Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Book Review: "Relativism"
Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted In Mid-Air
By Gregory Koukl or Francis J. Beckwith
Relativism is a book dedicated to the opposite of moral absolutism: Moral Relativism. The authors split it into five different parts. The first two parts were written by Gregory Koukl. The first part lays the foundation of what moral relativism is exactly. Koukl describes three different types in enough detail that you know what you're getting into. The second is the critique of moral relativism. Specifically, the Koukl discusses the idea of culture defining morality, the link to "moral common sense", and several flaws in the philosophy of moral relativism.
Beckwith picks up parts three and four. In part three Beckwith focuses on the influences moral relativism has had on the educational system (both public and private). He tackles the teachings of "Values Clarification", political correctness, and multiculturalism. He shows how these ideas are self-defeating and shows where the educational system's moral relativistic teachings are leading the world. In part four, Beckwith shows the effect of moral relativism in American law. He specifically takes on the issues of marriage and life.
In the final part, Koukl provides tactical ways to refute moral relativism. Although, these can be easily gleaned throughout the book. In the second chapter of part five, Koukl tackles evolutionary morality specifically. Finally, Koukl brings the whole issue to a personal level by explaining why it is important to determine if morality is absolute or relative.
I greatly enjoyed this book. I was surprised about how quickly I made it through. The book is written without a bunch of technical language. Anytime some uncommon term is used, it is explained.
I recommend this book to any and everyone, especially those who are not sure about the status of morality.