Why is there a right and wrong? Have you
ever asked yourself this question? What makes
something right and what makes something wrong?
Imagine a world, where you could do whatever you
want? No one to stop you from your hearts
desire, if you like the car you just take it!
If someone offends you, you have the right to
hurt or even kill them. What’s the problem with
Well if you are like me, you might think,
“What if I am on the other side?” What if I am
the guy who owned the car or I am the guy who
offended the person?” The world would be a
chaotic place to live if everybody got there
hearts desire. What is the basis of rules?
Who said its wrong to steal, murder or rob? The
real question being asked is who determines our
morality, and why should we care?
In Mexico, before Cortez (1485-1587) it
was morally acceptable to have child sacrifice,
in the South before the Civil War, slavery was
acceptable. Why did morality change? In
Hitler’s Germany, killing the Jews was a noble
act! Did it become wrong only because Germany
lost the war? If Germany won World War II,
would the killers have been heroes instead of
there are standard outside of us, which
determines what is right and wrong?
Christianity and Morality
How are Christians to interact in a
secular society? Daily we confront issues, and
Christianity seems to be on the fringe. Gay
rights are equated as civil rights; those who
proclaim homosexuality is a sin are labeled
“homophobic”, akin to racists. Have Christian
views become outdated? At one time,
homosexuality was considered immoral. Now it is
a badge of tolerance to accept the “Gay
lifestyle”. Those who say homosexuality is a
sin are filled with hate, according many.
What is a Christian to do? How do we
respond? How did something once deemed as sin
become a badge of tolerance? The response by
many is that “Morality” is relative. The word
“Morality” comes from the Latin word
meaning manner character or proper behavior.
In other words, our choices of right and wrong
behavior are relative to the world we live in.
The morality of behavior being acceptable
or non-acceptable behavior is relative. The
question at hand is a concept known a moral
Without appealing to the existence of
God, explain why it’s wrong to kill
What is Moral Relativity?: The
view that when it comes to questions of
morality, there are no absolutes and no
objective right or wrong; moral rules are merely
personal preferences and/or the result of one’s
cultural, sexual or ethnic orientation.
1 a : of or relating to principles of right and
wrong in behavior : ethical ²moral judgments³ b
: expressing or teaching a conception of right
behavior ²a moral poem³ c : conforming to a
standard of right behavior.
Christianity proclaims there are absolute moral
norms that apply to all persons in all places at
all times. Relativism denies there are moral
norms. If relativity is true then Christianity
If there is no basis for right and wrong, then
Christianity is a meaningless set of values.
If relativity is false, then there must be an
objective source of what is right or wrong. In
must also be false, therefore the existence of
the spiritual realm cannot be dismissed.
What Moral Relativity isn’t:
A distinction must first be made to demonstrate
what Moral relativity is not.
People often mistake a Preference claim
for a Moral claim.
Preference Claim: I like Starbucks
Moral Claim: Stealing is wrong
A Moral claim is what society ought to
do. A preference claim is what somebody
likes to do. Someone might believe it is
morally wrong to steal, but choose to (Prefer)
to steal. The distinction between a moral
claim and a preference claim is often confused.
A moral claim is applies to all people, while a
preference claim applies to personal choices.
The abortion debate illustrates the problem.
Moral Claim versus a Preference Claim
Those who are Pro-Abortion view “The right of
choice” as a moral claim.
Those who are Pro-Life view “The right to life”
as a moral claim.
Pro-Lifers are told,”Don’t have to have an
abortion if you don’t like it”...Preference
Those who are Pro-Life say, “Don’t get
The argument is between what moral claim has
List 5 Moral Claims:
List 5 Preference Claims:
Arguments for Moral Relativism:
There are two main arguments used by those who
view moral relativism as a worldview.
The moral relativist feels since cultures and
individuals disagree on moral issues therefore
there can be no moral norms that are right and
The Moral relativist embraces the view that one
should not judge other cultures or individuals,
for to do so would be intolerant.
1. Disagreement does not prove relativism:
We do not see all things the same way.
There are small and great disagreements.
Different groups come to different conclusions
based on the same facts. This does not mean both
groups are right. If disagreements justified
relativism then there could never be any
objective right or wrong. Genocide, murder and
robbery are conflicts of “Valid” but opposing
views. The nation which slaughters and kills
minorities is no more guilty then a lion killing
a lamb. The rapist is nothing less then the
strong taking advantage of the weaker.
We would have to conclude the serial
murderer just had a difference of opinion with
the people he killed. He wanted them to die and
they didn’t want to die. Who is right and wrong?
There death is nothing more then a dog killing
some game chickens.
2. Disagreement disproves relativism:
Disagreement demonstrates that relativism
is false. Since relativism is based on the idea
that there are no absolutes of right and wrong.
Disagreement needs at least two opposing
opinions. Both feeling they are in the right,
otherwise there would be no disagreement.
Disagreement itself invalidates relativism
because disagreement requires someone to “be
right”. Relativism would dictate that no party
is right because all in essence is only
relative. Therefore, there could never be
disagreement since all is relative.
3. Consequences of Moral Relativism:
Moral Relativism rejects all moral judgments.
Statements such as;
killing people for fun is wrong;
Stealing from people is a sin;
Feeding the homeless is good;
These statements are reduced to nothing more
then “preference claims”. All these statements
are based on objective moral norms. The
words; wrong, sin and good imply there exists an
objective moral standard. Relativism denies any
Sometimes the Relativist might argue that the
standard is a “Cultural or Social” standard,
this then becomes the basis of moral rightness
and wrongness. This merely replaces one
cultural standard with another cultural
standard. In Mexico before the arrival of
Cortez, child-sacrifice and cannibalism was a
standard Aztec practice. Cortez witnessed these
events firsthand, and with the force of the
sword suppressed these Aztec practices.
According to moral relativism, who was immoral
the Aztecs or the Spaniards is a non-sense
question. Moral relativism would equate
child-sacrifice and the cannibalistic Aztec
cultural as a non-consequential
This would also apply to individual morality. A
modern day cannibal such as Jeffrey Dahmer is no
less guilty or innocent then his Aztec
predecessors. Every person’s actions would
justify their morality all moral judgments are
negated. In the moral relativist’s universe, the
killing of the Jews is nothing more or less then
a Lion killing a lamb.
Tolerance supports objective morality.
If everybody ought to be tolerant, then
tolerance becomes an objective “Moral Norm”.
Therefore, Moral Relativism is false. Tolerance
also presupposes that there is something good
about being tolerant.
Relativism is a closed-minded and intolerant
Relativism dogmatically asserts there is no
moral truth. Tolerance is position that we
should be open-minded to the positions of
others. Since there is no moral truth,
why should anybody be open-minded? The whole
reason of being open-minded is the possibility
that somebody has something true to say.
Relativism assumes that there is no truth
therefore there is no reason to be open-minded.
Therefore, relativism becomes a closed-minded
system intolerant of those who claim to have
Relativism is judgmental, exclusivist and
This might sound strange since Relativism claims
that it is non-judgmental, all accepting and
unbiased about moral beliefs.
relativist claims that if you believe in
objective moral truth you are wrong, therefore
it is judgmental.
Relativism excludes those who claim to have
objective moral truth, therefore exclusive.
Because relativism is exclusive, all
non-relativists are automatically not members of
the “Correct thinking” party, and therefore
Tolerance is either barbaric or self-refuting.
Relativists want tolerance because of the
diversity of moral and cultural traditions.
However, Tolerance means to accept those who
disagree with you. For example, that would mean
that if the Neo-Nazi philosophy became a
prevalent viewpoint, this should be tolerated.
In addition, if the same group wanted to kill
everybody who disagreed with them, tolerance
should remain. Once the “Tolerant” reject the
position of Neo-Nazi party they become
intolerant and self-refuting.
Tolerance means you accept everybody, including
those who are barbaric or you become intolerant
Self Refuting Statement:
When a statement fails to satisfy itself (to
conform to its own criteria of validity or
acceptability), it is self-refuting…Consider
some examples. “I cannot say a word in English”
is self-refuting when uttered in English. “I don
not exist” is self-refuting, for one must exist
to utter it…. JP Morleand,
Scaling the Secular City
List 3 self refuting statement:
people reject those who have extreme views” is a
self-refuting statement. Once we begin to
choose whom we accept as Tolerable then we make
ourselves the judge of what is “Right and
Wrong”. “Right and Wrong” presupposes that
there are objective moral norms.
order to help the relativist understand the
“Christian position” we must first make the
position relative to the listener. First, we
should recognize that without the existence of
God, “The Cause of the Universe”, there are no
moral absolutes. The universe is one big
accident that came out of nowhere into existence
sometime in the past. This is the heart of
materialism, all is matter and that is all.
There is no morality; no higher order of
humans, animals or insects all are meaningless.
Is there anything wrong with the Lion
killing the lamb or, the Great White shark
eating a seal? Even the most avowed PETA member
(People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)
would say no it’s a part of the natural order.
Think for a moment, if there was no God, using
the same logic what is the difference between
say a strong people, a “Lion People” killing and
destroying a “Lamb people”. If there is no God,
couldn’t we logically conclude its just the
natural order demonstrated in nature.
However, if God does exist, then moral absolutes
exist. For example;
You are invited to a house for a party, when you
enter the house you become the guest of the
owner. As a guest, you have privileges; you
can eat freely of the food, sit in the chairs
provided, talk with other guests; use the
restroom, play the piano and have a good time.
However, since you are an invited guest and not
the owner you have restrictions. You cannot
paint the walls, break the windows, be
disrespectful and harmful to other guest or the
owner or destroy property. As long as you abide
by the terms of being a guest, you are free to
stay at the party. Living in the world, we are
guests of God.
We are in the world; the one who owns the world
has the right to determine what the rules on His
property are, today we call this property
rights. The owner of the house can tear down
walls, break his windows, smash the furniture,
but the guest does not have the same privilege.
God has the right to determine what is
acceptable and not acceptable. God has revealed
what is acceptable through individuals, recorded
in His word the Bible.
The question of what is Truth? Who is God?
Why the Bible? Are separate issues. But we must
agree that “If there is a God and He did make
the World, then He has the right to establish
what is right and wrong”, and if there is no
God, then we are free to do what we want. We are
nothing more then accidents and we are on an
equal footing with animals and insects. One day
we will cease to exist, like a leaf, falling
from the tree and decays into dirt.
Scripture: The Ten Commandments are an example
of God telling his guests what is acceptable.
God spoke all these words, saying:2“I
am the LORD your God, who brought you out
of the land of Egypt, out of the house of
shall have no other gods before Me.4“You
shall not make for yourself a carved image—any
likeness of anything that is in
heaven above, or that is in the earth
beneath, or that is in the water under
the earth; 5you shall not bow down to
them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God,
am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity
of the fathers upon the children to the third
and fourth generations of those who hate
Me, 6but showing mercy to thousands,
to those who love Me and keep My commandments.7“You
shall not take the name of the LORD your God in
vain, for the LORD will not hold him
guiltless who takes His name in vain.8“Remember
the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9Six
days you shall labor and do all your work,
10but the seventh day is the
Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you
shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your
daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female
servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who
is within your gates. 11For
in six days the LORD made the heavens and
the earth, the sea, and all that is in
them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the
LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.12“Honor
your father and your mother, that your days may
be long upon the land which the LORD your God is
shall not murder.14“You
shall not commit adultery.15“You
shall not steal.16“You
shall not bear false witness against your
shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall
not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male
servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor
his donkey, nor anything that is your
1 The earth is the Lord's, and all
its fullness, The world and those who dwell
2 For He has founded it upon the
seas, And established it upon the waters.
3 Who may ascend into the hill of
the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place?
Christian and a Moral Relativist
Joe and Mike are two high school
friends. Who meet 10 years after High
School; in those 10 years, Joe comes to
a personal relationship with Jesus
Christ and changes his life to conform
to a Christian worldview. Mike remembers
the old Joe who loved to go out and
party, dance and have a good time with
the girls. After not seeing each other
for a number of years, they run into
each other at a mutual friend’s house.
While sitting down on the couch they
hear the news the Massachusetts Supreme
Court has just removed the ban on
same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. Joe
Christian, upon hearing the news acts
disgusted and makes a comment that
begins the following exchange.
Mike Skeptic: What is wrong Joe?
Joe Christian: This country is in
trouble when judges don’t see the
difference between marriage of
heterosexuals and homosexuals.
Mike Skeptic: Well Joe we live in
a different age, we are seeing civil
rights extended to groups who have been
prevented from being part of society we
are becoming more tolerant of other view
Joe: Mike, What the basis of
right and wrong?
Mike: As long as you don’t hurt
people, everything is ok.
Joe: So is there anywhere you draw a
line of right or wrong?
Mike: Joe, As long as you have
two consenting adults, there should be
Joe: What about Prostitution?
Shouldn’t polygamy also be legal since
they would also be consenting adults?
Mike: You ask a lot of questions!
I don’t see a problem with prostitution.
As far as marriage between two people,
we need to keep some order in our
society. And culture, really determines
what is right and wrong. If the majority
of the people in this country don’t see
a problem then it’s ok with me.
Joe: So do you think the culture
and society determine what is right and
Mike: We live in a pluralistic
society and morality is relative, that’s
just the way it is Joe.
Joe; What if the majority of the
people in the United States thought
Hitler was right, and they wanted to
kill the Jews? Would they be right or
Mike: Joe, don’t be silly we are
not talking about Nazi Germany, we are
talking about the United States.
Joe: Mike, the United States was
founded on a Judea-Christian worldview,
with moral absolutes of “Right and
Wrong” if morality is just relative,
does not matter you think is right or
wrong? Can we condemn Hitler’s Germany
and say he was wrong in what he did?
Don’t we sound intolerant and judgmental
if we reject Hitler’s view because they
disagree with ours?
Mike: He was wrong because he
Joe: So if you are saying there
is wrong then there must also be right,
right? Are you now saying morality is
not relative? That as long as you do not
hurt people everything is ok.
Mike: Yes, that my position as
long as you don’t hurt people,
everything is ok
Joe: What is the basis of your
Morality? Who or What says you should
not hurt your fellow man?
Mike: Well society says it
Joe: Doesn’t society always
change? Won’t they change again?
Mike: Have you become religious
Joe: If God made the world,
doesn’t he have the right to set the
Mike: Who says there is a God? In
addition, who says what the truth is?
Joe: Well I asking myself that
very same question 7 years ago, that’s
when I found the God of the Bible is
from Moral Movers
The creed which accepts as the foundation of
morals, Utility, or the Greatest Happiness
Principle, holds that actions are right in
proportion as they tend to promote happiness,
wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of
happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure,
and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain
the privation of pleasure.”
John Stuart Mill
Thus, there is no human nature, since there is
no God to conceive it. Not only is man what he
conceives himself to be, but he is also only
what he wills himself to be after this thrust
toward existence.Man is nothing else but what he
makes of himself. Such is the first principle
The bad man is the man who no matter how good he
has been is beginning to deteriorate, to grow
less good. The good man is the man who no
matter how morally unworthy he has been is
moving to become better. Such a conception
makes one severe in judging himself and humane
in judging others. It excludes the arrogance
which always accompanies judgment based on
degree of approximation to fixed ends.
(1859-1952) Reconstruction in Philosophy
“Since there is no God to will what is good, we
must will our own good. And since there is no
eternal value, we must will the eternal
recurrence of the same state of affairs.”
The stronger must dominate and not mate with the
weaker, which would signify the sacrifice of its
own higher nature. Only the born weakling can
look upon this principle as cruel, and if he
does so it is merely because he is of a feebler
nature and narrower mind; for if such a law did
not direct the process of evolution then the
higher development of organic life would not be
conceivable at all...If Nature does not wish
that weaker individuals should mate with
stronger, she wishes even less that a superior
race should intermingle with an inferior one;
because in such a case all her efforts,
throughout hundreds of thousands of years, to
establish an evolutionary higher stage of being,
may thus be rendered futile. Adolph
Hitler, Mein Kampf
Make war upon such of those to whom the
scriptures have been given as believe not in
God, or in the last day, and who forbid not that
which God and His Apostle have forbidden, and
who profess not the profession of the truth,
until they pay tribute out of hand, and they be
Mohammed (Surah 9:29) (570-632 AD)
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”
Matthew 22:37-40 (0-33 AD)