One of the most persistent errors of modernity is that of relativism. This is the error that states that something can be true for me and false for you. We can each have our own moral universal irrespective of logic, reality and morality. This is the common excuse used to evade the responsibilities of the present moment and trivialize the authority of God and His methods of communication through Revelation and Magisterium.
For instance, let us take the moral norm that it is wrong to kill an innocent human being. One would, of course, tend to agree with that statement. But not all the time. Take for example the question of pre-born human life. One couple may be very happy that they are expecting a child and do everything possible, nutritionally and medically, to ensure that a healthy baby is born to them. They name the child in the womb and show pictures to their family of the child produced by a sonogram. Another couple, on the other hand, see the pregnancy as an undue burden and the developing human child to be unwanted and hence expendable. So, they abort the child and terminate the pregnancy. Is that, objectively, a child in the two wombs? Or does the objective reality of that child depend on the subjective judgment of the individual child’s parents?
Modern thought would say that it is a child for the first couple but not for the second. Why the difference? Relativity. Each couple has the right to define what human life is for themselves. But that does not make any logical sense. Either a thing is or it is not. It cannot be both. It cannot be subject to the whim of individuals and their needs at any particular time. I may want the bear in front of me to be a puppy, but I cannot will it to be what it is not. Either the organism that is in the womb is or is not a child in every case.
This should be self-evident, but often politics or the human will wishes it to be otherwise. But life is not magic.
Scholars often trace this subjectivism that has invaded our culture as beginning with the philosopher Rene Descartes. He invented the formula ‘Cogitio Ergo Sum’ (I think therefore I am) as being the most basic and irrefutable foundation of human certainty. But notice the two references to “I”. It grounds reality on the ego of the human person. So, if the human being wants to say that the bear is really a puppy, then that is the way it is to be. And if another person wants it to be a giraffe, well, so be it!
In this misguided view of the world, the human person is absolute sovereign of his or her intellectual and moral kingdom. It completely obliterates God. The individual ego becomes the final arbiter of meaning. Sure, you can still believe in ‘your god’, but it is a god that does not matter, merely a psychological support.
We, however, believe in a God who alone is sovereign. His edicts and commandments are inherently truthful and binding on all human beings. This is the God of Revelation, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Jesus Christ. True, this is an article of faith, but it is not unreasonable.
Law, science, and psychology are all built on the objectivity of reality. If reality could be changed at someone’s whim, then the scientific method is a farce. In a world without God, we have the end of order since at the very onset of rational inquiry is the question: Why does all this exist? Believers have an answer: because God willed it to be. Unbelievers search for answers and come up with theories that cannot be proven or disproven.
Recently, I heard from a priest in another state who says that there was an instance in his state when some children decided that they were really dogs. So, they started to bark and insisted that they needed a litter and not a bathroom. Some children in the class were horrified at this and were sent promptly to the school psychologist for help in coping with this “reality”! If reality can be invented, anything is possible!
Our Faith works hand in hand with reason, even when the world becomes unreasonable! Reality is objective and cannot be invalidated by our non-cooperation. God is real and has made reality to be the same for all.