Saturday, December 12, 2009

Relativity and Advent

We were moving things around, getting out Christmas decorations, etc. in preparing for the upcoming holiday, and of course that means finding things that have been lost for a while. One of those things happened to be a paper with some information on old friends of my wife with whom we've lost touch over the years.

On the paper it notes that they have two daughters. Elise who is three, Natalie is one, and they are expecting another in May. Wonderful news, except this paper has been in a box for who knows how long. How old are those children now? We don't know.

Which got me to thinking. If only we had written down something like "Elise born in '01, Natalie in '03, expecting baby in 5/05" we would know a lot more than we do now. In fact even just writing the date the note had been made would have given us a reference point for determining the current ages of the children.

So why blog about finding a note? Because I was explaining to my son today what moral relativism is, and finding the note reminded me of the conversation. Without an absolute, there is no basis for anything. In the note, for instance, without an absolute date, there is no way to make the information on the note useful. as time goes by the confidence in the information becomes less and less until anything is possible.

The same is true morally. Even if you start out with a good standard for society, without acknowledging an absolute standard of right and wrong, good and evil, the concepts drift over time and become less and less meaningful. In the end, anything is possible. Murder becomes "God's work". Greed and theft become the gold standard of law.

Of course, you could point out that even if we had put a date on the note, dates are not absolute. They are just measuring the time relative to an event. In our calendar system that one absolute event is the birth of Christ. Everything else is based on Christ. I find that hair-raisingly significant.


Excellent. Of course the left does operate from one absolute. Whenever we or the Church disagrees with their emotion-based position du jour, we are absolutely wrong.

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