their individual experiences, values and preferences.

In his statement, Mr. Diskin violated his own belief by stating an absolute. He said, "The foundation of such a system is empathy ..."

Is it really? Based on what premise? His? Since truth, according to Mr. Diskin, is relative, the statement he made might be true for him, but not true for others. According to his rules, an absolute statement of truth like he stated is flawed and shows intolerance for anyone else's truth.

If truth is relative, we cannot reward good behavior or punish bad behavior, nor can we complain about the problem of evil.

Who's to say what is good or bad, if everyone determines this on their own? Someone might consider rape as evil while another might consider it good. In a relativistic world, who's right and who's wrong? Without an absolute standard of measurement, nothing, in itself, is good and nothing, in itself, is evil.

Relativism forbids us, even as a society, to say that a certain behavior is wrong, because that would be intolerant and could infringe on someone else's definition of truth.

The concept of goodness is impossible without a transcendent author of it — an author who has created us with an innate understanding of this goodness and the obligation to follow it for our good and the good of society. This author is the God of the Bible.

Pastor Frank Nolton

New Hope Community Church

Lodi

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