The Theory of Relativity

One hundred years ago Einstein published his theory of general relativity.  For those that are not familiar, it postulates that the cosmos as being made up of four, not three, dimensions: the mystical "spacetime."  Space itself bends.  Time warps. Of course, the most well-known implication of this theory is E=mc^2,  which means that mass can be turned into energy.  As we know, a tiny piece of material can decimate an entire city. 

Few other theories in physics come close to the stunning beauty, and revolutionary nature, as Einstein's.  We can no longer describe physical phenomenon in absolute terms and call ourselves accurate; instead everything must be described in terms of relativity.

But the idea of relativity didn't stay in the cosmos.  It came to Earth.  Modern man has brought Einstein's theory of general relativity from the realm of physics into metaphysics, from science into philosophy.  The zeitgeist, or spirit of the times, can be summarized in the term "moral relativism."  You see it in the popular phrases "We can all decide what is right for ourselves," and "You decide what's right for you, and I'll decide what's right for me." (http://www.moral-relativism.com/)

But this is not what Einstein intended, for he didn't believe it was an accurate depiction of reality.  I don't either.  I believe in absolute truth, a truth that is fixed, unchanging across time and space, culture and circumstance.  And so, my friends, do you.

How do I know?  First reason: reason.  If you're like most in our culture, you disagree with me; you don't believe in absolute truth.  But surely you must realize that if you say, "No!  Truth is not absolute; it is relative," ironically you have just appealed to a universal, absolute truth. 

If you were truly a moral relativist, you really wouldn't care what I think because "You decide what's right for you, and I'll decide what's right for me."  But you really do care, because I think you're wrong.  

Second reason: because we love justice.  When the ones offended or violated are those we love, those we care about, those who are like us, we want justice, fairness.  When ISIS kills hundreds in Paris, or when Trump insults one of our own, or even when a friend bothers us, we say, "That's not right.  They should not have done that."  We think ISIS should be stopped, that Trump should be silenced, and that our friend be nicer to us next time.

But, if we were truly moral relativists, we wouldn't care.  "We can all decide what is right for ourselves," the philosophy says.  Yet, when we are the victims, we really don't think so.  There is right and wrong.  There is absolute truth.

So I appeal to you, my fellow moral absolutists, if I may be so bold to call you that: will you join me in admitting that you believe in absolute truth, a truth that is fixed, unchanging across time and space, culture and circumstance?

I hope you will.  But if you disagree and say, "No!  You're wrong," know this: you've just proven my point.

Prompted by Albert Mohler's article here.  Spoken in 4 minutes for a presentation skills seminar on Dec 10, 2015.