The Folly of “Big Love”

I read on a Being Frank post that there’s a TV program called “Big Love” which is all about polygamic relationships.

Argh. This just reminded me the reason why I stopped watching TV.

Anyway, I was quite surprised because the post had attracted 87 comments at the time of my reading, which is the most I’ve seen in that blog. I didn’t have time to read all of them, but I did find a couple of interesting comments, first by JPIII:

…when I mentiioned this to this co-worker I was talking with, he said “who are we to judge whether that person is doing smething wrong” and “maybe what they doing is right is right in their eyes, so who are we make comment about that.”

What mazed me was his confusion about some very serious moral matters. If I followed his philosophy to its conclusion, then anything should be allowed in society, and the rest of society has no right to do anything about it, or even comment on it. How stupid is that?

….In the Scriptures when Christ said, “Don’t judge”, he was referring to judging people, intentions, and where people sit with God, including their eternal salvation. No-one can judge that. Only God knows someone’s intention, and where they are with respect to Him, so we can never judge a person.

However, we can judge actions and words, (not the person) and in some cases have a moral obligation to do so. For example, if you had a child, you would make a judgement whether a particular person is trustworthy to babysit him/her. If you knew that one of the people you were considering did drugs, you wouldn’t employ them to do that job would you? They would be unfit to do it. You have made a judgement about their actions in order to make a responsible decision.

It’s true how crazy it is when one analyzes it. That comment reminded me of a quote by G. K. Chesterton: “An open mind is really a mark of foolishness, like an open mouth. Mouths and minds were made to shut; they were made to open only in order to shut…The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.” The following post of a fictional dialogue by Dumb Ox (who isn’t dumb at all acually; I know him) demonstrates the mouth-shutting (pun unintended) process:

Bob: “You can’t force your Catholic beliefs on me Ox, everyone has their own version of moral truth. Your moral truth is cool for you, but I have chosen another moral truth that’s okay with me”

Ox: “Bob, do you believe that it is wrong to murder someone?”

Bob: “Of course I do”

Ox: “Well I don’t. In fact I feel quite comfortable with murder, I have come to the truth that murder is okay.”

Bob: “That’s nonsense; everyone knows that murder is wrong. It’s immoral to kill an innocent person!”

Ox: “But that’s your truth, but I have my own truth and I believe that murder is sweet as”

Bob: “Ah, but the majority of New Zealanders think murder is immoral, so you’re wrong – murder is immoral.”

Ox: “Who says? Just a moment ago you told me that everyone has their own moral truths and that all moral truths are equally valid”

Bob: “But there are some truths that are universal and you can’t go against them”

Ox: “So now there are some absolute truths that we must all follow? You are now saying that there are some rules that must never be broken?”

Bob: “That’s right”

Ox: “Well who says so? What if I don’t like those moral rules and want to do my own thing?”

Bob: “You can’t, everyone knows its wrong to murder”

Ox: “What do you mean everyone “knows” that murder is wrong? How can they say that with any certainty and authority if there is no objective truth or moral absolutes?”

Bob: “Because morals are decided by what the majority of a society thinks is right and wrong – and the majority of kiwis think that murder is wrong.”
Ox: “So, if in ten years the majority of kiwis thought that murder was acceptable, then it would be okay to murder other people?”

Bob: “No, because they’d be wrong”

Ox: “How can they be wrong? You just said that the majority makes the moral rules.”

Bob: “Because everyone knows that murder is wrong”

Ox: “So you now agree that an individual’s personal morals can be wrong, and the majority can be just as wrong about morals – so if morals aren’t decided by the individual or by the majority, then how are they decided?”

Bob: “Theres just some things that are morally wrong”

Ox: “So now you’re saying that there are actually moral absolutes and objective truths that cannot be changed”

Bob: “No, that’s not what I’m saying – because there are no moral absolutes”

Ox: “So if there are no moral absolutes then how can you make the statement that “there are no moral absolutes” – because in saying this you have created a moral absolute (“that there are no moral absolutes”.

And you are saying that I have to accept your moral absolute (that there are no moral absolutes)!!!

If there are no moral absolutes then I don’t have to accept what you say about anything, cause I can make up my own truths about anything from murder to paedophilia to rape, etc, etc.

Bob: “Well if you put it like that then I suppose there do have to be absolutes”

Ox: “Glad we agree! Now we’ve settled the fact that there are moral absolutes and therefore objective truth, we need to examine the morals we live by to see which ones are true and which ones are lies.”


From this point I would normally begin to examine the specific moral code being quibbled about (be it sex before marriage, homosexuality, etc).

…Too often people try to tackle specific moral issues without first walking people through the facts of objective truth first – without dealing with the flaws of moral relativism you’ll be arguing about morals till you’re blue in the face.

True, it’s all in the underlying principles. Flawed philosophy produces flawed cultural values.

Oh Lord, grant that we may truely seek the love (philo) of wisdom (sophy), rather than of base desires!


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