By John Sykes
In the end all relativists cheat to make their points. They have to. All ethicists have to borrow from absolutist sources, like the Christian ethic, because they too need objective truth – absolute truth.
T. M. Moore says this another way:
Relativism by any other name is still relativism…
[Moral objectivism] is relativism. Dr. Silver is not, in the end, comparing apples with oranges, but apples with apples. So not only does Dr. Silver succeed in demonstrating that all relativists have an undeniable need for objective truth, he also shows that all “objectivism” which is not anchored in God and revelation – as his view is not – is but another form, albeit somewhat circumscribed, of relativism.
A consistent system of ethics apart from God is impossible. In order to make any ethical progress whatsoever, unbelieving ethicists must disguise the fact that they borrow against divinely-revealed truth in order to achieve any semblance of coherence and congruency for their own views. But then they compromise that borrowed truth, living it out inconsistently, in an effort to make room for their preferred views on this, that, and the other.
All unbelieving ethical systems therefore point to the ethics of Scripture, even as they deny that such an ethics should be embraced. The only way to overcome the strong allure of the path of mere self-interest marked out by moral relativism is to teach and practice consistent Biblical ethics, grounded in the Law of God, the teaching of the Prophets, Jesus, and the Apostles, and the grand tradition of the Christian Church…
C. S. Lewis, brilliantly intercepting relativist approaches, once wrote:
“The right defence against false sentiments is to inculcate just sentiments.”
So the relativists have to use absolutist sentiments to justify “just sentiments” because they must borrow their ethics from the original, from the source, from the Truth.
In terms of Christian ethics, the right way to keep from being jerked about by every nuance of relativistic thinking is to anchor in the Word of God, doing the right thing according to the teaching of the whole counsel of God in Scripture.
The do-the-right-thing-ists cannot avoid asking WWJD!