Whatever Happened to Moral Absolutes?
In Today's society, the distinction between right
and wrong is rapidly disappearing!
A carefully crafted worldview being disseminated in western society today is one which is not founded on the moral absolutes of yesteryear—a time when most people agreed on what was right and what was wrong, what was good and what was evil, who was wicked and who was righteous, and which things were true and which things were false. Instead, this new mindset tenaciously maintains that individuals must “consider” all the different religious and lifestyle alternatives of a culturally diverse world, accepting all beliefs and customs as equal and valid (with the exception of the Christian viewpoint, which is rejected with hostility and disdain). In the name of “tolerance,” judging moral behavior is simply not permitted.
The inevitable outcome of this approach is a world where it is believed there is no absolute truth, or if there is, it cannot be known. The individual becomes his own god, creating his own “reality”—and “truth” is whatever one wants or imagines it to be. This pervasive “postmodern thinking,” as it is called, has gone mainstream in just one generation.
In his book The Death of Truth, Jim Leffel writes: “Postmodernists believe that truth is created, not discovered…. In a recent series of more than twenty interviews conducted at random at a large university, people were asked if there was such a thing as absolute truth—truth that is true across all times and cultures for all people. All but one respondent [a Bible-believing Christian] answered along these lines:
‘Truth is whatever you believe.’
‘There is no absolute truth.’
‘If there were such a thing as absolute truth, how could we know what it is?’
‘People who believe in absolute truth are dangerous.’ ”
Leffel continues: “Truth, declares a growing collective consciousness, is relative: what is true, right or beautiful for one person isn’t necessarily true, right or beautiful for another. Relativism says that truth isn’t fixed by outside reality [especially by a Creator God in heaven], but is decided by a group or individual for themselves. Truth isn’t discovered, but manufactured. Truth is ever-changing not only in insignificant matters of taste or fashion, but in crucial matters of spirituality, morality, and reality” (pp. 20, 31; bold emphasis added).
It is not difficult to follow this mindset to its logical conclusion. If twenty people have twenty different concepts about what is right and what is wrong, where does law and order fit in? Eventually, total lawlessness—even anarchy—is certain to follow. In trashing the truth of God, one falls prey to his own corrupt nature and his life becomes empty, void of purpose and understanding. As King David noted: “Behold, You have made my days as a handbreadth, and my age is as nothing before You. Surely every man at his best state is altogether vanity…. Surely every man walks about in a vain show! Surely they are in an uproar in vain. He heaps up riches and does not know who shall gather them” (Psa. 39:5-6).
The apostle Paul prophesied of a time when lawlessness would reign in men’s hearts. “Know this also, that in the last days perilous times shall come; for men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, braggarts, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, despisers of those who are good, betrayers, reckless, egotistical, lovers of
pleasure rather than lovers of God; having an outward appearance of godliness, but denying the power of true godliness. But as for you, turn away from all these…. They are always learning but are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (II Tim. 3:1-5, 7).
Although knowledge in the sciences has increased exponentially in this postmodern age, secular society has become spiritually atrophied, crippled and incapable of attaining the truth of God in Christ Jesus because it has repudiated the Word of God.
Paul wrote that creation itself is a witness to all mankind of the truth of God—and that in renouncing His visible truth as displayed throughout His creation, man becomes vulnerable to countless deceptions and chicanery: “For the invisible things of Him are perceived from the creation of the world, being understood by the things that were made—both His eternal power and Godhead—so that they are without excuse; because when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but they became vain in their own reasonings, and their foolish hearts were darkened. While professing themselves to be the wise ones, they became fools and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed creatures, and creeping things.
“For this cause, God also abandoned them to uncleanness through the lusts of their hearts, to disgrace their own bodies between themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie; and they worshiped and served the created thing more than the one Who is Creator, Who is blessed into the ages. Amen” (Rom. 1:20-25).
Satan the devil, who is “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2) and anti-Christ, is behind the many deceptions that elevate the created above the Creator. One vehicle he utilizes to accomplish this in society today is, paradoxically, public education.
A former teacher, Beverly K. Eakman, is the current executive director of the National Education Consortium and the author of Cloning of the American Mind: Eradicating Morality Through Education (Huntington House). In her insightful article “Bushwhacking Johnny,” published in the September 2002 issue of Chronicles Magazine, Eakman expounded how the educational system is destroying truth, morals and independent thought in today’s young students by using what is called “cognitive dissonance” to psychologically disorient them. She writes: “When cognitive dissonance is employed against an unsuspecting person—or worse, against a captive audience such as schoolchildren—the short-term objective is to prompt insecure individuals to find company, leading to a group (mob) mentality. This makes it easier to reverse values held by the majority. ‘Truth’ can even be turned against itself—for example, ‘freedom of speech’ is now used to legitimize pornography [and other degrading, immoral lifestyles]. The very people freedom of speech was designed to protect are left not only vulnerable but suspicious of the principle itself.
“What ‘new values’ are educators trying to instill? Here is a seven-point list, given to educators in North Carolina at an in-service workshop:
There is no right or wrong, only conditioned responses .
The collective good is more important than the individual.
Consensus is more important than principle.
Flexibility is more important than accomplishment.
Nothing is permanent except change.
All ethics are situational; there are no moral absolutes.
There are no perpetrators, only victims.
“Notice that all of the items on this list involve no particular issue; rather, they reflect ethical ‘outcomes’ that a child is supposed to ‘internalize.’ ”
Eakman continues: “Cognitive dissonance ‘is a stressful mental or emotional reaction caused by trying to reconcile two opposing, inconsistent, or conflicting beliefs held simultaneously [double mindedness].’… So cognitive dissonance is not quite brainwashing, and it’s not quite subliminal advertising, either. It’s more like setting somebody up for a psychological fall. It plays with the mind by pitting various perceived ‘authorities’ against one another [parents, teachers, friends, political leaders, religious leaders and especially God and obedience to Him], exacerbating tensions [in the minds of the students]. After a while, intellectual deliberations shut down, and emotions take over. Only the strongest-willed individuals can hold out—[and they are labeled as] ‘the troublemakers.’
“Thus was my generation (the Baby Boomers) educated to ‘need’ our peers more than we needed our principles, making us easy marks for such tactics as cognitive dissonance. Our children are now sitting ducks, with civilized norms forever under attack … [wherein] all choices are equally legitimized…. Today, cognitive dissonance is an institutionalized method used to force-feed whatever is politically expedient” (www.BeverlyE.com; bold emphasis added).
The use of cognitive dissonance is not limited to education. It is used in religion by clergy, in government by politicians and bureaucrats, in music, in entertainment, and in all other forms of media. Consequently, many societies around the world are seemingly caught in a downward spiral of immorality that is rapidly approaching the degradation and hyper-immorality of Sodom and Gomorrah. Few voices of sanity are raised to warn against the onslaught of wickedness and immorality—and such voices are generally rejected, ridiculed or silenced.
Analyzing the marketing methods purveyors of evil have used in the past fifty years to achieve their goals, David Kupelian writes: “As Americans, we’ve come to tolerate, embrace, and even champion many things that would have horrified our parent’s generation. Things like abortion-on-demand virtually up to the moment of birth, judges banning the Ten Commandments from public places, a national explosion of middle-school sex, the slow starvation of the disabled, thousands of homosexuals openly flouting the law [with governmental sanctioned public displays of gross, lewd heterosexual and homosexual sex acts] and getting ‘married,’ and online porn creating late-night sex addicts in millions of middle-class homes.
“At the same time, our courts have scrubbed America’s classrooms surgically clean of every vestige of religion on which this nation was founded—Christianity.”
“The plain truth is, within the space of our lifetimes, much of what Americans once almost universally abhorred has been packaged, perfumed, gift-wrapped, and sold to us as though it had great value. By skillfully playing on our deeply felt national values of fairness, generosity, and tolerance, these marketers have persuaded us to embrace as enlightened and noble that which all previous generations since America’s founding rejected as grossly self-destructive—in a word, evil” (The Marketing of Evil, pp. 11-12; bold emphasis added).
As a result, today’s world is upside down! Because people have rejected God’s truth, God has given them over to their own delusions. Truth, especially the truth of God’s Word, has been branded as error and lies, and error and lies have been packaged as truth. A well-known quote by Dresden James illustrates this paradox: “ When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.”
This is exactly what has happened to the world—but people haven’t even begun to realize it! Has this happened to you? It probably has in one way or another. Remember, Jesus said, “The truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).