Truth, Relativism, and Evil A Tract Book Essay By Anthony J. Fejfar, J.D., Esq., Coif © Copyright 2007 by Anthony J.

Fejfar

When I grew up, as a kid, it was generally understood that truth was good. It was generally good to tell the truth and not to lie. At a certain point, however, this began to change. suddenly a lot of people had a hard time finding the truth about Vietnam. We saw new reports, we saw government statements and we saw teenagers go off to war, many of whom never came back. Next, we began to see stories in the news at school about Northern Ireland. We It was the middle of the Vietnam War and

were told that the war was a religious war and that basically both the Catholics and the Protestants were wrong. Northern Ireland was a scandal to the Christian Church. So, with all of this the teaching authority of both civil society and the church began to crumble. Soon, we began being taught relativism at school. And, relativism ended up being extreme relativism, that is, the idea that everything is relative. Only relative truth existed, and relative truth was really no truth at all. Very soon it became apparent that an person arguing for truth or objectivity was considered to be evil. While relativism did not recognize the good, it did recognize evil, which was moral absolutism, absolute truth, etc. From a classical point of view then, it had gotten to the point that good was evil and evil was good, a sure recipe for disaster.

Now, absolute truth might exist, but I am not arguing for absolute truth. In fact, I like some aspects of relativism: a respect for minority positions and dissent and a willingness to revise one’s judgments about the truth when new evidence or a new understanding of the evidence is available. As a Critical Thomist, then, I argue for moderate relativism and moderate truth rather than extreme relativism or absolute truth. always room for reasonable argumentation, for two side of the story, for the adversarial system of justice, for constitutional democracy. Extreme relativism, in the end, just leads us back to With moderate relativism there is

a naïve sort of authoritarian fundamentalism which is based upon an inauthentic adherence to some authority figure. In Amenrica, Military Officers swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, they do not swear a loyalty oath to a president or dictator.

So, I argue that the best truth we can get is 99.999999999999% true. This is as good as it gets. Any truth statement made can always be subject to reasonable critique and revision. While some of us might wish for absolute truth, it is very hard to come by, and is often presented in a manipulative way. school system which is based upon moderate truth. While some might say that absolute truth is We are better off having a society and a

evil, I would say also that extreme relativism is evil, albeit, relatively evil.