Friday, April 20, 2007

Cultural Relativism: The Path To A Cultural Murder/Suicide

In his book, "Relativism -- Feet Firmly Planted In Midair," Greg Koukl points out that one "way to assess the validity of a moral system is to see what kind of person it produces" ...

Given a particular standard of morality, the person who is most moral is the one who practices the specific system's key moral rule consistently ... the one who most closely lives the ideal -- indicates the quality of the moral system

... the quintessential relativist is a sociopath, one with no conscience. This is what relativism produces.
This week, the sad story from Virginia Tech offered us sickening proof that Koukl's assertion is true.

Consider the facts in this case:

  • Seung-Hui Cho was deemed mentally ill by professionals who, reluctant to render a moral judgment against his warped state of mind and thereby stigmatize him, failed to inform his roommates that they were living with a madman.

  • Cho's English professor, after reading the disturbing rantings he passed off as plays, "said she notified authorities about Cho, but was told that there would be too many legal hurdles to intervene. She said she asked him to go to counseling, but he never did."

  • Cho was given one-on-one tutoring regarding his "creative writing" but no one dared suggest that his so-called "creativity" was anything more than the disgusting, profane, deluded, and morally reprehensible garbage that it was. Who were they to judge someone's "creativity"?

  • There has been some speculation, especially among online forums, that Cho may have been inspired by the South Korean movie "Oldboy." One of the killer's mailed photos shows him brandishing a hammer — the signature weapon of the protagonist — and in a pose similar to one from the film. The film won the Gran Prix prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004.

This was the incubator in which Seung-Hui Cho grew up. No, he was not a normal human being. Yes, he was a sad, lonely, deluded, dangerous young man just waiting to snap. There is no denying that he would have threatened any society. But the tragedy at Virginia Tech could have been mitigated if the society around Cho was not so acceptant of "artistic" filth; not so impotent in its ability to render moral judgments; not so enamored with relativism; not so reluctant to identify evil for what it is.

Thankfully, our society still seems to be somewhat capable of recognizing the consciouslessness of a psychopath like Cho. Unfortunately it is doing so after the fact. But if there is any redemptive element to this horrific story, I pray that it will be the shock and awe produced with our collective recognition that the culture we live in must also seek counseling to prevent the seeds of its own murder/suicide from germinating in the vacuous, valueless ooze of moral relativism.

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